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What did you see tonight?


Ags
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Just had an hour solar. Yay, the sky cleared! My first time with my new kit - such a solar n00b lol.

There's one large double sunspot, one of which had a couple of white lines on it. A couple of tiny ones below that, and one on its own in the middle of the disc.

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Saturn and a faint whiff of the Cassini division alongside Titan. Jupiter with 6 beautiful coloured bands; the EZ showing some very interesting patternation. The Great Red Spot now just rotating into view. 

A naked eye moon is also dipping in and out of cloud cover and between rooftops. 

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I wish.. this is the worst start to the season I've known.. yes I know I'm interloping amongst the proper "observers" but I do actually look up with my own eyes now and again too.. mostly with the Bino's out of the windae  when doing my 2 or 3 nightly trips from bedroom to bathroom ;)

The only Stars I've seen recently are the ones induced by my Wife when she found my folder of receipts at the back of the filing cabinet from FLO going back the last decade or so 😵

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6 minutes ago, IB20 said:

An 80mm. I count regions as bands though,  others might count them as 4.

I'm envious that you got some views - very cloudy again here :rolleyes2:

The pale bands tend to be known as zones:

Observe Jupiter and Saturn at their best | Astronomy.com

Edited by John
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I admired the bright Moon through some thin clouds tonight. I tried to show my dog, but he seems to lack scientific curiosity or any inclination to honor his wolf heritage with a howl or two.

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3 hours ago, Ags said:

I admired the bright Moon through some thin clouds tonight. I tried to show my dog, but he seems to lack scientific curiosity or any inclination to honor his wolf heritage with a howl or two.

Same here. Locking up the rear of the house, a blanket of thin cloud racing across the 97% moon. I don't know why but that sight of clouds whistling past the moon has an eerieness. Is that the result of imagery from oral stories, books & film or some instinctive response?

Then the cat meowed , 'tuna' and the moment was lost...

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I watched the moon rise behind thin cloud over the reed beds in the Somerset levels earlier this evening. Quite atmospheric. Mobile phone did not really do it justice but it's better than nothing:

20211117_163733.jpg.7be653087de6b4d251e7ec0530c78b4d.jpg

 

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I had a brief clear spell last evening but the seeing was poor. I looked at Jupiter for 20 mins following the progress of  Europa as it disappered behind the limb, but very little detail on Jupiter was visible. By 9pm the Moon was higher and I looked at Pythagoras and Mons Rumker in the north and also the big oval of Schickard in the south. Again it was not possible to use more than x120 magnification. I was looking for Rima Sharp, but couldn't see it.  Tested the seeing with the  double star Gamma Arietis, which is quite an easy one. The two components were dancing about, so I decided to give up with the rest of my planned double stars selection from @Ags 's book. Just as I packed high clouds covered the sky. Better, more stable weather is hopefully coming after the weekend! 

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Managed to get first light with the new telescope and mount so that was good! 

It was pretty hazy here with lots of high cloud, but some gaps as I was out fairly early (7pm) and caught the moon though it was pretty wobbly (is there a better term?) viewing, the 2 speed focus control was very useful in the end :) I caught the edge of Jupiter and its four moons but no detail due to how low it was / how hazy and everything had clouded over again by 830-ish.

Also got to play with my two new eyepieces as well, a  4mm planetary and 16mm wide field (though most of the sky was washed out with the moonlight).

Need a proper dark night to test out the optics on the telescope really, make sure the stars are actually pin sharp and see how it performs against deep sky stuff! Still worth getting out for the first time in weeks and here is hoping something changes soon because its been terrible in Nov thus far. 

This was about as good as it got (the phone picture is terrible though compared to the actual view!)

258207057_10158294795391129_8977311144980924439_n.thumb.jpg.db72aade7431115657253cea6bd5ec92.jpg

Edited by wibblefish
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The glare of the moon this morning was impressive, quite clear skies with patches of stratus  despite a very  cloudy forecast. Although It clouded up around 5.30 am.

Had a quick go at photographing comet Leonard with a static tripod and DSLR. Managed to get bad a photo, but had issues with focusing my zoom lens, which seemed to loose focus every time I did the camera GPS calibration for the Astrotracer. More practice is needed with my K70, as it's slightly different interface to setup compared to my K5.

Edited by scotty1
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First clear skies for ages though I'm not sure it will last !

Jupiter is looking excellent with my 100mm refractor at 180x and that's straight out of the house with virtually no cool down time.

The Great Red Spot is still rather smaller and less red than in previous years and has just passed the central meridian of the planet. Lots of cloud belt detail and two nice barges on the N edge of the N equatorial belt add a nice touch :biggrin:

Its good to actually be observing something !

 

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13 minutes ago, John said:

.... I'm not sure it will last !

 

 

 

Well I was right with that ....... :rolleyes2:

Clouded out now and it looks rather solid. Talk about "smash and grab" astronomy !

Forecast is not too hopeful for the rest of tonight but does look better over the coming days as the colder weather arrives.

At least I saw something this evening.

 

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Firstly, Jupiter with the Sky-Watcher Evostar120 Achro - using the whole BST StarGuider range 25mm-3.2mm.  CA was apparent right through-out the who range of magnifications.  There was a bit of a breeze this evening, which didn't help seeing.  I decided to move onto Almach, which I discovered by accident recently.  I used the whole range of the BST eyepieces again, but couldn't obtain a totally clear image, as seeing wasn't great.  CA was present on the images I was viewing, having being previously spoilt by a 8" Dobsonian.

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1 hour ago, John said:

At least I saw something this evening.

 

Had a brief look at the Moon last night with my 12x60 bins, now I have a way of getting the IPD right - it only took 40 years of trying! The bins gave a lovely 3D effect to the Moon.

Edited by Ags
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First clear night in ages but my daughter is having her friends over  for a sleepover for her 14th birthday party. Too tired and emotionally exhausted to consider anything other than what comes out of a bottle.

However,  I did see Venus (naked-eye) late afternoon. The first time I've seen it this season.

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These were taken with a smartphone holder attached to the eyepiece. 

Another wee muck about with the Sky-Watcher Evostar 120 achromatic refractor and the moon, this evening. I was using a Meade Super Plossl 15mm eyepiece. 

I actually saw Orion for the first time in ages. Betelguese looked not too bad, as was Rigel. I could even make out the Orion Nebula and 3 of the Trapezium stars too.

IMG_20211120_213041.jpg

IMG_20211120_213116.jpg

Edited by Ian McCallum
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I had a binocular session last evening in between gaps of high fast moving clouds. I had heard that T Lyrae is a pretty carbon star so I hunted it near Vega. Eventually I found it but it was quite dim (I estimate near 9-th magnitude) and the colour was not showing well in the binoculars. Will try again with a telescope the next clear night, perhaps today if the weather forecast holds true.

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Trying something new tonight: Zenithstar 66 with a Baader Q Turret and 20mm and 6mm eyepieces. The sky is not fully dark yet but I did a quick system check on the Double Cluster. It turns out I barely have enough infocus for the NPL 20mm given the optical length of the turret - the stars snapped into focus in with no drawtube left, the diagonal was right up against the focusser. Fortunately the SLV 6mm requires a little less infocus, and I hope the other eyepieces I have bought for the turret (NLV 9 and 12mm) will be the same. The only solution I can think of would be to get a prism diagonal , so I hope the other eyepieces will be ok! The Double Cluster was washed out given the residual daylight, hope it stays clear.

The turret seemed ok by the way - I gave up on it a while back because it was a bit stiff and the cheap diagonal I was using it with coudn't grip the turret well enough and tended to disassemble mid-rotation anyway. The new TS dielectric diagonal seems much more solid, and I also tried loosening the turret a little.

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In the last two days it has had two consecutive beautiful days of good weather while the rest of this month has done nothing but rain! Before going to the gym I made a hit and run observation of Venus with the Konus Vista - 80 (achromatic 80/400 orange). At 23X you could perceive the phase, at 100X with a Vixen 4 mm lanthanum eyepiece you had a good vision of it even if with the inevitable chromatic aberration that disappeared with an orange W21a filter. Yesterday I tried to see Venus with the Nexstar 8, I left it an hour to reach thermal equilibrium but I ended up observing the planet when it was too low and at 200X the vision was a bit ruined by the differential chromatism of the atmosphere . Moral: if you don't make hit and run observations with a small tool, you need to organize yourself in time. Tonight nothing: it has started to rain again, I'm understanding what amateurs in the United Kingdom feel with the frequent rains that are in Great Britain!

Edited by Gonariu
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