Astronomy Blog

Sky Diary for September 2014

by on Aug.31, 2014, under Astronomy Blog

My Sky Diary for August in two pdf formats  (Short & Long version) is now available for free download from my Web site. http://www.eagleseye.me.uk/SkyDiary.html




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Comet Jacques – 26/08/2014

by on Aug.27, 2014, under Astronomy Blog

Comet Jacques 26/08/2014

Dodging the clouds, and having issues with auto-guiding, I just managed to get an image of Comet Jacques last night.
Gave up at 12 as it’s a work night, and took ages to process it.
But it’s getting there.
Hopefully now the Moons out of the way we’ll get a few more clear skies this week to have a better go.

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Comet Jacques & Moon – 20th August 2014

by on Aug.20, 2014, under Astronomy Blog

Up in the early hours to capture Comet Jacques C/2014 E2 currently located in Cassiopeia.
The thick crescent Moon was interfering a bit, but the skies were clear enough to make the most of the high altitude of the comet.
Disaster in the fact that the auto-guiding wouldn’t work. So I had to make do with 20 second subs, to prevent trailing.
Picture saved with settings embedded.

And before the skies got dark I took a picture of the Moon as well, just to finish off.
It’s not often I am up early enough to see the horns of the crescent Moon pointing in this direction.



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Talk to Rugby & District Astronomical Society

by on Aug.18, 2014, under Astronomy Blog


I did my talk entitled “In the Footsteps of Piazzi Smyth – Astronomical Adventures in Tenerife” to Rugby &  District Astronomical Society last night. This was my second visit to them.
There were about 30 people attending that evening and my talk seemed  to go down very well indeed.
Many thanks to R&D AS for giving me such a warm reception, I
 really enjoyed the evening.
Hopefully they will have me back for yet another talk next year. 

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A night with NNHS Astro Section Perseid Observing.

by on Aug.13, 2014, under Astronomy Blog

I joined Northampton Natural History Society, Astronomy Section observing the Perseid meteors at Pitsford Reservoir on Tuesday the 12th of August.

I didn’t take my camera so resorted to taking images using my tablet.

Clear transparent skies ensured we got a great view of some bright Perseids, despite only just past full Moon.
I did a quick tour around the sky pointing out the most prominent constellations as well as Mars and Saturn low in the south western sky.

Just before 22:30h (BST) the ISS made a spectacular apparition enthralling those who were present.
The Moons (Just past the so called “Super Moon”) glitter path on the reservoir was spectacular as it rose in the eastern sky.


All in all, a great night was had by all.

Lots of meteors, lots of fun and leg-pulling, just what a great night of group observing should be.

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Fame at last! Well, Almost!!!

by on Aug.11, 2014, under Astronomy Blog

The image I took of Comet Jacques last weekend was shown twice on The Sky At Night last night.

Unfortunately , as it was uploaded via the Bedford Astronomical Society Flikr site, it was credited to Bedford AS.

Fame eludes me once more…

Picture saved with settings embedded.


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A Morning with Planetarium Man.

by on Aug.09, 2014, under Astronomy Blog


I spent the morning with Frank Gear, owner of the mobile planetarium Planetarium Man.

Frank asked me a few weeks go to help him out with his venture.

I have been working on some new ways of presenting our wonderful universe, so this gave us an opportunity to try some of them out.
Some worked, some didn’t.

The 3D software worked much better than I expected, this means that we can take people right around the planets and Moons with the objects popping right out at them. A feeling of really being out there.

We can even fly around the International Space Station and zoom in and out.
A truly thrilling and eye-popping experience.

Our Wonderful Universe right there in your face. Fantastic!

But don’t just take our word for it, book us for a show sometime and see for yourself.


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Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques

by on Aug.03, 2014, under Astronomy Blog

Comet Jacques 03/08/2014
This relatively bright comet was easily found close to “The Kids” Triangular asterism in Auriga.
Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques  was visible in the finder scope, but not bright enough to guide on.
I only went out at just gone half two when the comet had reached a sufficient altitude to clear the neighbours roof.
The computer connected to the scope first time and very soon I was focussed and fixed on my quarry.
I started taking 1 minute exposures, but even by 3:15 you could already see the twilight creeping into that part of the sky as the Sun’s altitude below the north eastern horizon was lessening and approaching dawn.
I rattled off 13 subs before shutting up the dome.
All in all this turned out better than I could have expected.
And I saw a nice fragmenting meteor in the south western sky as well.
I wish I had made a night of it now.

Darker skies are a-coming. :-)


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Sky Diary for August 2014

by on Jul.30, 2014, under Astronomy Blog

My Sky Diary for August in two pdf formats  (Shot & Long) is now available for free download from my Web site. http://www.eagleseye.me.uk/SkyDiary.html




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Talk to Stanion Stargazers – Friday 4th July.

by on Jul.05, 2014, under Astronomy Blog

I went and did my talk about basic astrophotography to the relatively new local Astronomy club Stanion Stargazers.

They were a very enthusiastic group and the talk went down well.
At the end of the evening I did some demonstrations of image stacking and post-processing.

Judging by the amount of questions asked and conversation afterwards, I would say it was an extremely successful evening.

Hopefully they will ask me back again in the future.



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