Author Topic: The moon and other astronomy stuff  (Read 11547 times)

fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #75 on: January 13, 2017, 11:42:27 pm »
Here is a bit of DIY fettlage- an eyepiece case made from a retired deWalt drill case and some foam left laying around at work-






Contents are what came with the scope- 10mm, 25mm eyepieces, X2 Barlow, finder scope and a box of lunar and planetary filters. The little red disc is a filter for a mini maglight to prevent night vision disruption if illumination is needed at a dark site. This was cut from the lid of a cheese football tub.
Quote from: tatanab
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fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #76 on: January 15, 2017, 10:06:00 am »
I identified a clear spell last night so decided to do some observing. I set the scope up at 9:00 o.m. and left it to cool for about 20 minutes, going out at around 9:20. I used the moon as an alignment target to check the finder scope was doing the right thing and then decided to hunt down the Orion Nebula.

I was unsure of its exact position within the constellation so used the finder to try and locate anything within that was more a hazy feature than a pinpoint star. I found one in a group of points just below the belt so took to the eyepiece, set up with the X2 Barlow and 10mm EP. Bingo! An irregular cloud shape with a line of 3 stars leading into it and a trapezium of stars central to the cloud. Fuzzy was a happy dude! I spent about 20 minutes at the EP tracking the nebula across the sky. Wonderful.
Quote from: tatanab
The mark of a true cyclist - prepared to try anything on offer

If it ain't bad for you it ain't worth doing

fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

  • SWMBO's Toy Boy.
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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #77 on: March 26, 2017, 12:39:30 am »
Last night and tonight both included an hour with the scope observing Jupiter. On both occasions I was able to discern surface detail in the the disc was split in to visible bands, last night with two dark bands visible, tonight being and improvement with 3 darker bands.

The Galilean moons were also visible on both nights, with tonights being the best of the two with all 4 moons on the same plane, though one was on the opposing side of Jupiter.

I also tried out my new 10 X 50 binoculars. The planetary disc was visible with the 4 moons just discernible as very faint pinpricks of light.

Jupiter is a fabulous target for observing :thumbsup:
Quote from: tatanab
The mark of a true cyclist - prepared to try anything on offer

If it ain't bad for you it ain't worth doing

fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

  • SWMBO's Toy Boy.
  • Apprentice Leathery Old Git
    • The Secret Cyclist blog
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #78 on: April 02, 2017, 11:17:26 pm »
Last night was Maidenhead Astronomical Societies Stargazing Live outreach event, held at White Waltham aerodrome. Being a brand new member of the society, I attended with my scope and binoculars to offer my services.

The aerodrome is a good location for this type of event as there is a bar with attached function room which was set up for lectures.  The horizon to the West and South was very distant and the view pretty good. The only slight downside was the light bleeding out form the bar/ function room. This was offset by the fact that this light meant that visitors were able to see their way around without tripping over tripods and eyepiece boxes. 6- 8 of us set up outside with a range of scopes from my 150mm Newt through to 10" Newts plus refractors and Cassegrains etc. We set up from abut 18:30 and folks started arriving shortly after. At first the cloud cover was pretty total but it soon started to break up and before too long I had a queue at my scope waiting for a view of the pre dusk moon which was looking pretty good.

For the first hour or so, the cloud kept drifting in and interrupting but before too long, the cloud breaks started to increase and the target count increased also. As the night progressed, I was able to show Mercury and Mars, both as very slight but discernible discs, followed by the Orion Nebula which for most of the evening was nice and clear. The highlight for many was the appearance put in by Jupiter and the Galilean moons- tonight all four in nice alignment, 2 each side of the disc. I coached folk through using averted vision to discern banding and many were delighted to be able to report success.

The Pleiades were also very popular, I think because of the fascination caused by discovering just what a complete bucketload of stars they could see through the scope compared to naked eye.

Apparently we had a turnout of 400 plus visitors of all ages and the night was an overwhelming success.

In addition to the targets mentioned above, I also got my first view of M56, through another members 8" Robert Miller Newt. A glorious sight through an absolute gem of an OTA.
Quote from: tatanab
The mark of a true cyclist - prepared to try anything on offer

If it ain't bad for you it ain't worth doing

hellymedic

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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #79 on: April 02, 2017, 11:41:45 pm »
David's been not too far away at Ruislip Lido on all three weekend nights. I think attendances have been in the 2-300 mark but there were only three telescopes last night. He too had wispy cloud. Hasn't been imaging but dealt with long queues.

Great that you're enjoying your astronomy!

David is still on a bus...

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #80 on: April 11, 2017, 12:34:15 pm »
Last night

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fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #81 on: April 18, 2017, 11:30:35 pm »
Jupiter was looking pretty damn spectacular tonight. Got my first look at the Great Red Spot. Awesome :thumbsup:
Quote from: tatanab
The mark of a true cyclist - prepared to try anything on offer

If it ain't bad for you it ain't worth doing


fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #83 on: May 07, 2017, 11:40:59 pm »
Due to the close proximity of the moon and Jupiter in conjunction with the first clear sky for over a week, I managed to get 5 moons and one gas giant into the same telescope field of view tonight. Absolutely awesome :thumbsup:
Quote from: tatanab
The mark of a true cyclist - prepared to try anything on offer

If it ain't bad for you it ain't worth doing

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #84 on: August 17, 2017, 05:47:00 am »


or later, and longer

If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #85 on: August 17, 2017, 08:13:01 am »
Gasp...

fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #86 on: August 23, 2017, 04:41:54 pm »
Lovely images Jaded.

Anyone actually see any of the eclipse for real as opposed to on the news?
Quote from: tatanab
The mark of a true cyclist - prepared to try anything on offer

If it ain't bad for you it ain't worth doing

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #87 on: August 23, 2017, 07:44:33 pm »
My partner, who is in the USA for another 10 days.
His ancient Canon DSLR cannot speak to his iPad, so he'll wait till his return to the UK load the images onto his iMac and release them to the world.

There was a titchy partial eclipse in the UK at sundown, which was cloudy for most but it has been imaged.
British Astronomical Association has received images from both sides of the Atlantic.
https://britastro.org/node/10981

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #88 on: August 23, 2017, 09:01:37 pm »
Lovely images Jaded.

Anyone actually see any of the eclipse for real as opposed to on the news?

Yes! We saw it all. Story to come but I'm in a diner in Green River. If I can I'll post a photo.
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Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #89 on: August 23, 2017, 09:03:37 pm »
Here you go, a repost



Wow. Just absolutely wow.

No words to describe it, and this shot doesn't do totality justice at all.

I'll write a full report later...
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fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

  • SWMBO's Toy Boy.
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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #90 on: August 24, 2017, 11:39:31 pm »
 :thumbsup:
Quote from: tatanab
The mark of a true cyclist - prepared to try anything on offer

If it ain't bad for you it ain't worth doing

Jaded

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  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #91 on: August 25, 2017, 07:06:35 am »
:)

A few more

Where we were



A while after first contact



Some solar flares

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Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #92 on: August 26, 2017, 07:41:19 pm »
I'm going through photos at the moment.



I made the sun yellow because someone said it looks better that way  ;D
Also although I took loads of photos of the stages, I haven't chosen completely symmetrical ones.

I'll write a story soon...
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hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #93 on: August 26, 2017, 08:34:13 pm »
That is seriously good!
Have you seen the BAA's page on members' eclipse submissions? https://britastro.org/node/10981

T42

  • Gaulois r√©fractaire
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #94 on: August 27, 2017, 08:43:16 am »
:thumbsup:
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #95 on: August 27, 2017, 07:18:53 pm »
So here is the story...

This probably started in 1999 when my son and I saw the clouds go dark in Devon. Since that experience I harboured a desire to see totality properly. In 2015 travelled up to the far NW of Scotland to see 97%, dark and weird but not total.

So a plan was hatched to take a holiday in North America, seeing a business associate in Canada, then hiring a campervan from Calgary and driving to the eclipse zone. All good, except the near £4k cost of a suitable campervan, and its associated milage and fuel charges. I phoned a school friend in Salt Lake City and next thing we were planning to stay with him and have a loan of one of their cars!

So then to choose the spot. Every piece of reporting about the upcoming eclipse said that millions of people would go to see it. I chose west of Idaho Falls, seeking out a triangle of roads, to give us a bit of a chance to change position if it was cloudy. The area East of Idaho Falls - Rexburg - was likely to be very busy. 2m 18s of totality on the central line.



So we left SLC at 22:30 on Sunday - I didn't want to get caught in traffic, or get there and find no space. Come 3:30 we were one of about 20 cars on a 15 mile stretch of road! Dawn showed us how isolated we were.



We went off road and tried to sleep. A downside was that going for a pee meant walking off into the scrub, and then peeing in full view of everyone - even if you walked for hundreds of metres.



Gradually more people arrived, and we had a neighbour with a drone...





They had also come from the SLC area but had more sensibly stayed the night about 30 miles away.



The last one shows us parked up, third car up on the right.



If you look closely you can see me and my shadow by the roadside :D

Popped off for a pee and met another couple who had driven for 2 hours to get here. He said that he had chosen this spot because some clever algorithm had put it forward as the least likely to get full up. He also said that he had put the central line into his GPS, and this was it. I then had to set up the equipment and get focussed. Which was way harder then in the back yard a few days earlier.



I'd had to buy a tripod (mine being too big to fly out) and improvise with a jumper as blackout hood :D

Here we are in Eclipse viewing mode



I set up to bracket exposure, and had to reposition the camera every few minutes as the sun tracked across the sky. It had to be by camera, not telescope, as the telescope was far too bulky for air travel. As it happens my hand luggage weighed nearly as much as my hold case. Nikon DX and a 1.4 teleconverter, wth the 200-500mm lens meant an equivalent to 1050mm

and a few photos of the eclipse...







I didn't get any diamond rings, or Bailey's beads. Everything happens very fast and I was hoping to get a good totality shot.





Totality was astounding and now I realise I missed one great image - a wide shot of totality. Luckily my son got an iPhone shot.



It was really beautiful, very, very moving and well worth all the effort. I was forgiven for the early start and sleep in the car!

As soon as totality was over there was a firing up of car engines and people began to leave. Us and our neighbours stayed to the end. It seemed rude not to - nature had put on a spectacular show.



Next time I shall go for the wide shot at totality too - I didn't have my full frame camera to hand at totality as the ground was so dusty and cameras hate dust.

I shall definitely plan to see another one. On our trip we stayed in a town in New York State and enthused our hosts to drive to Kentucky to see totality (on their way back they took 10 hours to do a 4 hours bit of road!) They now report that their town is in totality for the 2024 eclipse.
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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #96 on: August 27, 2017, 08:09:51 pm »
JD, this is all fabulous stuff.  Thanks for sharing it.

Peter

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #97 on: August 27, 2017, 08:26:06 pm »
Reykjavik 12 August 2026 or Palma de Mallorca same date? Teatime in Reykjavik or sundown at Palma.

Palma more likely to be clear but sun very low and HOT.

Other eclipses are available but not in Europe.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #98 on: June 03, 2018, 03:44:49 pm »
David's friend Martin Tweeted this Jupiter image just now.

Martin lives in St Albans.


Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #99 on: June 03, 2018, 08:17:58 pm »
Not Mr Mobberley by any chance?  I was tempted to have a go at Jupiter last night but decided instead to go for a dawn walk. I was rewarded with a lovely view of Mars to the east of the waning moon.