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Mercury, the Young Moon, and Jupiter

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#1 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:08 PM

I saw and photographed the Belt of Venus and the Earth's shadow, while taking a walk this evening. On the way back to my house, I took a few shots of the young crescent Moon.

I then drove to the ASH Naylor Observatory. While on the way, I stopped at a vantage point with a good view of the western horizon. I could see Mercury naked-eye easily, despite some low clouds. My 8x42s improved the view but I wasn't able to see Mars.

When I got to the observatory, I prepared the French Dome posthaste. I took some afocal shots of Mercury through the 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain and walked over to the King Building to show them to Jim, a fellow ASH member who was using the 14" f/10 Meade LX200 SCT.

We took a look at Jupiter through the 14" SCT. I told Jim that there would be an Iridium flare shortly. Iridium 35 flared between Sirius and Betelgeuse at 7:32 p.m. EST. Six minutes the ISS began a pass through the northwest. It was rather low at its highest altitude of 16 degrees but was readily visible to the unaided eye. We also used Jim's binocular to view the pass.

After that I went back to the dome and took a few afocal shots of the setting Moon in its "lunar boat" phase through the 5" f/5 finder scope. There were plenty of high clouds here and there throughout the evening but Jim and I were able to see tonight's Great Red Spot transit easily enough through the 17" at 162 and 185x. The GRS was at the CM at 8:06 p.m. EST, according to the Sky & Telescope interactive tool at http://www.skyandtel...html?page=1&...

Eventually, it became too cloudy for any further observing to take place.

Dave Mitsky

#2 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

Here's my best afocal shot of Mercury. I took it using the 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain and a 40mm University Optics MK-70. Mercury was very close to the horizon at the time and was undergoing rapid color changes due to atmospheric prismatic dispersion.

Two of the photos of the young crescent Moon that I took are posted here.

Dave Mitsky

#3 Ira

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:17 AM

New Moon, Mercury and the dome of the 40" Weiss Observatory telescope. Mitzpe Ramon, Israel, Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:15 UT. Moon was 28 hours old.

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#4 ROBERT FREE

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:00 AM

dave,was that picture of mercury taken yeaterday? as i have been observing it daily in daylite an its in the half phase.that picture looks either full or in the gibbous phase.now the atmosphere can play tricks an make venus an mercury appear as blobs that low on horizon.do you suspect thats whats happened here.at least i do.ill be posting my drawings soon for this nice elongation an phase changes.

#5 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

The photo was taken on Tuesday evening. As I said, Mercury was very low in the sky at the time.

Dave Mitsky






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