Category: Solar sytem scraps

Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Working on a new website.......
Hi,

It's been a long time since you heard from me, but during the last few months I've been working on a new website dedicated to the observing of stars and star clusters. It will take a little while before it will go online, but I will let you know! In the meantime I'm working on the design and content for this new site, and every now and again I look outside, and wow, in the last week of January Venus and the Moon were lined up in the evening sky. Hope you like the images. Please click to enlarge.


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Posted by Math on 02/04 at 02:05 PM | (0) Comments | filed in: Solar sytem scraps | Print
Monday, December 24, 2007
The Moon and Mars
When we woke up this morning the fog had cleared and we could see the Moon and Mars together in the western sky. I shot these two images with the coolpix 4500 mounted on a tripod.

Enjoy!



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Posted by Math on 12/24 at 12:44 AM | (0) Comments | filed in: Solar sytem scraps | Print
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Comet Holmes
During the last few weeks I observed Comet Holmes on a few occasions, and I have seen it change gradually. The first time I got a chance to see Holmes was on October 30th. The core looked very bright and compact, surrounded by a more or less faint halo. There was a very sharp and distinct division between the border and halo. Right on the borderline between the halo and the core was a bright star visible. I observed Holmes with the 85mm Zeiss and a zoom-eyepiece at 60x. The field of view was a little more than 1 degree. The sketch below should give you an idea of the view. North is up and east is to the left.

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Over the weeks I saw the halo growing in size. The core became less bright and the sharp boundary between core and halo started to vanish. Until now, the most beautiful sight of the comet was on the night of November the 17th. I observed the comet with the 12x60 Skymaster (Celestron) binocular mounted on the SkyWindow. The generous field of view of this binocular is 5.7 degrees. Comet Holmes had moved right up to the Alpha Persei Cluster and both the comet and the cluster were visible in the same field of view. The sketch below again should give you an idea. On this sketch North is to the left and and East is at the top (these strange directions are caused by viewing with the SkyWindow).

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The halo looked very large and the core was still there, but it seemed more or less oval. As I mentioned earlier, the division between core and halo was not very distinct. In Alpha Persei I could detect three stars that showed some color. Alpha Persei was yellowish, and at two o’clock I detected a couple of contrasting stars. One seemed orange-red and the other seemed to be very light blue. The cluster and the comet formed a stunning pair, and I observed it for about an hour to an hour and a half. The sketch took me about 45 minutes.

Posted by Math on 11/25 at 01:25 PM | (0) Comments | filed in: Solar sytem scraps | Print
Monday, June 18, 2007
Venus disappearing behind the Moon
Today has been overcast for most of the day, but around 4 o'clock it started to clear a little, and I could witness Venus disappearing behind the Moon. It was a wonderful sight to see this amazingly bright little sphere of light vanish behind something that is almost invisible, the darker part of the crescent Moon. I used my 85mm Zeiss spotting scope, equipped with the zoom eyepiece for visual observation. I also shot some images right before Venus disappeared with the Coolpix 4500. Enjoy the views, and I hope it will still be clear when Venus reappears!


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Posted by Math on 06/18 at 07:28 AM | (1) Comments | filed in: Solar sytem scraps | Print
Friday, August 12, 2005
Enjoy the Perseids
Tonight I hope to enjoy my favourite (and one of the best known) meteor showers of the year, the Perseids. I enjoy meteor showers most just sitting in a reclining chair and try to see a few bright ones. I don't really count them, but then I'm not a really serious meteor watcher. On nights like these I like to behave a little like a tourist, strolling along the night sky with a pair of low power binoculars and enjoy the overall naked eye-view. If your out tonight and have your (preferably low power) binoculars with you, be sure to have a look at one of the most beautiful star associations for binoculars, Melotte 20 or the Alpha Persei Association.

Even with 50mm binoculars you should be able to count between 30 and 40 stars of various magnitudes. Under real good conditions you can see as many as 50. The map below should give you an idea where to look tonight for Melotte 20 and the Perseid meteor shower. Click on the image to enlarge.


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Image from SkyTools 2 by CapellaSoft


Good luck with the weather! The sky is clearing around here, so maybe I can see a few Perseids tonight.

Posted by Math on 08/12 at 12:08 PM | (0) Comments | filed in: Solar sytem scraps | Print