Sunday, January 28, 2007

Observations Jan 2007

Mondays Meeting on Monday 23 January (Heros Day- Bank Holiday) was well attended. The day had been particualry clear but by 7:30PM significant cloud cover had appeared.

If the cloud present at 7:30 had been the same at 6:00 PM the meeting would have probably been scrubbed.In any case we were lucky that night as seen on the objects we saw below.

Equipment Used
Societys 10 inch Dobsonian
1 set of equatorially mounted binoculars supplied by Mike
1 set of binoculars on tripod Mark
Sateliite Predictions by Richard

Objects Seen- More or less in order

3 Day Old Moon
Orion Nebula (M42)
The Pleiades star cluster, (also known as the Seven Sisters and M45)
2 Meteors
Various Sateliites but especially the TRMM i.e the Tropical Rain Monitoring Mission.
Andromedia Galaxy (M31 or NGC224)
M41 A Nice Globuar Cluster nor far from Sirius
Canopus light refraction patterns low on the Southern Horizon.
Saturn ( rising just before 9 PM)


The Meteors were interesting in that they were bright - the one I saw was travelling West towards Cassiopia, Any ideas? I thought perhaps it might be a "Alpha Hydrid", there are no significant showers in January that are visible to us at that time .

Canopus is not visible from more Northern Latitudes so it is of some interest to vistors from those latitudes, eg UK, Canada and Northern US

One question raised at the meeting was that light seen that night from M31 took 2.5 million years to arrive so just what did the earth look like then?
Well hold your beath, (literally) because the Earth was at the start of the Proterozoic Era . The only life (?!!) at this time was algae slime, some of which had started to photosynthesize, thus only just beginning to add oxygen into the atmosphere,

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Observations Dec 2006

The Meeting at Pedros Castle on the 27th of Decemeber was Cloudy .
However December wasnt all bad news!

On the 13th the CUC kindly provided a lights out moment which coincided with the Gemind Meteor Maximum. I saw 6 in all but its possible some people could have seen many more.

Chris Cooke

Observations Nov 2006

From the AGM held for the first time since Hurricane Ivan, It was decided to start a record of past observations made at our Monthly meetings– this may be helpful in deciding what to look out for in future years! True to form November’s meeting at Pedro Castle on the 26th was cloudy – but a one event this Month is worth a mention to get things started.

On November the 8th a rare transit of Mercury occurred, a day time event which was based at Smiths Cove on the Iron shore. Visibly was very good with only some partial cloud cover. Both Mike and I bought telescopes with suitable solar filters – Mike Whiteman also bought his small Coronado PST with H Alpha (Hydrogen) filter. A toy worthy of any on an Astronomers Santa list! The scope showed a large prominence which was not visible in the other scopes. Mercury was in fact a very small object dwarfed by Sunspots.

Here is a photo I took on the day, very poor quality yet quite remarkable what a simple digital camera can do – taken straight through the eyepiece. There is a sunspot visible upper right in the picture. Mercury is hard to find! Can you see it?