Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spotted this video from Youtube on the APOD website yesterday....

Scary stuff!

Thanks to plenty of help from my father-in-law I now have a deck in front of the workshop at the end of the garden. I needed this in order to get a flat level base for the Skywatcher, so hopefully soon I'll be getting the big scope out of mothballs and get back to some serious observing.

A wooden deck is not the best of platforms for scopes, especially for photography but seemed like a quick way to achieve my objective, as well as a bargain batch of deck boards due to the out of season nature of the product. Later a concrete base will provide a more stable base.

The last couple of weeks have seen some spectacular early evening scenes just after sunset as Venus and Jupiter beam brightly back at us.

Interestingly Jupiter is outshone by Venus despite being almost 12 times the diameter but of course is 15 times further away from us than Venus.

This optical illusion is known in Astronomy as angular size, that is, how size and distance are related. Thus an object many times larger than another can appear to be smaller because of its greater distance.

We come across this effect every day, and it explains why the garden bird sitting on my window cill appears to be much larger than the power station on the horizon 12 miles away!

Clouds have rolled in again!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Well, earlier I noticed Venus looking very bright to my South West but lots of cloud about, Jupiter was hidden from view and not much else visible at that time.

Just been outside to put the bin out for the morning and noticed that Jupiter was occupying almost the same spot in the sky as Venus was earlier. Took the time to look around and saw a meteor flash by more to the South than Jupiter but at a similar height in the sky. Unusually it didn't leave a trail of any sort, at first I thought it was a satellite but the speed across the sky was more akin to a meteor.

To the East the near full moon is lighting up the sky outshining many objects.

May go out later for another look around, I hope to get the main scope out over the Christmas holidays.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Early on as twilight approached I spotted Venus relatively high in the sky for me, trotted out the Opticron for a quick peek which revealed a gibbous disk but with terrible seeing conditions due to cloud and rain approaching from the west.

During a break in the cloud later I got an eyeball view of Jupiter shining very brightly. As soon as I can get the Skywatcher back into operation I want to get some photos of Jupiter to see if I can catch the main moons along with the disk. The last time I had the scope and camera hooked up Jupiter was only on show at dawn so I missed out.

Cygnus was high overhead and Cassiopea to the North East, the Plough was on show as was Polaris though it's disappointing that the little bear is not really visible at all from my location.

I noticed yesterday that the APOD site has some stunning images over the last couple of weeks.

Well that was about it tonight as the rain and cloud rolled in, hope to get more observing done soon.