Archive for December, 2012
It is sad news that dear old Patrick died this weekend aged 89.
He is certainly someone who inspired me all those years ago.
He will be sadly missed.
While preparing for work I glanced out of the window and saw it was clear.
Knowing Mercury was meant to be visible, I could see it above the neighbours houses, despite being less than 5 degrees above the horizon.
The skies were still clear by the time I had got my act together and assembled the camera on the tripod.
I took these image out of the first floor window.
The show Arcturus top right, with Saturn, Venus and Mercury just above the houses.
A nice capture before getting out of the house to go to work.
Jupiter reaches opposition on the 3rd of December, when it is at its biggest and best for the year.
With a clear sky and hard frost, I went out in the dome to take a few images of Jupiter and its moons.
The bright gibbous Moon rising early evening prevented me from doing any deep-sky stuff.
Jupiter looked fabulous. Careful scrutiny of the Galilean Moons showed that they were different sized disks.
Unfortunately, no detail could be seen on the extremely small disks.
Calsky had previously alerted me to a transit of the ISS across the northern part of the Moon at just gone midnight.
I tried to use my DSLR to take a movie, but the low light level at higher magnification meant to slow an exposure, so although I did capture the event, the images of the ISS I captured was blurred.
I called it a night and awoke about 6.00am.
So I thought I would go out and try and quickly image Saturn, Venus and Mercury rising in the eastern sky.
Some chance I thought, considering the altitude of Mercury at that time and the closeness of my neighbours houses.
But, there was a small window of opportunity for all three. Saturn had just reappeared from behind a neighbours chimney. Venus was just about to disappear behind it, and Mercury was less than 6 degrees above the horizon, but amazingly was visible in the scope. Very wobbly, but there it was before it too disappeared behind the neighbours house.
A great nights and mornings observing and imaging, but boy was it cold.