Andrew Thornett

A Day’s Observing from Streethay 19/5/2018 – The Royal Wedding…

The ‘big day‘… and the weather couldn’t have been better… sunny for most of the day plus into the evening forecast (although there appeared to be a layer of high cloud).

There was great excitement in the Briden household to see what our guest would appear in… would it be a one or two piece, perhaps sandals… or a hat.. or come completely ill-prepared…

Look who came around to play, after arriving in her (motorised) carriage !

Yes, well ‘Meghan‘ is a bit shy after all… and these solar hoods/veils can be a right pain to get into!

And a pic of ‘her’ using her own scope and trying a different… veil…

Our solar panels had a cracking day also – generating over 24kWh.

To get into the spirit of things Julie appeared with flags…

What a fine specimen of a man is our ‘Harry‘… It was a first chance for him to use his updated home-made sun shield – now faced with white card to reflect some heat and so stop the main cardboard construction warping (the other face is covered with DC-fix black self adhesive felt – the same stuff that ‘Harry’ had lined his 10″ OO Dob some years ago…)

Although the seeing was not so good today, one has to make do when the opportunity arises… besides it didn’t spoil the generally good feel of the day… we even managed a celebratory glass of Pimms No.1 no less – I say, can’t get more British than that!

Following two images are taken hand held, iPhone6 to a 32mm TV Plossl, (Takahashi TSA102s, Daystar Quark Chromosphere, 2″ Baader UV/IR blocking filter inserted before the diagonal), running at 107x

…showing a fantastic set of ‘Newton’s (wedding) Rings‘ there!

This prominence can be seen on the GONG images at the 8 o’clock position…

Time: 2.16pm

Copyright: GONG/NSO/AURA/NSF.

..and later at 4.44pm

Copyright: GONG/NSO/AURA/NSF.

My sketches of the evolving prominences throughout the ‘big’ day…

After a great day, we retired for dinner, then set up again with changed attire…. ready for the…. ‘evening event‘!

What a beauty, hey! Just checking how he looks on the ole social media! Here featured in a RAG jacket, matching trousers and footwear by….

Lunar shot taken at 9.50pm, iPhone 6 hand held to the 21mm TV Ethos (TEC 140-ED APO refractor)

..and another slightly later at 10.05pm (not so zoomed in) – those damn paparazzi, hey….

Had a chance to do some drawing…. managed quick sketches of both the Western and Eastern (Bridal) Veil portions. Seeing and transparencey was not good and my intended target, Jupiter, was just not great tonight to bother with…

Managed to just pick out the Crescent Nebula in Cygnus (only via my 2″ Lumicon OIII and UHC filters), but I’ve seen it through the same scope much clearer on a previous occasion.

Most tricky observation came early on in the evening after following Andy… sorry ‘Meghan’ to M81/M82… came across ‘Coddington Nebula’ in the same vicinity – IC2574, a spiral galaxy in Ursa Major, running at Mag 10.4. Took averted vision, patience and the superb Sky Safari Pro 5 charts (able to reverse the chart as well which really helps to double check everything). Discovered by Edwin Coddington in 1898 and classified first as a ‘nebula’.

Best observation was the ISS flypast just after half 12. Was able to use the laser pointer attached to the Nova Hitch mount to track it sufficiently well for brief periods to see the Space Station as clear as day through the eyepiece as it whizzed passed the ‘adoring throngs‘!

So to wrap up this post, a few pictures of the ‘Happy Couple‘ in the garden at Briden Palace!

Sweet…

…off on ‘honeymoon’ to RAG this Friday!

Damian (and Andy!)

 

Observing Log Streethay 19/5/2018 @ 22:00 -20/5/2018 @ 03:30

Damian and I spent a memorable evening outside last night. Not the best of skies. However with the help of his Tec 140 on his Nova Hitch and my Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 120mm on my HEQ5 Pro Synscan mount, we observed a wide range of objects including Moon, the Eastern Veil Nebula and Witches Broom part of the Veil (both of those required an OIII filter or UHC to view well & were virtually invisible without such a filter), Ring Nebula, multiple other planetary nebula, globular clusters galore, Jupiter (the tracking Synscan HEQ5 Pro really helped here allowing me to get Jupiter in the field of view and keep it there at 600x magnification – 6mm Ethos + 2 x Tele Vue Big Barlow + 2 x Tele Vue 1.25 inch Barlow! – where we saw a wealth of detail on the planetary belts, open clusters and a lot beside.

I “upgraded” to Sky Safari Pro 6 planetarium software on my iPad a few months ago when there was half price deal and it turns out that it is very difficult in this new version to e-mail our observations to myself so that I can upload them to this blog unless they are set up on the software correctly first under an observing list which I did not do last night – plus the software keeps crashing on me whilst I try to get them off the machine – my old iPad is the problem here. So, I will downgrade my version of Sky Safari software on my iPad back to version 4 or 5 which worked well on this iPad and where observations were easy to get off the machine. Thankfully, although I could not buy those older versions now, it turns out they are still available in the iTunes store under “My Purchases” as I previously purchased them…..so they are both downloading now!

Andy

Solar observing in Streethay

Whilst the sun shone in Windsor for the royal wedding, it also shone here in Lichfield! Damian and I set up our telescopes with Daystar Quack (sorry meant to say QUARK – I think it was the automatic text correction on my Samsung!) Hydrogen Filters to capture three magnificent prominence on the edge of the solar disc – at approx 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock on the disc (location not time viewing feld of view as clock face) in our scopes with diagonals.

I used my Sky Watcher 80mm Equinox Pro and 8-24  zoom eyepiece on Manfrotto tripod. Damian used his Takahashi with 40mm, 32mm or 25mm Televue Plossls on Nova Hitch mount. The Tak has longer focal length than the Sky Watcher so it was appropriate to use longer focal length eyepieces.

Andy & Damian

The photos below were taken at approx. 14:50 (time BST) today through my Sky Watcher 80mm Equinox Pro on Manfrotto mount with my Samsung S7 smartphone camera hand held to eyepiece.

Prominence at ca. 3 o’clock on clock face of field of view:

     

Prominence at 6 o’clock:

Prominence at 9 o’clock:

The following is taken using Samsung through Damian’s Takahashi on Novohitch mount at 15:34. It shows evolution of the 9 o’clock prominence:

The following shows evolution of the 3 o’clock prominence so that it shows three rather than previous two projections up from solar surface. Also through Damian scope:

And the next picture a solar filament on the solar surface – although it is faint and difficult to pick out, again in the Takahashi:

Part of the solar disc seen through Quark Calcium-H filter in the Takahashi – not much detail but difficult to judge because these are apparently good with sun spots but we don’t have any to look at today!

The following image taken with Samsung S7 phone through my 80mm Equinox at 16:20 with 8mm eyepiece on Quark of the 9 o’clock prominence when seeing deteriorated for a while. First version is without processing and second some processing to bring out contrast using curves:

The next images were taken about 16:25 of the 2 o’clock prominence. Damian thought it had 4 projections now – the camera in both cases has only just caught the fourth faint one between one on right and two on left – just goes to show that the human eye can integrate over time and sometimes pick up detail that cameras might find difficult to see. Later, Damian took a hand held photo within his iPhone when seeing picked up and it did indeed show four projections!

Through 80mm Equinox when seeing improved – four projections now visible:

Through Takahashi:

Back to the Takahashi again but now using 25mm eyepiece to show more detail on the 9 o’clock prominence:

A great afternoon’s observing!

Observing Forecast

Observing Forecasts for our area

 

Rosliston Forestry Centre:

http://clearoutside.com/forecast/52.75/-1.64

Lichfield:

http://clearoutside.com/forecast/52.69/-1.81

https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2644531

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast/gcqewq76c#?date=2018-05-18

http://7timer.org/index.php?product=astro&lon=-1.807&lat=52.7&lang=en&ac=0&unit=metric&tzshift=0&site=

Burton-on-Trent:

http://clearoutside.com/forecast/52.81/-1.64

Tamworth:

http://clearoutside.com/forecast/52.63/-1.69