Sunday, December 26, 2004
Observing double stars

On the nights of December 8 and 9 2004 I observed some double stars in Auriga, Orion and Gemini. The seeing and transparency was not very good (4 out of 10) on these nights. Even the big clusters in Auriga, M 36, M 37, and M 38 where no real fun to observe, but for looking at some double stars, it was proved to be OK. I observed from my own backyard (visual limiting magnitude 4 on these nights) using my TAL 200K, an 8-inch Klevtzov-Cassegrain mounted on the EQ6, and the Argo Navis Digital Telescope Computer.

I used most of my observing time for making field drawings of each double (or multiple) star. I sketched the double star components together with some field stars that where .....follow this link to read the full story and see all the field-sketches.

Posted by Math on 12/26 at 11:40 AM | filed in: Deepsky log | Print
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Observing the Andromeda Galaxy

Hi All,

I just added a new article to my site in the “Focus on....” section: Observing M 31,the Andromeda Galaxy. In the article you will find a little history of observing M 31, four of my own observing reports, what to expect when observing M 31, where to find M 31 (finder chart included), a table of data on M 31, M 32 and M110, some interesting links to detailed online photographic atlases of M 31 and more. I illustrated the article with sketches Al Sufi and Charles Messier.

I also would like to thank Sue French, Robert Gendler and Martin Germano who granted me permission to use some of their images/sketches for my article. Just follow this link to read the full story.


Posted by Math on 12/04 at 03:30 PM | filed in: Deepsky log | Print
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Schiller, Mare Humorum and Mare Frigoris

Last night I shot some images of a 10-day-old-moon. Here are the first results. A detailed report with more images will be published in the Solar System section on my website. All images where shot with the TAL 100RS (4-inch refractor), a 25mm Vixen Lanthanum eyepiece, the Nikon Coolpix 4500 and three Baader filters: IR/UV filter, Contrast Booster and Fringe Killer.

Overview of a 10-day-old Moon

Southern part of the Moon with Schiller (large elongated crater near the terminator)

Mare Humorum with the large crater Gassendi to the North

Western part of Mare Frigoris with the big crater J. Herschel to the north and Sinus Iridum and Plato to the south

Posted by Math on 11/24 at 12:29 PM | filed in: Lunar scraps | Print
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Smart 1 orbits the Moon

Today ESAs SMART-1 is successfully making its first orbit of the Moon, a significant milestone for the first of Europe’s Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology (SMART) spacecraft. For the full story follow this link to the ESA portal.

Image: ESA

Posted by Math on 11/16 at 01:11 PM | filed in: Space Missions | Print
Monday, November 15, 2004
Birthday of Sir William Herschel

Today 266 years ago, on the November 15th 1738, Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel was born in Hannover (Germany). For me personally, Herschel is one of the greatest deepsky observers of all time. He designed and constructed his own telescopes, the best there where at the time he was building them. He was also the first person to observe the deep sky systematically, which resulted in a catalogue of more than 2500 objects, the Herschel catalogue of deepsky objects. On March 13th 1781 he discovered Uranus. If you want to know a little more about this great astronomer, follow this link to read a short biography.

Happy birthday Sir William!


Posted by Math on 11/15 at 03:18 PM | filed in: Deepsky log | Print
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Deepsky Top-100 (14): NGC 457, The ET Cluster

When you scan Cassiopeia and its neighbouring constellations with binoculars, the star fields in Cassiopeia seem to be much richer than in Perseus and Cepheus. The reason for this is that in the Perseus and Cepheus Milky Way, large nearby dust clouds of our own spiral arm (the Orion arm) block the view, while in the Cassiopeia Milky Way there are no dust clouds to .........follow this link to read the full story.

Posted by Math on 11/10 at 04:01 AM | filed in: Deepsky TOP 100 | Print
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The Moon, Venus and Jupiter steeling the show this morning!

This morning, about 05.30 UT I got up for work. I looked out of the window, and there I saw a great line-up of three of the brightest objects in our night sky, the Moon, Jupiter and Venus. What a way to begin your day as an amateur astronomer! The images below all

Posted by Math on 11/09 at 02:43 PM | filed in: Planets | Print
Monday, November 08, 2004
Sunspots 667, 669, 671 and 672

In the early morning of September 10, about 09.00 hrs UT I started my solar observing session. The sky was deep blue and transparent. For my visual observing I used the TAL 100RS 4-inch refractor and the 32mm Televue Plossl eyepiece. The filters I used were

Posted by Math on 11/08 at 03:01 AM | filed in: Solar log | Print
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