Observing - what did you see tonight?

With what did you observe?

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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#121  Postby theropod » Oct 17, 2017 1:39 pm

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Orinid Meteor 10/17/2017
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From the wee hours this morning. The Orinid shower is picking up with a peak Saturday night Sunday morning.

I captured several "sparks" (tiny meteors) last night, but this is the only "good" one. In the first hour of my session I saw 12 and one was a sputtering long trailed beauty, which was naturally out of frame.

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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#122  Postby theropod » Dec 14, 2017 2:09 pm

Last night there was a pretty impressive Geminid meteor shower, and I managed to catch a few before a layer of thin clouds ruined the night. Most of my images are resulting from using my Arduino driven barn door tracker. It was quite cold and this caused my iPhone to produce artifacts along each side. Here are a few of the better ones I managed.

One thing I have noticed is the distinct difference in the speed between these winter Geminids and the summer Perseids. Those Perseids are noticeably faster than these Geminds, and this causes the Geminids to produce longer trails. I did see a few that were stunning, but naturally were off frame.

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Frame #1
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Frame #2
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Frame #3
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#123  Postby Macdoc » Dec 14, 2017 7:41 pm

Nice - it's bitterlu cold here to go out -17 with a windchill of -24 but might try tonight as 120 per hour predicted.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#124  Postby theropod » Dec 14, 2017 11:06 pm

Macdoc wrote:Nice - it's bitterlu cold here to go out -17 with a windchill of -24 but might try tonight as 120 per hour predicted.


Than thin layer of clouds that ended my night early was a dry cold front, and has hung around most of the day. Now it is nearing dusk and they are breaking off. It wasn’t horrible cold here, but it is going to be cooler tonight. If this clearing trend holds I will be back out to try again. I want one of those color shifting fireballs!

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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#125  Postby Ironclad » Dec 15, 2017 1:18 am

Hey buddy! :)
For Van Youngman - see you amongst the stardust, old buddy

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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#126  Postby Macdoc » Dec 15, 2017 5:21 am

I want one of those color shifting fireballs!


Best I ever had was a huge earth grazer at dusk dripping green fire ....doing the dishes and it cruised the horizon right in front of me.
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You know how 747s seem to hang in the air.....well this monster took it's own sweet time transiting. :what:
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#127  Postby theropod » Dec 15, 2017 12:30 pm

Macdoc wrote:
I want one of those color shifting fireballs!


Best I ever had was a huge earth grazer at dusk dripping green fire ....doing the dishes and it cruised the horizon right in front of me.
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You know how 747s seem to hang in the air.....well this monster took it's own sweet time transiting. :what:


Last night was a complete bust. Got in about an hour and another thin layer of clouds rolled in.

Stayed up until nearly midnight hoping it would clear, but that didn’t happen. The wife got up to go to work and of course it is crystal clear out now, but the sun is rising.

I saw two such grazers when we lived in South Dakota. One developed a huge ion head/corona before sailing off into the void and glowing brightly as it flew back into the inkyness. There is no doubt in my mind that had that object dug into the atmosphere it would have impacted the earth. This meteoroid was fairly screaming along.

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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#128  Postby theropod » Apr 30, 2018 4:41 pm

9A22EB67-B784-4D23-A486-60A9C49F2882.jpeg
Plane crossing full moon 1
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Plane crossing full moon 2
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I took my little Celestron C-90 Mak out last night to get a few shots of the full moon, and had barely set the focus, when I tripped the shutter for 1/2 second for each of these shots taken with my iPhone 6+ using the app NightCap Camera and managed to capture what I think is a 737 headed to Dallas. In landscape view rotate the image about 30° clockwise to see true orientation. My cheap phone to eyepiece adapter, and slippery ball head, will be corrected before summer, and a new goto mount will find a home on a small concrete pad in the planning. Learning astrophotography while using cheap underpowered equipment is like trying to learn the guitar on a cheap toy. My scope is pretty good for planetary work, but a big bore scope will have to be found sooner or later. A fast glass machine for purdy pictures taken with a real camera.

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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#129  Postby The_Piper » Apr 30, 2018 5:22 pm

Kewl :)
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#130  Postby Macdoc » Apr 30, 2018 8:13 pm

Image

Hand held Gx7 400 Leica ( 800 mm equiv )
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#131  Postby theropod » Aug 13, 2018 11:59 pm

17414E70-635B-4595-86C0-C074EC5D3E31.jpeg
2018_8_13_1:30am
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My best Perseid so far this year. The three stars mid right are the top three stars of Cassiopeia, and Polaris is on the very bottom edge a little left.

A gap formed in near smooth cloud base just before midnight last night, and I managed to get this one. The seeing was somewhere around 6, with a 0 being a cave. I have about 20 files with meteors from this years shower, but some are barely better than sparks. My only other nice one is obscured by trees on the deep eastern horizon. I did see over a dozen early this morning that I put in the fireball class, and left lingering ion trails. Big long variable brightness color shifters. Of course those fell outside the frame of my phone. About a dozen of my phones running the same app, and pointing at distinct portions of the sky would be the solution, but damn at what cost! Tonight the cloud deck is thickening and lowering as thunderstorms approach from the southwest. That window between the clouds early this morning my well be my last access to the Perseids this year as our rain chances stay between 50-60% for the next 14 days!! Arrrggghhh!

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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#132  Postby felltoearth » Aug 15, 2018 2:06 pm

Any advice for what is the best kind of portable scope for under $1000? I was looking at a bunch of Dobsonians. Ideally, should be able to fit in the trunk of a mid sized car with a modest amount of camping gear.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#133  Postby The_Metatron » Aug 15, 2018 4:38 pm

felltoearth wrote:Any advice for what is the best kind of portable scope for under $1000? I was looking at a bunch of Dobsonians. Ideally, should be able to fit in the trunk of a mid sized car with a modest amount of camping gear.

The best astronomical binoculars you can afford, mounted on the best parallelogram binocular mount you can afford. Binoculars first.


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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#134  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 23, 2018 4:59 pm

A few nights ago, Primus and I had an evening at the eyepiece. Saturn was nice, but too low to photograph well. So, we stuck to the other obvious thing in the patch of sky exposed in my backyard, Luna.

The shadows cast by the Montes Alpes in Mare Imbrium, were astonishing. We bagged a couple of prominent lunar features in the neighborhood.

First is Vallis Alpes. It’s a scar that bisects the Montes Alpes.

Image

It’s nice, because it gives dimension and scale to some of the things around it. For example, Mons Piton:

Image

Here’s a detail of the area:

Image

That was taken by handholding my iPhone to the eyepiece to snap an image when I can occasionally align the telescope’s light cone to the camera’s optical path. I really need a better camera for this.


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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#135  Postby felltoearth » Oct 23, 2018 5:38 pm

Pretty amazing pic nonetheless!
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#136  Postby newolder » Oct 23, 2018 5:46 pm

Great shots! Will you be tracking the incoming comet, 46P/Wirtanen, as it passes in the next month or so?
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#137  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 23, 2018 9:09 pm

newolder wrote:Great shots! Will you be tracking the incoming comet, 46P/Wirtanen, as it passes in the next month or so?

Not with the telescope. Mine is a 7” Maksutov Cassegraine design, with a focal length of something like 2.67 meters. It’s designed for planetary observing, mostly. The field of view is too small to observe a comet. I can’t quite fit the full disc of the moon into view using the standard 26mm eyepiece (the same eyepiece I used above).

I wish I had some big damned binoculars on a parallelogram mount.

I bet I’d do a lot mor observing with binoculars, too. Setting up my telescope isn’t trivial.


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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#138  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 23, 2018 9:11 pm

felltoearth wrote:Pretty amazing pic nonetheless!

Thanks. These are just single images.

If I knew how to process them, my telescope can do far better by stacking images.


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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#139  Postby newolder » Oct 23, 2018 9:16 pm

The_Metatron wrote:
newolder wrote:Great shots! Will you be tracking the incoming comet, 46P/Wirtanen, as it passes in the next month or so?

Not with the telescope. Mine is a 7” Maksutov Cassegraine design, with a focal length of something like 2.67 meters. It’s designed for planetary observing, mostly. The field of view is too small to observe a comet. I can’t quite fit the full disc of the moon into view using the standard 26mm eyepiece (the same eyepiece I used above).

I wish I had some big damned binoculars on a parallelogram mount.

I bet I’d do a lot mor observing with binoculars, too. Setting up my telescope isn’t trivial.


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It's currently about the size of Jupiter but, sadly, also a southern hemisphere object. It's supposed to get to magnitude 3 (Plieades-ish) so should be naked eye visible too. Who knows?

ETA: This 3-D orbit page shows it becoming apparent for northern hemisphere observers some time after mid-December (14th-ish) when it is closest to Earth (11 million km -ish): https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=46P&orb=1
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#140  Postby felltoearth » Nov 01, 2018 5:15 pm

This looks like a good deal on a good scope

https://khanscope.com/collections/celes ... cope-11068
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