Author Archive

Sky Diary for October 2015

by on Sep.30, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

Dear All,

My Sky Diary for October 2015 gives full details of all the celestial events worthwhile looking out for during October, especially now the darker skies are back with us.

It is available for free download in two pdf file formats from my Web site.
There is a small printable version and a much longer version with full graphics and maps.



Keep Looking up!

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Nene Valley Astronomical Society – 1st October

by on Sep.29, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

On the evening of Thursday the 1st of October I am looking forward to presenting my popular multi-media presentation: Rosetta & Philae: From Concept To Reality to a friendly astronomical society not too far from me, Nene Valley Astronomical Society

My talk reviews the mission and really captures the excitement of the day Philae “landed” on the comet’s nucleus in November 2014. There’s loads of  really good stuff now starting to be published from the mission, especially after the comet passed perihelion on the 13th of August and activity in the nucleus flared up. I will try and include as much of the new data and images as possible as well as showing how I have been keeping tabs on the mission and the comet.

So, if you’re in the area, come along, say “Hello” and enjoy my presentation.

The meeting takes place at Sudborough Village Hall, Main Street, Sudborough at 8.00pm.


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A Dark Lunar Eclipse

by on Sep.28, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

What a surprise! We had clear skies all night so were treated to a grandstand view of the lunar eclipse. And what a dark one it turned out to be. Closer to the Earth it was deeper into the shadow so less light was refracted onto it through the Earth’s atmosphere..
I didn’t get much sleep last night, but it was well worth it.
Pre-EclipseMoon2 DSC_0186 -1 DSC_0189 -1 DSC_0194 -1 DSC_0210 -1 DSC_0240 -1 DSC_0277 -1 DSC_0283 -1DSC_0288 -2

DSC_0288 -1 DSC_0311 -1 DSC_0330 -1

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Saturated Moon

by on Sep.25, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

Nope! It wasn’t raining again. I took a few images of the bright Moon tonight. The first full Moon shot was using my Nikon camera. I then used my trusty £8 Philips webcam to take some closer views. I then upped the saturation of each image to show the subtle details in the lunar soil. That’s why I’ve called it a saturated Moon.
Full disk with Nikon D750.

Western limb of Moon – Four part webcam mosaic.

Mare Imbrium. Webcam.

Mare Serenitatis and Mare Tranquillitatis. Two part webcam mosaic.22_01_55_g3_ap56_stitch

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Animation of Comet 67P

by on Sep.20, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

I finally got a chance to re-process my images from last weekend at Kelling Starcamp to make an animation of the movement of Comet 67P moving through the star field from my subs.

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A morning of solar goodness.

by on Sep.19, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

This morning was bright and clear, so out came the solar scope and webcam.
A very nice prominence was visible as well as some smaller ones.
There was also a lot of activity around the sunspots that were visible.
Full Disk.
2015-09-19-1004_9-L-14_g3_ap62StackWebLarge Prominence.

Sunspot Group AR2415.

A four pane montage around AR2415 and 24182015-09-19-1022_3-L-22_g3_ap2202SLHP

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Kelling Equinox Star Party Weekend 2015

by on Sep.13, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

An absolute triumph! A really great weekend at Kelling Equinox Star Party, weather was very kind apart from Saturday morning when it poured down. Three fairly good observing nights, especially Thursday night/ Friday morning where I stayed up until the very thin crescent Moon rose just before dawn.  Great to catch up with everyone, total lack of sleep but extremely enjoyable.

Two wide angle views of the skies and camp at night.


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Messier 13 – The Great Hercules Globular Cluster.

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Messier 35 in Gemini with the smaller more distant cluster NGC2158.

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Comet 67P. Can you spot Rosetta?

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What might be left of the primary component of Comet 141P.

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Comet C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS) in Cassiopeia.

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Kelling Equinox Star Party Weekend Beckons

by on Sep.08, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

The annual pilgrimage to Kelling Equinox Star Party in North Norfolk is already under way.
I will be going down on Thursday morning.
Looks like the weather is going to be kind and we should be getting some clear skies.
So if you are around, pop in and come and have a butchers through some monster scopes.

For a list of UK star parties, Click Here.

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After weeks of clouds

by on Sep.06, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

The Sun finally made an appearance. Had a very relaxing walk around the local nature reserve then home for the afternoon and some Solar imaging.

This is the full solar disk using white light. One small sunspot and a pair of smaller spots. Quite boring really.Good job I have a Hydrogen Alpha scope…
HaSun 15-09-06 12-41-13_WhiteLightThis is how it looks in the other scope, much more going on.
Sun_163209_g3_ap638_stitchWPPAnd a look at some of the prominences seen around the limb in close up:

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Open University – Philae Treat

by on Sep.02, 2015, under Astronomy Blog

My astrophotography demonstrations went down really well at the Open University Astronomy Club yesterday evening.
But a real treat for me was to see a full-scale model of Philae sitting just inside the entrance.

Flipping marvellous!



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