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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

COMET C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS

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.

Report:

  • 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

OBSERVING REPORT FOR MAY 10, 2022(Updated)

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.

Report:     

  •  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

OBSERVING REPORT FOR MARCH 25, 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.

Report:

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, March 5, 2022

OBSERVING REPORT FOR MARCH 4, 2022 (Updated)

Location:  Price of Wales, NB, Canada

Date Time:  March 4, 2022 2015-2220hrs

Weather:  Slight breeze, -12C, humidity 68%, windchill a major factor, mostly clear.  No dew on equipment but lots of frost.

Objective:  To image three comets which were in the Southern, South western and north western sky.

Report:

  • On a rare clear evening, a very bright, thin, 6% illuminated Moon hung very low in the west.

Thin crescent moon with Earhshine.

 

  •  Looked for Comet C/2021 F1 Lemmon-PANNSTARRS which was in Lacerta, very close to Alpha Lacerta, low in the north western sky during the first part of observing.  By the time I was set up and imaged that area of the sky, the comet sank behind the treeline.  This comet has an interesting orbit.  It's now just outside of Mercuries orbit, getting farther from the Sun now.  This comet could brighten.

Alpha & Beta Lacerta.  Single shot, 30sec, ISO 6400, not cropped, processed.

 

  • Tried for and imaged Comet 19P Borrelly, which was above and to the west of Taurus.  A nicely placed, but faint magnitude 9.8 comet.  Comet Borrelley has an interesting orbit.  It has been inside of Mars orbit for months now, following Earth.  Instead of passing Earth, then heading farther out into space, it seems to be moving slower than Earth.  Earth seems to be pulling away from the comet.  It has remained fairly bright as recent comets goes, and has formed a nice tail.  Borrelly has an interesting orbit. Its been inside Mars orbit, following Earth for months now. Instead of buzzing past Earth, it seems to be slowing down.

 

Single shot, 34sec, ISO 3200, cropped and processed.

  • Before looking for the last comet, I decided to image Betelgeuze.  According to Richard Hinckley Allen in his Star Names Their Lore and Meaning, "Betelgeuze is from Ibt al Jauzah, the Armpit of the Central One..."  It's one of the very few stars in the sky where it is close enough and big enough to actually see it as a disk instead of just a point of light.

Single shot, 30 sec, ISO 3200, not cropped, processed.

  •  Found another faint comet, mag 9.6 Comet C/2019 L3 Atlas, above Orion, very high up.  It was difficult to image, due to how high it was.  Many of the images were ruined by star trails.

Single Shot, 30 sec, ISO 6400, cropped, processed.

  • No satellites were seen, but one went through and ruined an image.  One very bright, shooting star/bolide came straight down, from above Cassiopeia, in the north west. It dropped almost to the horizon.  I seen it around 2100hrs.


 
Satellite passes through image of Beta Andromeda(Mirach).  Single shot, 30 sec, ISO 6400, not cropped, processed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

TWO MORE COMETS FOR 2021(Updated)

Location:  Prince of Wales, NB, Canada

Date Time:  December 27, 2021 1800-1930

Weather:  No wind except for a slight breeze for a few minutes, mostly clear, -2C, 73% humidity.  Excellent viewing conditions!

Equipment:  Canon Rebel T3 attached to an 80 ed/apo at prime focus and with an 18-55mm lens.  Images processed with PhotoShop.

Attendance:  David McCashion.

Objective:  To image comets 19P Borrelly(mag10) and 104P Kowal(mag 11), which were in the southern sky in the early evening.

Report:

  • The comets were close together in the southern sky.  Images seemed to show 19P to be smaller of the two, but with a much brighter central region.  This comet may brighten as it approaches Earth.  Comet 104P appeared larger of the two, with a more diffuse central region, and with possibly a curved tail.  It will get very close to Earth, according to its reported path.  Their paths are noteworthy, in my opinion, seemingly coming up from behind the Earth and passing it in its orbit.  Comet images were all cropped approximately the same and had the same settings to make comparison more possible. 

Comet 19P Borrelly, single shot, 61 sec, ISO 1600, cropped and processed.

Comet 19P Borrelly, single shot, 61 sec, ISO 6400, cropped and processed.

Comet 19P Borrelly, Inverted image.

Comet 104P Kowal, 61 second, ISO 6400, cropped and processed.

Same image as above inverted.

  • The comets were to the left of Jupiter, which was in the south western sky.  Took a wide angle image of the whole southern sky and a close-up of Jupiter.

Facing south, 25 sec, f/3.5, ISO 3200, focal length 18mm.

Jupiter through telescope, 1/8 second, ISO 1600.

  •  In the middle of the Summer Triangle, which was lowering in the western sky during observing, there's an amazing double star named Albireo.  An excellent small telescope target.  Note the color difference between the two stars.

Facing west, summer triangle, 25 sec, f/3.5, ISO 3200, focal length 18mm

Albireo through telescope, 5 second, ISO 800.

  • The viewing conditions were so good for the entire sky, in every direction, I decided to image the northern and south eastern sky as well, to show which constellations were showing.

Facing north, Big Dipper behind the treeline,25 sec, f/3.5, ISO 3200, focal length 18mm

Facing south east, Orion, 15 sec, f/3.5, ISO 3200, focal length 18mm.

  • Many satellites were seen, with a few going through images.  One long exposure image of the comets had two satellites in it.  No shooting stars were seen.

 

 

 

 

 


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

COMET SEARCH NEAR CONJUNCTION

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

Date Time:  December 21, 2021 1730-1810hrs

Weather:  Breezy, mostly clear, 0.0C, humidity 64%.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel t3 with 18-55 and 75-300mm lenses.  Binoculars.  Images processed with PhotoShop.

Attendance:  David McCashion

Objective:  To view and image Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard with was reported to be in the area of sky, to the left of Venus and Saturn.  The comet forming an equilateral triangle with the three planets.

Report:

  • Searched the area of sky with binos and took many images.  Could not see comet in binos or find it in images.

ISO 100, FL 75mm, 13sec, f/6.3

 

  • There was a nice lineup of planets with Jupiter, Saturn and Venus in the western sky.  This made up for the very disappointing comet.

 

ISO 800, FL 28mm, 10 sec, f/6.3.

  •  No shooting stars or satellites seen.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

CHRISTMAS COMET SEARCH 2021

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

Date Time:  December 20, 2021 1730-1800

Weather:  Bitter cold, mostly clear, hazy, steady breeze, -6.9C, 72% humidity.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel t3 with 18-55mm lens and binoculars.

Attendance:  David McCashion

Objective:  To view and image Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard, the brightest comet of 2021, with a reported magnitude of approx 3.  The comet has recently passed closed to Venus and is heading out of the Northern hemisphere sky, into the southern.

Report:

  • Scanned the area of sky to the left of Venus, where comet was reported to be, at first with unaided eye and then with binos.  Some long thin clouds and haziness were a factor, moving slowly through the area.  No luck in seeing the comet visually.  Imaged the area of sky for about a half hour, but still couldn't seem to get comet to pop out in image viewer for a pin point location in the sky.  After star hoping from processed images, and comparing to star charts, comet still didn't appear in images.
  • One day past full moon.  No shooting stars or satellites were seen.





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