Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Video of Asteroid Discoveries from 1980 to Present

This was taken from a very good website for interesting space happenings which features amature photographs of celestial and other sky related pictures. It is updated frequently.

This is a truly amazing video that gives the viewer an idea on just how many asteroids that are in our neighborhood.

Hopefully governments are investing in ways that will protect us, our children, and future generations from an eventual collision. The lessons learned from such an endeavour would surely be extremely valuable in our goal to explore farther out into space. No doubt, these new lessons would also help improve our lives here on earth, when you consider all the inventions(TV and microwave just to mention two) that have come from our efforts to explore space thus far.

Videos like this show that the human race is becoming aware of its surroundings, and gives hope for a great and extended future.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Path of Celestial Objects In The Night Sky

Observations: The three pictures below were taken just after sunset from top to bottom: 12,13 and 15 Aug/10 from Dummondville, QC, Ottawa, ON and Saint John, NB respectively.

When studied, they show how fast the Moon changes phases and location in the sky night after night.

Saturn and Mars did not become visible to the naked eye in Ottawa and did not show up in some of the pictures taken in Saint John, but they were visible to the naked eye and they showed up in the pictures when zoomed in on.

After observing all of the pictures that I have taken this summer of the western sky at sunset, these are my observations again looking west just after sunset day after day moving forward in time: New Moons start out low on the horizon and move up to the left. Venus and Mars are moving down to the left at different angles. Saturn and the background stars move down to the right.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cresent Moon-Venus-Mars-Saturn Conjunction

Location: Drummondville, QC

Date Time: 12 August, 2010 from 2035-2050 local time

Weather: 25 Degrees Celsius, partly cloudy, almost no wind, humid.

Equipment: Kodak C190 EasyShare Digital Camera with tripod.

Report: In the pictures, Venus is the bright star with Mars above to the left and Saturn above to the right.

By the time Mars and Saturn became visible, the crescent Moon had almost set behind a farm house and some trees. This left an approximately 15 minute window to get a picture of this rare conjunction. When you consider that the weather has to cooperate, this truly was a rare viewing.

During this session at about 2045 hrs a shooting star/fire ball went overhead just out of the view of this conjunction. It sparkled and a light whooshing and crackling sound could be heard. The line it made across the sky could be traced straight to the constellation Perseus which would make this a part of the Persid Meteor shower that is now taking place.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Persid Meteor Shower

The Earth entered a comet debris field on or before Aug 6 and will be travelling through it for at least another week.

I seen several shooting stars while observing on the night of Aug 6/10. One looked like a big basketball that came straight down in front of me while driving. There were others that showed that night while driving. Others were very fast moving small lines across the sky that appeared when I was taking pictures of the half moon near Aldebaran. M45 was visible above Aldebaran. That early morning also had Jupiter high in the south.

If you have a clear night keep a look out for shooting stars as we are now moving into the thickest part of the debris field. Also, look for the Venus Mars Saturn conjunction right after sunset. Venus is very bright as the sun goes down, then as it gets darker, the fainter Mars and Saturn appear above Venus. They don't stay up long, so be ready to look when the sun sets.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Solar Observing Aug 2/10 1400hrs

Lots of terrific weather has allowed for lots of observing. Sunspot 1092 is clearly visible, the brightest sunspot that I have observed.

Bug Encounter

After a session of Solar Observing, this bug was darting around on the ground. It was hard to see as it blended in so well with the surrounding rocks. It looks like a grey grasshopper without the big jumping legs. It actually seemed curious as it came right up to me and stared for a few minutes, then took off in another direction.

It is very interesting to look at bugs through high magnification zooming in digital pictures. There is so much detail that is missed by the naked eye.

Observing at Saint John, NB Aug 1/10

Location: Irving Nature Park

Date: August 1/10 2125-2220hrs

Weather: 15 Degrees Celsius, very few high level clouds, almost no wind, not very humid, a little fog.

Equipment: Kodak C190 EasyShare digital camera with tripod.

Attendance: Carla, David.

Report: The good observing weather has made it possible to follow the movement of the planets Venus, Mars and Saturn in relation to each other. Over the coarse of a week, it is obvious that Mars and Saturn are moving away from each other, moving left and right.

With the help of software, and the weather, good pics of Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper were possible. The Big Dipper was in the N while Cassiopeia was in the NE. If you look closely at the Picture of the Big Dipper below, the double star system in the handle is revealed.

The weather was excellent for observing, but there were a few mosquitoes around. Also, we seen two very small deer and a fox together as we drove into the park.

Summertime Bending Trees

Have been noticing over the last couple of years that hardwood trees, especially White Birch and Poplar of all sizes are bending over in the summertime. It seems to happen when it is most humid, but have not found the actual answer to this yet.

When driving down the highway, you can see whole stands of the same kind of trees bend over, sometimes, almost to the ground. Size does not seem to matter.

On small trails in the woods, it almost blocks passage.

This is something to look for next time you are driving the highway, in the summertime...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pics From The Road

Finally, there was a few nights in a row that were good for observing. Lots to look at with the Venus-Mars-Saturn alignment just after sunset and the Moon and Jupiter were very close together after midnight to sun-up.

Beatles and Potatoe Bugs


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