Date: December 25, 2014
Weather: Stormed all day, rain, high winds temps up to 15 C. By 1700hrs rain stopped, then shortly after the clouds started to break up. A few minutes later, clouds cleared off completely! From 1730-2000hrs, temps went from 8C to 2C, but high winds remained throughout. At 2015hrs clouds returned.
Equipment: Big main telescope, DSLR camera with 18-55mm lens and cellphone camera with Ioptron adapter.
Attendance: Madison, McKenzie, Andrew and Myself.
Objective: To view and image the Crescent Moon, and to explore the Constellation Agrila, the Charioteer along with its Kids and Messier Objects, M36, M37 and M38.
Report: At 1715 hrs, just after Christmas Supper, McKenzie looked out the window and exclaimed, "Look, the Moon!". This came as a surprise, because the weather forecast was not calling for clear skies...At this point it was decided to set the scope up and do some Christmas Evening observing.
At 1730, a thin Crescent Moon was part way up in the sky in the Constellation Aquarius, with Mars below it in Capricornus.
Set scope up on the the front deck and aligned it on Aldebaran, which was in the east and half way up in the sky at Sundown. Located the Moon, then viewed it with 32mm and19mm eyepieces, then imaged with cellphone camera attached to eyepiece slot of telescope. Used DSLR camera attached piggyback to telescope with 18-55mm lens to image the Moon-Mars-Sadalsuud. Wind and the shaky deck were major factors when trying to image the Moon.
Sadalsuud, which was next to the Moon, is Arabic for 'Luckiest of the Lucky'. This is a star in Aquarius. There are many stars in the sky that are named in Arabic.
Set the Cellphone, in its adapter, into the eyepiece, then turned on camera function. This showed the Moon on the view screen and allowed for the user to zoom in or out. Everyone in attendance viewed the Moon this way. Many videos were taken.
Andrew and I located Constellations Ursa Major (North, under Polaris), Cygnus the swan (North west), Orion (Low in South east), Agrila The Charioteer (East) above Gemini, and Cassiopeia high over head to the East.
Viewed M42 and M43 in telescope with 19mm eyepiece. Some color could be seen in the nebula, and the trapezium stars were resolved, even though it was so low in the sky at the time, behind transmission lines.
Slewed scope to the North east, towards Agrila and took time 1 minute time elapse images of this Constellation, in order to locate M36, M37, and M38. At this point(2000hrs), it was time to go inside to warm up, have some hot chocolate and view images. After 15 minutes, came back out and the sky had clouded over and winds increased significantly. Equipment had to be brought inside quickly, as rain looked imminent.
One satellite was observed at around 1900hrs moving south east, just over the Moon. No shooting stars were observed.