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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Observing Report for Jan 5/11

LOCATION: Saints Rest Beach, NB

DATE: January 5/2011 from 0450-0730hrs

WEATHER: -15 Degrees Celsius light wind, clear.

EQUIPMENT: Kodak Digital Camera mounted to a 150mm reflector telescope with 32mm and 16mm eyepieces mounted on an EQ 3.

OBSERVING REPORT: Upon arriving at the beach, Venus stood out like an oncoming Plane. It was extremely bright and was a third of the way up in the sky in the SE. Antares was visible below it, but Mercury didn't come up, farther to the east until after 0600.

After looking to the North for the Big Dipper for about an hour and not finding it, I actually noticed it by accident straight up while looking for shooting stars. That is the highest Ive ever noticed the Big Dipper.

There was the Quadrantid meteor shower on this night, and I observed two shooting stars. The first one shortly after arrival in the south and one an hour later to the north east.

Venus was in the waxing crescent phase, which explains the shape of the planet when resolved in the scope.

When Mercury finally raised after 0600, just before first light, it had a reddish hue to it and appeared very faint compared to Venus. A star chart was consulted to distinguish Antares from Mercury.

As a side note, there was a large German Shepard that ran past at around 0615.

There was a noticeable lack of obvious constellations during this time, the Big Dipper being the only one that really stood out.

Saturn was much farther from Venus than expected. It was almost due south just north of Spica and didn't stand out at all.

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