Observing - what did you see tonight?

With what did you observe?

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Observing - what did you see tonight?

#1  Postby The_Metatron » Dec 10, 2013 8:09 pm

Tonight is an uncommonly clear night here in Belgium. About 2 degrees C, with a very slight wind to keep the dew down. After supper, I dug out my boots, extreme cold weather, N-1B, set a lawn chair out on my terrace, and got under a fleece blanket to do some observations of the southern sky with my Bushnell Custom Elite 7x26 binoculars.

It's about a half-moon tonight, which dominates the sky, of course. And, the terminator across the moon's face was spectacular.

In less than ten minutes, I got four more nice views. The pleiades were easily visible, and high in the sky. As I was scanning around, the ISS came towards me from the west. It was very bright until it moved into shade. I always enjoy spotting that station. Just to see what I'd find there, I reclined the lawn chair and looked pretty much straight up. Did that, and a meteorite streaked through my field of view. After a moment, I picked up the Andromeda galaxy.

Curious how that would look with a little more magnification, I tried M31 with my 10x50 Minolta Classic II binocs. A little bigger, but not a better view. The trade-off for higher magnification was offset by the amplification of the normal jitter of holding binoculars by hand, even with four times the light gathering than the little 26mm objectives of the Bushnells.

In a couple hours, Jupiter should be well up, and I'll go have a look before bed time.

Luna, M45, M31, and the ISS. Not a bad evening.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#2  Postby campermon » Dec 10, 2013 9:06 pm

Clear here in the UK too.

No bino's unfortunately, but the moon looks wonderful. Will keep an eye out for Jupiter.

:thumbup:
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#3  Postby The_Metatron » Dec 10, 2013 9:44 pm

Jupiter and it's moons was spectacular, as was M42, the Orion Nebula.

My favorite stuff to view.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#4  Postby chairman bill » Dec 10, 2013 9:47 pm

I posted a shot of Jupiter's moons some while ago in the astronomy thread. Easily visible with good binos, and of course a telephoto lens.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#5  Postby tuco » Dec 10, 2013 10:16 pm

Tonight nothing, cloudy, but Orion is always magnificent this time of year. Early evening its Venus and late night Jupiter to look for as the brightest objects in the skies outshining Sirius by several ranks. My fav are Pleiades though, for personal reasons. Without bino and in middle of light pollution I am lucky to see the Milky Way on clear night which speaks for itself. Need to go on light pollution free vacation ..
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#6  Postby FBM » Dec 12, 2013 6:32 pm

Heads up for the Geminids the next few nights.

I went out about 2 a.m. this morning, but it was mostly cloudy. All I managed was to align a statue up with Jupiter, Orion behind:

Image
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#7  Postby newolder » Dec 12, 2013 7:01 pm

will do :thumbup:
space weather radio is a good listen as these showers pass by...
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#8  Postby The_Metatron » Dec 12, 2013 7:27 pm

Luna is nice, but it's behind quite a layer of cloud. Looking at it through a randomly variable neutral filter through my little binoculars was sort of interesting.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#9  Postby Currahee » Dec 12, 2013 7:59 pm

It's been cloudy here near Chicago, and too cold for my camera I think. I got an external power adapter for it so I can take pictures all night long but think I'll have to wait till it warms up some now.

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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#10  Postby newolder » Dec 12, 2013 8:02 pm

I'm currently looking at the sub-surface topography of a lake on another rock!1 http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#11  Postby FBM » Dec 13, 2013 2:35 am

newolder wrote:will do :thumbup:
space weather radio is a good listen as these showers pass by...


Thanks for the link! Looks like we're going to be overcast for the next couple of nights. At least now I can listen in from time to time. :cheers:
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#12  Postby FBM » Dec 13, 2013 2:37 am

@ Currahee:

You're getting that sort of image from inside Chicago? Wow. Nice. I imagined that the light pollution there would have made that impossible.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#13  Postby FBM » Dec 14, 2013 11:13 pm

Geminids.

ImageImage
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#14  Postby The_Metatron » Dec 26, 2013 8:53 pm

IMG_1497.jpg
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First light with my telescope tonight. It looked like it was going to be a cool, clear night. That was a trick. I just got the scope cooling down well, and slapped the iPhone up to the 26mm eyepiece to see what I could catch of Jupiter.

Meh. The iPhone doesn't do very well at that at all. It over-exposes the planet face.

I got about thirty minutes of observing before the cloud bank came overhead. The forecast doesn't show anything promising until Wednesday. But, I have all my gear downstairs in the garage now, ready to put outside on the terrace.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#15  Postby The_Metatron » Dec 26, 2013 8:55 pm

I wanted to try a few shots of Andromeda. But, it is damned hard to aim an equatorial mount at near zenith.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#16  Postby The_Metatron » Dec 29, 2013 9:28 pm

Before the dew got out of hand, I bolted up my old Pentax K100D to my 7" Mak-Cas telescope to see what I could do with Jupiter tonight...

IMGP9807.JPG
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It's not common I capture something with a single shot that I did not see with my eyes. But, I managed to get the Great Red Spot this evening. I'm pleased with the results.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#17  Postby theropod » Dec 29, 2013 11:46 pm

Sweet, Jesse!

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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#18  Postby FBM » Dec 30, 2013 2:24 pm

Quandrids are coming up in a couple of days. Hope we all get clear skies...
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#19  Postby FBM » Dec 30, 2013 2:34 pm

The_Metatron wrote:
IMG_1497.jpg

...

Meh. The iPhone doesn't do very well at that at all. It over-exposes the planet face.


Yeah, that's the way it goes. To see any detail in the planet, you have to under-expose, but to get the moons you have to overexpose. The only solution is Photoshop. I could only find one of my attempts right off-hand, but to make this image I cut the planet out of one moonless image and pasted it over the burnt-out planet in the other, longer-exposed image.

Image

Nothing noteworthy. It's only a 90mm scope.
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Re: Observing - what did you see tonight?

#20  Postby The_Piper » Dec 30, 2013 3:12 pm

:popcorn:
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