Sunday, December 1, 2019

December 2019

December 11th 2040 GMT Moon

The Moon was full and thin cloud was scattering its light. I used my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure.



December 10th 2240 GMT Moon

After an appallingly wet day, it cleared enough for a moon shot. I used my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/500 second exposure.


December 9th 2100 GMT Moon and Meteor Hunt


The waxing gibbous moon was bright, so I used my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/400 second exposure.



I then tried a meteor hunt in the general direction of Gemini. Due to the bright moon, I set the focal length to 16mm, ISO 6400 and 4 seconds exposure.

I did not catch any meteors but I stacked a few images to capture the constellation of Gemini.




December 8th 1930 GMT Moon



It was an awful day but a small gap appeared to let me catch the Moon.


December 6th 1800 GMT Moon


I took a few frames of the Moon with my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/400 second exposure.




December 4th 1705 GMT


Venus was low in the south west. I took some shots with my DSLR at 300mm focal length and auto. I would not expect it to show much detail, even in a powerful telescope, as it was near its furthest distance from Earth. I caught it against the background.


I also shot the Moon at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/200 second exposure.


December 3rd 2130 GMT



I repeated the lunar shot with the same settings as the day before.


December 2nd 1805 GMT Moon
 

The Moon was low in the south west and I took a few frames at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/250 second exposure.




December 2nd 1635 GMT Venus

I noticed Venus low in the south west while driving home from work. It was my first sighting since superior conjunction.

December 1st 2000 GMT The Moon

I tried to snap the Moon with my DSLR but it was too low down and I could not get a clear image.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November 2019

November 29th 1815 GMT Deep Sky

Unfortunately, I had a bad back or I might have tried some more adventurous shots. I started with the Hyades star cluster at 70mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 6 seconds exposure but only one frame was good.



I had five frames of Melotte 20 at 300mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 2 seconds exposure but they didn't stack. I processed the best one.



I managed to stack 40 images of the Pleaides star cluster (M45).


November 29th 1715 GMT Moon

I had another try with my DSLR at 300mm focal length. ISO 100 and 1/250 second exposure. the result was very similar.


November 29th 1605 GMT Moon

It was just after sunset and the sky was still quite bright. I snapped the Moon at 300mm focal length, ISO 400 and 1/250 second exposure.


November 19th 0650 GMT Moon



I repeated the shot from the morning before.


November 18th 1830 GMT



After arriving home from work, I set up a camera trap for meteors. I used 16mm focal length ISO 6400 and 6 seconds exposure. I aimed at Perseus, as I knew that several minor showers were active in that area.

I did not catch any meteors but managed a nice shot of Perseus.


I also added one of Cassiopeia.






November 18th 0645 GMT Morning Moon

The Moon was waning gibbous and high in the sky. I took some shots at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure.




November 13th 0710 GMT Moon

I snapped the dawn moon low in the north west. It was full. I used my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure.


November 11th 1740 GMT

The Moon looked full, at least to camera and eyeballs. Cloud was scattering moonlight enough to obscure all but the brightest stars. I took some shots with DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure. The quick session was much easier than the transit.


November 11th 1225 GMT Mercury Transit

I just about sorted focus out before cloud rolled in and I missed first and second contact. With the Sun low down in the English autumn sky, conditions were hazy. At about 1245 GMT, I caught the tiny silloutte of Mercury near the solar limb bit you will need to use zoom to see it. I used 1540mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/800 second exposure.



I processed a similar frame 2 minutes later but cropped the image. It was slightly out of focus.


I used a similar method at 1400 GMT and caught Mercury, with it having moved.


I tried some close-ups with my 3x Barlow but none of them worked. I also tried to see the transit using my binoculars and an eyepiece in the Mak but with no result. The transit turned out to be harder than the one I had observed many years ago.


November 8th 2200 GMT Moon

Fortunately, there was a gap in the cloud later in the evening, so I caught the Moon with my DSLR, using the same settings as the evening before.


November 8th 1750 Visual

I wish I had taken my camera with me when I was out and about on appointments. I always have my binoculars in my car boot. The Moon looked quite superb, especially around the southern craters. Sinus Iridium was away from the terminator but still prominent. I also saw Melotte 20, which only showed the brighter stars and the Perseus Double Cluster was barely visible.

November 7th 1810 GMT The Moon


I had another go at the Moon in full darkness with my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/400 second exposure.


November 7th 1625 GMT Moon


I was out and about working but stopped for a couple of minutes to snap the Moon with my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 400 and 1/800 second exposure.




November 7th 1440 GMT Sun

The Sun was already low down and I could only get a faint disc in hydrogen alpha light. I took some frames more in hope than expectancy.


November 4th 1550 GMT The Moon


After seven days of hurt, with persistent rain and cloud, I saw the Moon at half phase. It was low in the south. I took some snaps from an upstairs window with my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 400 and 1/800 second exposure. Cloud soon rolled in again to close the gap in the clouds.



Sunday, November 3, 2019

Relegation

Relegation Round-Up November 3rd


Well, I have to admit I have been wrong about some teams this season, very wrong. When I was listening to the professional pundits on the radio, it sounded that most of the teams in the Premier League were in some sort of trouble. If you look at the league table, the season is over a quarter of the way through, it suggests that a mere 30 points could be enough to avoid relegation.
Watford are currently bottom and must be winning the race to be the worst underachievers in the league. I really didn’t expect them to be bottom. Despite an excellent away draw at Spurs, they must start picking up more points soon, or else.
Norwich were a team I flagged as a team in danger and I have been proved right.
Many people will remember Southampton’s 9-0 home defeat to Leicester for years. Really ,the rot set in when they lost at home to Bournemouth. A narrow defeat away to Manchester City suggests there is some fighting spirit at the club but it got them just as many points as they did against Leicester. As some of the teams above them are playing almost as badly, the odd home win or away draw could change the picture entirely.
Just out of the bottom three are Everton and Aston Villa. I thought that Villa could have a bad season but stay up, whereas I thought Everton would be pushing for a Europa League place. There’s so much quality at the club, they really should be doing better.
Were it not for a completely unexpected win at West Ham, Newcastle would be just above the drop zone. That valuable, unexpected 3 point bonus could be crucial at the end of the season. I tipped them as a possible contender for the drop and I predict a few tough months ahead.
Burnley have dropped alarmingly and they were one of my dark horses for the drop at the beginning of the season. They should stay up but football is a funny game.
Where I have been most wrong so far is a group of teams from 6th to 9th, separated by a single point. Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Brighton were all teams that I predicted varying degrees of trouble for and they are all punching above their weight.
Finally, Leicester are third when I had predicted them to avoid the drop but finish in the bottom half. If Watford are the underachievers of the league, so far, then Leicester must be the overachievers.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

October 2019

October 27th 2140 GMT Deep Sky Shoot


Conditions were not perfect but clear enough for objects well clear of the horizon to leave some light on my camera. I also kept more than half an eye out for meteors. As well as the fading Orionid shower, there were many minor showers around that I thought might produce the odd meteor. I did not see any, though.

I had another go at the Pleaides (M45) but went for a closer view at 300mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 2 seconds exposure. I stacked 99 frames but did niot catch any nebulosity.



I could not get Melotte 20 into my field of view, so switched targets to M35 instead.

No, didn't get it either!

I returned to Melotte 20 with 70mm focal length and 8 seconds exposure. I only took seven frames but was very happy with the outcome.



I then had another go, returning to my original settings.



I had an audacious pot at M1, not expecting much. I captured the general area but no sign of the Crab Nebula. I noticed some star clusters that could be worthy of some later close-ups.


October 23rd 2330 GMT Deep Sky: Hyades and Pleiades



I took a few shots of the Hyades and Pleaides at 70mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 6 seconds exposure.

MORE TO COME...

October 22nd 2020 GMT

I fiddled with the intervalometer and had another go at the Perseus region. I hoped to catch some activity from the two minor Taurid showers, with an outside shot at some Orionids travelling vertically from below the horizon.

Unfortunately, I only caught cloud and some fuzzy images!

October 20th 0000 GMT Moon and Meteor


By the time I had copied the files from my camera, the Moon was well clear of the horizon. I took some full disc lunar shots with my Mak and DSLR at 1.54m focal length, ISO 100 and 1/250 second exposure. I stacked 122 images to get this.



I then took some sets of close-ups by adding a 3x Barlow, with 1.62m focal length, ISO 100 and 1/25 second exposure. I stitched 8 different imaging runs but combined the results to end up with 3 images.




I had kept half an eye open for meteors but, after my lunar shoot, I watched for about 10 minutes. I was rewarded with a magnitude 1 Orionid flashing south west.

October 19th 2015 GMT Meteors and Constellations

The sky was clear-ish, so I set my first meteor trap of the month. I aimed at Perseus with my DSLR at ISO 6400, 16mm focal length and 6 seconds exposure. I set my camera to automatic with my intervalometer.

At 2130 GMT I moved the camera to the general area of northern Taurus, hoping for a possible increase in meteor numbers.

Unfortunately, neither imaging run revealed any meteors and not enough detail of the constellations.

October 19th 1800 GMT Jupiter



It was dusk and Jupiter was low. I took some exposures with my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 1 second exposure in an attempt to capture the moons.Although focus was slightly off, the moons showed well.



October 19th 1430 GMT Sun



I had a rare bit of clear sky, so did a hydrogen alpha shoot with my PST and DSLR. This time, I used a lens hood.


Oct 19th 0705 GMT Moon


Just after getting up, the Moon was high in the west. I used the same settings as the night before, except that I increased the ISO setting to 400.




October 18th 2130 GMT Moon

It was mostly cloudy in the evening but a hole opened up in the cloud that allowed me to perform a lunar shoot. I used 300mm focal length, ISO100 and 1/1000 second focal length. I tried a different processing sequence and produced a better result.

 

 

 

October 16th 0900 GMT Sun

The Big Bear solar images had been showing a quiet sun for a few days but it was almost criminal not to have a go at it. As sunspots had been absent for some time, I used a Coronado PST and DSLR afocally to take a few images. There was some detail in the close-ups but I would have had better results if I had remembered to use my lens hood.




October 15th 1935 GMT Moon


Conditions were better than they were 2 days previously but the Moon was low and shrouded in thin cloud. With more cloud spreading from the west, I decided to do a quick shoot with my DSLR in case there were no more opportunities that evening. I used 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure.


            

 

October 13th 2100 GMT Moon

Conditions were poor but it had seemed so long since I had seen anything at all, I just had to shoot the Moon. I used 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure.



October 9th 2110 GMT



The waxing gibbous moon was high just south of west, so I took a few frames using the same settings as the evening before.




October 8th 2000 GMT Moon




The Moon was just past first quarter but low down. I took some shots at 300mm focal length, ISO100 and 1/1000 second exposure.


October 2nd 1815 GMT Moon



The crescent moon was low and I snapped it with my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/500 second exposure. Unfortunately, it was under-exposed and the focus was poor.


October 2nd 0900 GMT Sun



The Big Bear images showed some minor solar activity in hydrogen alpha light and none in white light. I could not see anything in my Coronado PST but hoped I might capture something “on film”.