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Hope some of you guys are out there tonight....

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#626 Arthur Dent

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

Hi Peter

Sorry to hear that the clouds wouldn't play ball yesterday.

However, if you are up and about before 6:45am (as I was this morning) and the sky is beautifully clear, you might see (as I did), a splendid Venus next to a crescent Moon.

Hoping that the skies will be just as clear at the end of the month to view Mercury, Saturn and Venus in close proximity.

Art

EDIT: Just read that the weather forcast for 3 weeks time is for "Arctic Blasts" (as the Daily Express would put it) and "Severe Winter Weather". One hopes the clouds will be absent!

#627 Peter9

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:39 PM

Hi Brian,
I did indeed see Venus and the crescent Moon this morning (06.15). I am fortunate in that from the side door of the house I can see East though to S.S.E, so, when the sky is clear, I get to see whatever is on view.
Thought there was half a chance of observing tonight, but the clouds are worst than last night. Still, hope springs eternal.

Regards. Peter.

#628 Tel

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:03 PM

EDIT: Just read that the weather forcast for 3 weeks time is for "Arctic Blasts" (as the Daily Express would put it) and "Severe Winter Weather". One hopes the clouds will be absent!


I'm sure you won't be putting too much credence in that forecast, Art ?

We receive, -- as I'm sure you do on the same basis, -- concise local Oxfordshire forecasts merely covering the next five days from the UK Met. Office but which thereafter it, (the Met. Office), proceeds to change regularly and often radically, on an hourly basis ! :confused:

Remember its prediction of the "Barbeque Summer" ? :4


:lol:

Best regards,
Tel

#629 hopskipson

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:01 AM

Finally got some observing time in last night. I really envy those with an observatory now. Just had about 2 hours before exhaustion set in.

After alignment at 21:15 I went right to Jupiter where I was pleasantly surprized with a moon transit. I think it was Europa? I think this was the first transit that I've seen. I tried different eyepieces out to confirm that it was not the eyepiece. It was nice that it had been about 6 weeks since getting out and I was treated to a transit. I kept going back to it to see the progress. I went to M31 and 32 and could make out theese faint smudges of light just barely. I like trying to explain to someone that it takes 2 million years for that light to reach earth. I went to a couple of open clusters M34 impressed me the most and If I get some time I may have to try imaging it.

That was all I could stay awake for by 22:30 I was yawning continuosly. Here's hoping for more clear skies.

James

#630 Peter9

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:23 PM

Ds. R. :dob: :refractor:s Ds. R.

R. D.

I. D. R.

R. D. L.

D. R..

O. L. I. D. R.

What do you mean, He can't have been able to observe for a while. :rofl5:

Regards. Peter.

#631 Peter9

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

Hi,

Dome open and I'm preparing to observe for the first time in many many weeks. Should be out by 19.15ish all being well. Strength of the wind my only worry, 10mph to 15pmh as I type. Jupiter will be my main target plus a look at old fav's M35 to M38. I'll just pick and choose there-after.

Hope my U.K and world wide friends have the same clear skies.

Regards. Peter.

#632 hopskipson

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:12 AM

Good luck Peter. I haven't had much luck in the past few weeks either.

James

#633 haytor

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:31 AM

Hope you did indeed get some time in your Obs Peter, not so here in the midlands i`m afraid, i had one eye on the sky and another on the TV, in the end the TV won out given the transparency was very poor here.

regards,

Tom

#634 Peter9

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:51 PM

Thanks James. Thanks Tom.

I did indeed manage just over two hours in the Obs. Transparency was poor too here in Yorkshire. Conditions generally were not up to much, 2 out of 5 at best. That withstanding, it was good to be at the eyepiece again.

As intended, I headed for Jupiter. It was good to see the planet sail into view and even in the conditions, the banding was very striking. As a bonus, all the Moons were on the same side of Jupiter (to the West through the eyepiece, East in reality), something I have not seen in a while. Mags between x160 and x180 proved to give the best views on the night. I did push it up to over x200 but the image suffered badly. There was a nice, fairly large black "Barge" feature in the middle of the N.E.B which showed some detail. The bands too gave up some detail, although patience was needed to tease it out. The polerised filter proved useful in reducing the glare and improved the view.
For a bit of fun I popped my UHC fliter on. It turned the bands a rich brown colour and although not showing much in the way of detail, they really hit me in the face. With the Moons now flashing blue and green, it was a lovely sight. I would be interested to hear of others comments when trying the same.
Orion and so M42, were too low in my sky to be worth viewing so I left it for another night. I spent some time on M38, M36, M37, and M35 in that order. This way, as they were in the East, It gives M35 that little bit more time to climb higher in the sky. It was good to have them in the eyepiece again.
Talking of eyepieces, I used the Baader zoom on Jupiter and my 30mm and 38mm wide angle on the open clusters. The 38mm is a joy, giving about the widest view you can get with the 8se.
I started the session about 19.20 with a stiff breeze blowing. By 21.40 it was blowing much stronger, so I decided to close up and not to risk any sudden gusts lifting the dome. Shame really as I was well protected by the Obs and enjoying being out.
Still, I headed indoors happy to have had some observing time.

Hope your luck changes and you have clear skies soon.

Regards.. Peter.

#635 hopskipson

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:50 AM

Finally got some viewing time last night. With temps around 0* C and wind gusting to ~20 mph, it was a bit cold. I took frequent breaks and didn't stay out too long. The sky was mostly clear with a few passing clouds. After alignment I went to Jupiter and noticed 5 moons. All my observing was with my ES 24mm. The four bright Galelean moons and a fifth smaller one about half the distance more away than Calisto. Seeing was decent but not great. It was hard to make out much detail. I could see 3 dark bands and some darker barges. I was hoping to get some video but the wind was too much. I went over to M42 and it seemed hard to focus, then I realized my eyes were tearing. After taking a break I was able to focus and could make out the trapezium. I popped in the OIII filter and the nebulocity doubled in size. I spent a while trying to hone my observing skills. There is an article this month in Astronomy on "the fish's mouth". I had a hard time making out the details noted in the article but it was fun trying (if fun is freezing your eyeballs!). After another break I focused on the moon. I could make out some decent details even through the increased cloud cover. It was great to have some time under the stars again after a month of being too tired when it's clear and overcast on the weekend.

I really envy those with an observatory. My site is convienent but very exposed. I'm allready hinting that the next house is going to have or need built a space for one :jump:.

Hoping Santa brings clear skies to all!! Merry Christmas

James

#636 Peter9

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:24 AM

Hi James,
Thanks for your report. Good to see that someone is managing to get some observing time in.
I spent time with Jupiter last time out. Its going to be putting on a good show this season. Just a point, the Mag of the Moon beyond Calisto, (Himalia) is 14.6 so you must have had good seeing to spot that one. Well done. Glad to hear your OIII filter made a difference on M42. I am hoping to use my new UHC filter on M42 when I get the chance

Believe me, an observatory helps a lot when it comes to observing in the winter months. Hope you land your "Prize".

Regards. Peter.

#637 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:00 PM

Hi James and Merry Christmas... I have had clouds for the last couple of days and it looks like it may be more tonight :mad: I've been itching to get my new scope out and do some looking around,g. I live in an area (near Austin) and I have moderate light pollution at my house. Could be worse I guess so I'm not going to complain except for the darn clouds. Sounds like you are liking your scope! I've been hooked on astronomy since I was a squirt back in the late 60's and 70's. I stayed active for a long time and took some cool astronomy classes in college but I got married young and went to work out of school and have been working ever since. I sold my old C8 but never really lost my love of astronomy. I've picked it back up since my kids are married and moved on :jump: More time to get back to it. Astronomy has so much to offer as a hobby it's just crazy. Anyway hope the weather and clouds cooperate for you and I hope for the same here! Clear Skies... Tony

#638 hopskipson

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

Had another brief observation session last night. Weather was overcast all day then cleared up around 7 pm. It was very windy and the teperature was right at freezing. It's so long since my last session that I didn't care. I was out by 8:20. Sky was very transparent after being opaque all day. First time I had a A2S alignment fail. After alignment went to Jupiter. It was really bright had to stare at it and change eyes to pick out details. Seeing was fair so I had to wait to pick up more details. Have to go to M42 to call it a night and that object never disappoints. I now realize that the OIII filter doesn't make it larger but boosts the contrast and makes it seem larger. Spent lots of time on those two targets and a few open clusters Went to M31 and got a fuzzy view, as it gets farther west it gets lost in the city lights. Kept going back to Jupiter to tease out some more details. Couldnt go higher than 133X magnification without distortion. Was back inside by 11:30 with work the next day and the cold wind a blowin' but I was sated.

Hope you guys get out there soon. I feel your pain. It wasn't easy getting out there in the wind and cold but the forcast is for another 4 days of lousy weather.

Tony- glad to here you have more time for the hobby. I've gone through so many different hobbies the past few decades and have always wanted to do Astronomy. I used to make beer and golf but that takes up so much daytime-family time that I figured Astronomy would be easier on the family time. It is, :foreheadslap:but at the cost of sleep time. Oh well nothings perfect. Hope you get clear skies.

James

#639 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:25 PM

James - Good report and glad you were able to get out for some observing. We have had clouds and rain for the last few days but finally tonight was good so I set up around 6:15 PM and went back out around 6:45 pm after dinner. I went straight for M42 in particular, the Trapezium. I've been trying to hit E and F but conditions and LP from Austin had been making it difficult. Finally tonight I was able to see E. I've been trying for a while to see this 10.4 magnitude companion. I spent some time on Jupiter, M36, M37, M38, NGC869, M31 and some various stars. Overall a nice evening and enjoyable. Glad you were able to get out too.... Tony

#640 Smittty692k4

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:39 AM

Clouds in South Texas have been ridiculous lately. I didnt bring the ST80 with me on this trip, but in 16 days, there was only 1 clear night. Usually in this area, there is one cloudy night per MONTH. But im sure everything will still be up there when I get home. :grin:

#641 sonny.barile

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:13 PM

It is Feb 6th and freezing in NJ. (This is normal) The sky was cloudless but the seeing was terrible. The background sky appeared to be a fuzzy grayish blue and it was hard to get good contrast. I still took advantage though. The past week has been cloudy with occasional snow flurries and we have a snow storm approaching for Friday. Im glad I did brave the cold because I got to see a few things I have never seen before. M37 stood out as the most outstanding object of the night. In my NPL 30 it is like looking into a glass globe with the stars suspended in it. Sort of like a 3d blob. Also, the Christmas Tree is a great sight at low power. I spent about 20 minutes scanning all around it. Jupiter was bright but the best I could squeeze out of the conditions was with a 12.5mm lens. I tried to push it with an 8 but it just fuzzed out. The 12.5 revealed two distinct bands but not much more.
The skin on my hands started aching so I called it a night. All in all I was able to get about 1-1/2 hours of view time. I hope I get some clear skies after this weekend because there are so many beautiful Messier objects to see this time of year.

Regards
Sonny

edited because I "messed" up on my "Messier" number........

#642 IanW

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:50 PM

Mid summer and fantastic viewing in Auckland, NZ

Spent a balmy couple of hours searching for (and eventually finding) comet Lemmon...looks like a glob cluster from this angle.

Ian
(and his trusty Nexstar 8iSE)

#643 hopskipson

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:18 AM

Sonny, glad to see someone took advatage of the clear sky last night. I was twmpted but had other obligations.

Ian, I envy your southern skies and summer weather with a snow storm on the way here :coldday:.

#644 Peter9

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:45 AM

Thanks for the report Sonny. So good to hear you managed a few hours viewing, even if it was in bad seeing conditions.

M69 is a difficult one for me, at best it's alway low in the sky and at this time of year, barely clears the horizon. We do however, have other globular s to enjoy.

Thanks for sharing.

Regards. Peter.

#645 Midnight Dan

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

Hi Sonny - glad to hear someone in this hemisphere is getting some observing in this winter!

Ian - Thanks for torturing us with your lovely viewing conditions! :poke:

:grin:
-Dan

#646 sonny.barile

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:57 PM

......Im afraid I messed up on my Messier so to speak. I actually was viewing M37 and not M69.

Sonny

#647 Peter9

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:34 AM

So I managed to get out at last (Wed the 27th) in what can only be described as awful conditions. Apart from the odd patch, the "clear" sky was awash with that high thin cloud.

Made a start at 19.00 on Jupiter. Even in the conditions it gave up lots of detail. The three prominent central belts and the darker polar regions were well displayed. The Moons were split two and two making a lovely sight.
Used the rest of my time to view NGC 2174, NGC2237 (Rosette), NGC2169, NGC2232, NGC2301 an interesting open cluster that resembles an edge on Galaxy. Spent some time on M42 (for the first time this year) and the UHC filter worked wonders on the Nebula, making it an all new object. Trips to M1, M35 and M50 rounded the night off before the clouds finally brought the curtain down on my observing just before 22.00.
It was good to be working the scope again and I really enjoyed my 3 hours at the eyepiece.

Regards. Peter.

#648 haytor

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:45 AM

Really good to hear you had some time at the eyepiece Peter, 3 hours is better than none thats for sure, even with less than ideal conditions.Lets hope March offers more clearer skies, this last winter has been a real pits.

Glad you got out :waytogo:

best regards,

Tom.

#649 Peter9

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:56 PM

Many thanks Tom. It was good to be out again. I don't think I can remember a winter quite as bad as this one, viewing wise. The last date on the hand set on Wednesday night (the last time I was out observing) was the 9th of December. As you say, lets hope for better things in the comig months.

Regards. Peter.

#650 hopskipson

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 07:54 PM

Good to here you finally had some time with your mistress. It's been horrible here lately and the forecast isn't any better.






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