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Littleguy80

Solar system before tea

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Arriving home from the grocery store around 5:30 to a wonderfully bright Venus but a bank of cloud around the horizon, I thought that Mercury may be lost already. Stepping into the garden, I quickly located the little planet above the clouds. I popped inside to grab the Equinox 80. With the help of the Nagler zoom, I was able to see the phase, around half, of the planet. Moving up much higher to see the glistening diamond that is Venus. Here I could see a planet that is starting to resemble a small moon. Again it’s phase was clear to see. In between these two planets was a third planet. To see this planet, I would need to bring out my 10” dob. The key to finding the ice giant would be identifying Phi Aquarii. SkySafari and the view through my 9x50 RACI helped to find the star. At 133x, I was confident that the pale blue dot that could be seen was Neptune. My 5 year old daughter had come outside and asked to have a look. She knows her planets and was pleased to see Neptune. However, her priorities were now on drawing with chalk on the path. I was requested to lend my artistic skills to this endeavour. “Just one more planet” I replied. Before long a pale green disc was floating through the eyepiece. Father and daughter enjoyed this sight before moving onto pavement decorations. 

After some time, I was left alone as it was time for the children to eat. The grown ups enjoy a date night on a Saturday night. I set my sights on another solar system target, the comet C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS). I left the solar system briefly through using the double cluster as a starting point. Just as I was trying to spot the comet, light cloud arrived obscuring my view. After a few minutes, I decided to pass some time putting bikes and various other items away. Despite a light haze, I thought the big bright Moon would be worth a look. The terminator revealed a distinct mountain peek. Very cool. I couldn’t help but wonder if it would be possible to view Earth’s mountains from the Moon in a similar fashion. Looking up, I noticed that the skies above had cleared. Resuming my search for the comet, I was surprised by how difficult it was to find. I have seen it many times before but the bright moon was making it quite tricky. Eventually the right magnification/exit pupil was found and the comet revealed itself in averted vision. It was nearly time for bedtime stories before the grown up meal. For a final flourish, I quickly sought and found the asteroid, Vesta. It shone brightly and clearly among the stars. 

Four planets, a comet and an asteroid all before tea. I came inside with that wonderful energised feeling that a good session can bring.

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Edited by Littleguy80
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Great read that Littleguy80, you sound like you had a productive time at the eye piece. There's nothing like having the little people around your toes while trying to concentrate on an object, it certainly keeps things interesting with my two year old climbing up me like a koala bear and the older one cartwheeling all over the place. 🤣

Neptune is still on my list of planets to see. Hopefully I will bag it soon.

I have been really amazed with Venus, your couldn't have said it better, it's like a mini moon. I would like spend more time viewing it before it leaves us again.

Uranus has also been a joy, not a huge amount to see but watching that crisp pale  green disc pass through the eye piece is really rewarding.

 

Regards

Baz

 

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9 hours ago, Littleguy80 said:

I came inside with that wonderful energised feeling that a good session can bring.

😀

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3 hours ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Great read that Littleguy80, you sound like you had a productive time at the eye piece. There's nothing like having the little people around your toes while trying to concentrate on an object, it certainly keeps things interesting with my two year old climbing up me like a koala bear and the older one cartwheeling all over the place. 🤣

Neptune is still on my list of planets to see. Hopefully I will bag it soon.

I have been really amazed with Venus, your couldn't have said it better, it's like a mini moon. I would like spend more time viewing it before it leaves us again.

Uranus has also been a joy, not a huge amount to see but watching that crisp pale  green disc pass through the eye piece is really rewarding.

 

Regards

Baz

 

Thanks Baz. Kids keep life interesting for sure :) My eldest and youngest were on the trampoline practicing their acrobatics while I was out so “doing cartwheels” wasn’t far off my experience either!

Neptune is quite tricky at the moment as it’s low down. When it’s higher and you can throw some magnification at it, it will show as small blue disc. The emphasis on small!

Have a google on the phases of Venus. I think you’ll be amazed at how much it appearance changes :) 

 

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A great report. It sounds like my idea of a perfect evening. It's amazing how much one can achieve in an evening (he says while tapping away on the keyboard). I was surprised by how excited I was to see Mercury with my son on Saturday even though it was binoculars and naked eye.

Anyway, you've motivated me to stand up and do the washing-up then hang up the washing.

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Great stuff indeed Neil, you packed a lot in there! Still haven't got a scope on Mercury this time around, need to drag one up onto the Heath with a better horizon.

Venus looks amazing when it forms a crescent doesn't it? I took this one the other night, but we can look forward to the crescent coming along soon. Managed a half decent smartphone shot of that too some time ago. It always amazes me that it gets brighter as it becomes a finer crescent, I guess because it also gets bigger! Note the relative sizes in these images will not be correct as they were taken with completely different scopes and mags and probably cropped aswell!

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An enjoyable report to read Neil. I am hoping to get another chance tonight seeing Mercury - this time with a scope. I have grabbed it twice in the last few days both with binoculars (15x70) + (7x50).

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