Date Time: October 29, 2013 1930-2000 hrs/ October 30, 2013 0600 hrs
Weather: -2 degrees Celsius, clear, no wind and frosty in the evening. -5 degrees Celsius, clear, no wind and very frosty in the morning.
Equipment: Canon DSLR camera and tripod
Evening Report: While out in the front yard on the evening of the 29th, checked on the sky situation and noticed almost perfect conditions. Venus stood out brilliantly in the SW sky right next to Sagittarius and the Milky way.
Viewing Sagittarius is kind of special, because it is primarily a summer constellation that goes down quickly in the fall evenings and is not view-able for most of the winter. It is also a noteworthy constellation because of it is located in the same direction as the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. This is an interesting area of our sky, because there is so much going on in this direction. The center of our galaxy is thought to contain a massive black hole that causes all the stars and interstellar gases and matter to circle it because of its enormous mass. Like water circling a drain, the closer you get to the center of the whirlpool, the faster things are happening and, in the case of a galaxy, the more stars, globular clusters, gas and materials that exist in a relatively small area of the sky. This makes it so that there is more for the amateur astronomer to see.
While imaging Sagittarius, the lens and camera fogged up, do to either frost or dew. This happened very fast. After only two images the lens was completely fogged over, which perhaps accounts for the less than perfect focus in the image.
In the image, the Lagoon Nebula, also known as M8 was clearly visible to the west of Sagittarius and to the SE of Venus.
Delphinus and Sagitta were observed with naked eye, high over-head to the SSE. The super nova star, which flared up in the middle of the summer, in the constellation Delphinus with Sagitta the arrow pointing straight at it, was not visible. Note: Delphinus is yet another constellation of stars which loosely resembles a dipper.
Cassiopeia was observed high in the NE.
Morning Report: In the morning, a quick observation, looking for comet ISON was done. A crescent Moon was low in the East right next to Mars. Of course, the comet was not visible to this observer, as it is still too faint see naked eye. Its important to keep viewing this comet, because it could flair up at any time and become a naked-eye comet. It would be amazing to be among the first to see it, naked eye.
As usual, my favorite constellation, Orion was observed midway up in the sky in the SW.
The Big Dipper was also observed, standing on end, high in the NE.
No satelites or shooting stars were observed, neither in the evening or in the morning.
|Sagittarius and Venus low in SW at 1950 hrs. Canon DSLR and 18-55mm lens 30 second shutter speed, 1600 ISO|