Monday, October 24, 2005

Last Quarter Moon

Have you ever observed the moon during the Day?

This is great time to look! Cool October air and crisp blue skies.

This morning after 10 am in the SSW sky was our Last Quarter moon floating in a sharp blue contrast.

I took this shot through a four inch refractor with a Digital SLR.

Following the Moon day and night.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Moon event

I saw the full moon in the West around dawn this morning and a small dark shadow!
The umbra around 7:03. The partial eclipse ended for me at 7:15, as the moon began to set behind the buildings from my viewing position. I swept the surface with binoculars one more time. If you slept in or did not look up, there are several good photos on the web. A good link is The photo from a fellow in Iowa is close to the way it looked here. There was some off color due to clouds in the atmosphere for a while, but it cleared.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

View through the Slooh Telescope

Wednesday night was warm and humid again. I decided to view the night sky from the Canary Islands. I was up until 5 am their time, viewing Galaxies, Nebulas, Clusters, Asteroids and three Planets. Mars, Saturn and Uranus.

Some I had logged before, but each night is different. Atmospheric affects, Moon light and dark sky play a big roll. Sometimes in the wide view the object is closer than the last time viewed. Different power used on the Alpha or Beta Telescope will cause this. As the night's program moved from Star to Planet during the night, I reviewed descriptions from my Burnham's Celestial Handbook, made notes and took a few snap shots for my reference file.
The Galaxy NGC 253 in Sculptor is huge! I have viewed this "Silver Coin" in my 8".
The view through the 14" Telescope from the Teide Observatory is impressive.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Our aging sun's activity

An Observation on the our nearest Star

I have mentioned the influence of Solar Activity on our weather/climate. Apparently a couple of Duke Universtiy Physicists have been studing this for some time and report: "Sun's direct role in global warming may be underestimated".
An article about their study came out October 2. Nicola Scafetta, an associate research scientist working at Duke's physics department, and Bruce West, a Duke adjunct physics professor, published their findings online Sept. 28, 2005, in the research journal Geophysical Research Letters. According to Scafetta, records of sunspot activity suggest that solar output has been rising slightly for about 100 years. However, only measurements of what is known as total solar irradiance gathered by satellites orbiting since 1978 are considered scientifically reliable, he said.

Stay tuned Skywatchers... in time that formula I spoke of will be written and understood.

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Quarter moon and Venus

30 miles NE as the Raven flies is a darker site.

We set up telescopes about sunset; welcomed a few new guests then discussed a few cosmic topics before aligning stars. It was a clear sky with a breeze. We were glad the cloudy forecast was off the mark for the night. The Great Milky Way cut a path across the top of the sky. The other stargazer pointed out the Andromeda Galaxy without aide of Binoculars or his glasses.

Star Log**051001

Aligned LX90 to Arcturus and Alioth also had the 10"Dob on hand

Sloohed to: M15, M31, ngc457, M82, M57, M25-with the 10"-Venus and Qtr Moon, Albireo

the double Cluster ngc869, Pleiades

Venus was low and past the buildings' right wall. Our sister planet was bright and large in the Western Sky before she set behind the dam. We saw Stars close up, Nebulas, Clusters of Stars, Planets and Galaxies. And we got a glimpse of the Red Planet before we packed up and left. The clear sky gave us a great night of viewing the stars.

locked up at 11 pm

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Stargazing from the Rift

StarLog ^*^0510##

This observation was filed in a October 2005 file, site unknown

A note at the bottom of the page indicated my battery was low and I shut down...must have been with the LX90

Aligned with Formahaut and Alphertz
swung to Mirack and Almack/dbl
Tried to view Mars/cloud in that location
sloohed to NGC 457/cluster was clear and crisp
went to Mars again/blue top-yellow and blurry/darker feature in south central part of globe

Battery Low/shut down and rebooted / aligned with Vega and Altair:
M57/the ring
M31/sharp and bright