Monday, April 24, 2023


Location:  Lower west-side Saint John, NB, Canada

Date Time:  April 23, 2023 2305 -2325 hrs

Weather:  Cool, slight breeze, hazy, 5C with reported windchill and humidity of 79%.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses

Objective:  To view and image a potential northern lights display that Ed informed me about on Twitter.


  • After receiving word from Ed about a potential northern lights display, I checked out the aurora oval on and, sure enough, there was a "Severe Geomagnetic Storm" underway at approximately 2300hrs.
  • Went out with camera about 5 minutes later and was disappointed in how hazy it was.  Moon and Venus were spectacular, just over the Pulp and Paper Mill in the western sky, but most of the northern sky was hazy.  I could, however, make out a faint green glow, that seemed to change in intensity.  Recognizing this as the northern lights, I took images.  Another local observer thought the display lasted for about an hour.  It appeared to fade away after 2320hrs, so it looks like I captured the tail end of it.

Venus, the moon, with some northern lights.  Settings ISO 1600, 10 seconds.

Four, single shot images of the northern sky taken from 2311-2314 hrs.  Settings ISO 1600, 10 second.

  •  Took a close-up of the Crescent Moon which was only 16% illuminated.

Single shot, ISO 1600, 1/250 second.


  •  No shooting stars or satellites were seen






Sunday, January 22, 2023

COMET C/2022 E3 ZTF Jan 22&27 Feb 11&18

Location:  Saint John, NB, Canada

Date Time:  January 22, 2023 0520-0600hrs  

January 27, 2023 2310-2340hrs 

February 11, 2023 1940-2015hrs 

February 18, 2023 2130-2245hrs

Weather: Jan 22-Slight breeze, very cold, partly cloudy, mostly hazy skies, -8.4C with humidity of 84%.  Reported windchill of -15C

Jan27-Slight breeze, very cold, partly cloudy, haze across north eastern horizon, -9C with reported windchill of -15C

Feb11-Slight Breeze, very cold, increasing haze, partly cloudy, -5.8C with 94% humidity.

Feb18-Breezy, very cold, hazy, partly cloudy, -6.2C with 90% humidity.

Equipment:  15x70 binos, Canon Rebel t3 with 18-55mm lens.

Feb18-Canadian Telescopes 80ed/apo with a Canon Rebel attached.

Objective:  Jan22-To view and image a reportedly mag 5.5 Comet, said to be in Draco, very high in the South Eastern sky during observing time.

Jan27-Comet was supposed to be in North Eastern sky and reported at mag 5.1. 

Feb11-Comet was above Taurus approx 2 degrees from Mars.

Feb18-Comet(7.4 mag) was almost halfway between Aldebaran and Orion.


Jan 22
  • Very hazy skies made it difficult to find my pointer constellation Corona Borealis, so I used Bootes and Ursa Major instead.  Bootes was just barely visible in the southern sky.  Tried taking a long exposure image of that area of sky and nothing showed up except for a very dark blotch.  No confirmed sighting could be made.
Single shot, 20 seconds, ISO 3200, processed on PhotoShop.

  • Ducks could clearly be heard quacking in basin below during observing, which seemed out of place for January.  I also observed ducks in an unfrozen stream, through the day.  Strange weather has made observing this comet, and the sky in general, difficult for almost two months now.
  • One satellite was seen, but no shooting stars.
Jan 27
  • Easily located comet with binoculars just above two bright stars in Ursa Major!  Fairly large, diffuse comet, approx 5th mag, a grayish, greenish fuzzball that had no central bright region.  Showed up nicely even in very light polluted city observing location.


Single shot, processed on Photoshop, 15 sec, f/11, ISO 1600, focal length 51mm.

  •  No shooting stars or satellites were seen.  One deer was eating grass nearby, as I observed.

Feb 11

  • Mars was high in the west, almost overhead.  Spotted the comet easily, just below Mars in binoculars.  The faint, diffuse comet had no bright central region and was approx 1/4 the size of the full moon.  Once again, this comet appears as a faint gray fuzzball in the binoculars.
  • Imaged with both lenses for about 20 mins then tried to find comet again in binoculars and couldn't because of increasing haze.

Single shot, 8 sec, ISO 3200, f/5.6, focal length 55mm.

Single shot, 5 sec, ISO 6400, f/5.6, focal length 300mm

Same settings as above and inverted.

  •  No satellites or shooting stars were seen.  Increasing haze washed out the comet shortly after 2010hrs.

Feb 18

  • Images were taken with Canon Rebel attached to an 80ed/apo at prime focus.
  • Before imaging faint objects, brighter ones are helpful to fine tune camera focus.  This time I used Sirius "The Dog Star", alpha Canis Major.  This is the brightest star that can be seen from New Brunswick, Canada with a magnitude of -1.46.  From Richard Hinckley Allen's Star Names Their Lore and Meaning, Sirius is Greek for sparkling or scorching.
Single shot, 8 seconds, ISO 3200.

  • Comet is moving away from Earth and dimming significantly.  Windchill makes observing and imaging very difficult.  Imaging comets from within the city is also challenging due to light pollution, which easily washes out fainter comets.  Many images were ruined by the wind shaking the scope as well.


Single shot, 10 seconds, ISO 1600

Single shot, inverted, 13 seconds, ISO 1600.

  •  No satellites or shooting stars were seen. 
Note:  It seems worth noting that even after all of the added satellites by StarLink and other entities, my astro imaging has not been greatly affected like I thought it would be.  I have been picking up more in my long exposure images than I used to, but not enough to ruin the pastime completely...or even affect it much.  But, there are possibly many thousands of satellites planned to go up in the future.  Exact numbers are not easy to find and with conflicting reports.  A subject worth paying attention to, imo.






























Sunday, November 27, 2022


Location:  Lower west-side Saint John, NB, Canada

Date Time:  Nov 26, 2022 2040-2130

Weather:  Cool, windy, mostly clear, 0.8C, 68% humidity.

Attendance:  Benson, Jarrod and David.

Equipment:  Meade LX 200 with 32mm eyepiece, cellphone camera attached to eyepiece.

Objective:  To view and image Mars as it approaches its Dec 8 opposition.


  • Mars is very big and bright in the south eastern sky.  Through telescope disc is much bigger than normal and dark features can be seen across its bright reddish face.  A bright white cap can be seen on top edge.


  • Jupiter was much bigger and brighter, high in the south western sky, which tells how big this planet is compared to Mars.  Even though Mars is much, much closer, it still is half as big as Jupiter is in the sky.  Four of its moons were nicely spaced on either side of the massive gas giant.  Through telescope two bright bands could be seen across Jupiter's face, in line with the moons.


  •  The big dipper was impressive, low in the north eastern sky.  No shooting stars or satellites were seen.








Thursday, November 10, 2022


 Location:  Lower West-side Saint John, NB, Canada

Date Time:  November 8, 2022  0530-0630

Weather:  Mostly clear, very windy 25mph gusting winds, making it very cold and difficult to image.  Temps were 7.1C with humidity at 52%.

Equipment:  Meade LX200 telescope with a 32mm eyepiece.  Cellphone attached for imaging.

Attendance:  Myself and many others locally from different locations around Saint John.

Objective:  To view and image the total lunar eclipse that was supposed to start shortly after 5am and continue until after daylight.  Totality was supposed to begin around 620am.


  • Weather allowed for a major celestial event to be viewed from Saint John.  A first in a long time.
  • As reported the first bite out of the Moon happened shortly after 5am.  Spectacular to witness!  The very strong winds didn't let up the whole time.  This made imaging exceedingly difficult.

Single shot @ 0546hrs




  •  I was surprised in how fast the event took place.  It only took a little over an hour from when the Moon started into Earth's shadow to when it was completely within it.
  • No shooting stars or satellites were observed.









Wednesday, July 27, 2022


Location:  Prince of Wales, NB, Canada

Date Time:  July 26, 2022 2210-0018 hrs

Weather:  No wind, partly cloudy, hazy to mostly clear, some ground fog, lots of dew and bugs, 17C and 61% humidity.  Waning Crescent Moon at 3% Illumination.

Equipment:  Telescope 80 ED/APO with 2" 32mm eyepiece, Canon Rebel T3 attached at prime focus.  Photos processed with Photo Shop.

Objective:  To capture an image of comets that were in the late evening sky.  Comets C/2017 K2 Panstarrs in Ophiuchus, Comet C/2020 K2 Panstarrs in Ursa Major and Comet 73P in Virgo.


  • Imaged the sky where 8.5 mag Comet C/2020 K2(mag 8.5) was supposed to be, which was very low in the west during observing, in Virgo.  Comet did not show up in the very distorted image.  Image was distorted by haze/humidity close to horizon.
  • While in the neighborhood of Virgo, imaged an area of sky which has the Virgo Cluster of galaxies.  Picked up a number of galaxies in one field of view, but they were too faint to make much of a single shot image.  Must return here in the future to take many images to really bring out these fainter galaxies.
  • Found Comet C/.2017 K2(mag 8.4) high in the South West in Ophiuchus.  It showed up brightly in the image view screen, so I tried to view it visually with the small telescope and a 32 mm eyepiece.  Surprisingly it showed up as a small gray fuzzball with a possible fan shape tail, when viewed with averted vision.

Single shot, 30 second, ISO 3200.  Uncropped processed.

  • Tried imaging Comet 73P(mag 10.4), which was supposed to be high, to the west of Polaris in Ursa Major, but it didn't show up in images.
  • Viewed Jupiter and four of its moons spaced two on one side, and two on another.  Jupiter rose, just above the eastern horizon around midnight.  Very bright!
  • Seen no shooting stars and several satellites, including one iridium flare.  Many airplanes were seen.






Thursday, May 12, 2022


Location:  Prince of Wales, NB, Canada

Date Time:  May 10, 2022 0340-0520hrs

Weather:  Warm, 8.2C, 39% humidity, dew point -3C, pressure 1032.85hPa, at times breezy, to no wind.  No bugs, no dew and a few birds chirping.  Astronomical Twilight starts at 0356hrs.  Waxing Gibbous Moon 61% Illuminated sets at 0345hrs.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel T3, with 18-55mm lens and attached to 80 ED/APO.  Images processed with PhotoShop.

Objective:  To image Comets 22P Kopff, near Mars and C/2017 K2 Panstarrs in Aquila, west of Altair.


  •  Aligned scope on Arcturus, which was high in the west.  Focused on and imaged this bright star, but gusty winds ruined images.
  • Comets were in eastern sky, and Mars wasn't due to rise for another hour or so, so I decided to try for some brighter objects in the southern sky.  Imaged Antares, which was almost due south at 4am.  Antares, according to Richard Hinckley Allen, in his Star Names Their Lore and Meaning, "Antares, Alpha Scorpius, Binary, 0.7 & 7, fiery red, and emerald green, the well-nigh universal title for this splendid star...and generally thought to be from...'similar to,' or the 'rival of,' Mars, in reference to its color..."

Antares, single shot, 30 seconds, ISO 1600.  Un-cropped, processed.

  • Imaged some Messier Objects around Antares:  Globular Clusters M4, M19, and M62. Open star clusters M6 The Butterfly Cluster and M7 Ptolemy's Cluster.  M4 in Scorpius, according to William Henry Smyth, in his 1844 A Cycle of Celestial Objects "A compressed mass of very small stars, in the middle of the creature's body, with outliers and a few small stellar companions in the field."

M4 Globular Cluster.  All Messier object images single shot, 30 second, ISO 1600, uncropped and processed.

M6 The Butterfly Cluster

M7 Ptolemy's Cluster

M19 Globular Cluster

M62 Globular Cluster
  • Refocused telescope on Altair before making my first attempt at Comet K2.  According to Allen, "Altair, Alpha Aquila, 1.3, pale yellow, is from a part of the Arabic name for the constellation,..."

Altair, single shot, 30 second, ISO 1600, uncropped, processed.
  • By this time, Mars, and the comet 22P Kopff next to it, were rising above the horizon, but they were behind a cluster of trees.  They would not appear from behind the trees before the oncoming light washed it out.  No attempt was made for this comet, which was supposed to be next to Mars because there wasn't enough time to move the telescope.  Just set up camera where entire south eastern sky could be seen instead.
  • Comet K2 Panstarrs was high up, approximately 15 degrees to the east of Altair, in Aquila.  Comet did not show up in view screen during observing time, but did show up while processing image.  It was smaller and fainter than I thought it would be.

Comet K2 Panstarrs, single shot, 30 second, ISO 1600, cropped and processed.

  • By 5am all four morning planets, Venus-Jupiter-Mars-Saturn (in that order) were above the horizon, forming a diagonal line across the south-eastern sky.  Set up camera across the road with 18-55mm lens so that all planets could be seen.  They barely fit into the cameras field of view.

Planet lineup facing East, single shot, 4 second,f/9, focal length 23mm, ISO 400, uncropped and processed

  •  Many satellites, and 3 meteors were seen.  The shooting stars were all about the same, very fast(almost lightening fast), short period and about 0 magnitude.  Seen two high in the south coming straight down from zenith and one high in the eastern sky coming from the south.  They were well spaced out over the observing session.





















Sunday, March 27, 2022


Location:  Prince of Wales, NB, Canada

Date Time :  March 25, 2022 2320-0025hrs

Weather:  Ground fog almost the whole way from Saint John to Prince of Wales.  Mostly clear at observing site. A comfortable 1C at first.  Windchill really cooled things off after midnight and froze dew to car. No wind to slight breeze, very humid 99% humidity, lots of dew, Barometric pressure was very low at 900hPa.  Ground fog moved in at 0025hrs.

Equipment:  Canon T3 attached to Canadian Telescopes 80ED/APO at prime focus.  Images processed on PhotoShop.

Objective:  To improve stacking/processing skills on M 104 the Sombrero Galaxy, which was supposed to be above the treeline, near Corvus, after 2300hrs.


  • Aligned and focused scope on Aldebaran (low in western sky), Procyon (high in south western sky) and Spica in the south eastern sky.  All three imaged below and processed the same way to give a color/brightness comparison.  Procyon, according to Richard Hinckey Allen's Star Names Their Lore and Meaning:  Procyon, alpha, Binary, Mag 0.4 and 13, yellowish white, and yellow.  "...has been the name for this from the earliest Greek records, distinctly mentioned by Aratos and Ptolemy,...".

Aldebaran, single shot, uncropped, processed, 30 sec, ISO 6400.

Procyon, single shot, uncropped, processed, 30 sec, ISO 1600.

Spica, single shot, uncropped, processed, 30 sec, ISO 1600.

  •  On the way to the main target of the night M 104, decided to image M44 Beehive Cluster. 

Beehive Cluster, single shot, uncropped, processed, 30 sec, ISO 1600.

  • The main target of the night was the Sombrero Galaxy, located about midway between Spica and Algorab in Corvus.  Took many images to stack to get a better quality image. Stacked 23 light images and 25 dark images.  The first time going after this target.  It's very small, much smaller than I thought it would be.  Bright central region washes out the amazing dust lanes that show up in Hubble images.  This object may be too small to get much better resolution with my equipment.  Note the lack of stars in this image, compared with others.  This area of the sky is better for deep sky objects because of this.

Sombrero Galaxy, cropped, processed, 23x 30 sec, ISO 1600 stacked images

  • Tried for Comet C/2019 L3 Atlas, which was near Alhena in Gemini.  It was reported to be 11th magnitude.  A very star-like comet with a faint, fan tail.  It happens to be passing in front of a very rich background of stars that made it difficult to pick up in the camera view screen.  While I was in the field, I thought I didn't get it.  The comet showed up right away, though, during processing.

C/2019 L3 Atlas, single shot, cropped, processed, 30 sec, ISO 6400.

  • No satellites or shooting stars were seen.






























Blog Archive