Thursday, November 23, 2006

Went outside tonight at 5.40pm to see if we had clear skies, patchy clouds were around so I decided to have some supper and try again later. Just as I turned my head I saw a very bright object moving to my NNW quite high in the sky almost as soon as I saw it it disappeared and I thought it must have been the ISS. I had checked earlier to see if we had any predicted sightings with a negative answer.

I double checked on Heavens Above, no sightings for tonight were predicted. I then thought it might have been an Iridium flare, again nothing for my time/location.

So no idea what this was, it was very bright, much brighter than anything I've seen before and was a blue/white colour. It didn't look like a meteor and the slow way that it disappeared makes me think it was man made and was entering the earths shadow.

Anyhow, managed to get the scope out for an hour and tried some more photos to prove out the calibration of the mount. So tried for some 3 minute exposures, it seems my problem now though is that I need to get an extension cable for the remote release on the camera. It seems the action of letting go and picking up the controller is giving me camera shake in a big way. This is only a problem when using the "bulb" setting for say a 3 minute exposure. A shorter 30 second shot without letting go of the controller seems ok. But I'm desperately trying to get some long accurately tracked images so that I can pull out more background stars!

Found some extension leads on eBay today so will look at getting one.

Anyway here's a picture of the Hyades open cluster in Taurus....

Tomorrow night is the Rosliston Astronomy group meeting (I think), wonder if we'll get a clear sky again?


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