Monday, March 5, 2018

March 2018

March 28th 1320 GMT

It was the first day of the year that I went out to observe in shorts and a T-shirt, even though it was a degree or two too cold. The Sun was quiet, although I could visually detect something on the left limb. I took some full disc shots with my PST and DSLR.

March 26th 0950 GMT

The Sun looked quiet in hydrogen alpha light but I still took some full disc shots with my PST and DSLR.

March 25th 2005 GMT

I took over 200 lunar full disc frames with my Mak and DSLR. I used 1.54m focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure.


I then took some frames with my Bresser Electronic Eyepiece.



March 21st 2000 GMT

I had a rare patch of clear sky. I started with the Moon with my Mak and DSLR. As I was using ISO 100, I had to increase the exposure time to 1/100 second.

I wasn’t sure whether to fetch the Bresser Electronic Eyepiece for lunar close-ups or try some deep sky shots. Even though the Moon was around, I went for the latter. I set the ISO to 6400 and exposure time to 1/3 second. I tried for the Pleaides (M45), Orion Great Nebula (M42) and M35.

The M45 result was no different to the sort of shots I took many years ago with afocal projection. I was unable to stack using DSS and had to use Microsoft ICE. I think using RAW format instead of JPEG could have made a difference.

The Orion Great Nebula (M42) shot showed the central part and the Trapezium.

I only captured a single star in the M35 shot!

March 20th 2000 GMT

Conditions were not great but the Moon was in a clearish patch of sky. I took some snaps with my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/250 second exposure.

March 19th 1850 GMT

I saw the Moon and Venus and tried various combinations of exposure times. I used 1.54m focal length (Mak), ISO 100 and the best snaps seemed to be at 1/50 second exposure. I snapped Venus more in hope than expectancy.

March 19th 1300 GMT

I had a rare clear patch of sky. The Sun was very quiet, even in hydrogen alpha light and I took some full disc shots with my DSLR (afocal) and PST.

March 16th 2010 GMT

I had a rare bit of clear sky, so left a camera out aimed at the Pleaides. I used 70mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 7 seconds’ exposure. I left the camera out, with the faint hope of capturing a meteor.

March 16th 1730 GMT

I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light. It was too low down for clear observation and I did not see any features.

March 10th 2120 GMT

Conditions were not as good as when I checked a few minutes before and there was lots of light cloud. I had a go at the Hyades, M35 and Pleaides, more in hope than expectancy.
I caught a meteor in the Hyades shot.

March 10th 1845 GMT

I saw Venus low in the west when I was out and about. I checked with my binoculars but could not tell the phase from a 100% full disc. After a bit of hunting, I found Mercury about 4 degrees from it, slightly to the right is straight up. I could not detect a phase either but it was clearly a disc and not a point source, like a star. Unfortunately, I did not have a suitable camera with me but it was the first time I had seen Mercury for yonks, where a yonk is Pi (3.14159,,,) years!

March 7th 0800 GMT

 I snapped the Moon with my DSLR, trying out various settings. The result was some detail in the daylight conditions but not one of my best shots.

March 5th 0845 GMT

Finally, I started March off. I had a clearish patch of sky surrounding the Sun and checked it out in hydrogen alpha light (knowing that there were no sunspots on the Big Bear images). The solar disc seemed bland and uninteresting, so I just took some full disc shots.