Saturday, January 10, 2015

Venus/Mercury 0.7 Degrees Apart

Location:  Samuel De Champlain School, Saint John, NB

Date Time:  January 8, 2015 around 1800hrs AST

Weather:  Clear, light wind, -23C.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 75-300mm lens mounted on tripod.

Attendance:  Myself.

Objective:  To view and image Venus/ Mercury Conjunction.

Report:  While on my travels throughout SJ on this particular day, was prepared to pull over anywhere safe to image this conjunction.  Was informed at last Saint John Astronomy Club meeting about the conjunction, and was pleasantly surprised when the forecast cooperated.

Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 Over New Brunswick

Location:  Little Lepreau and near Chance Harbour, NB, Canada

Date Time:  December 30, 2014 to January 17, 2015  usually around 2100hrs to 2330hrs.

Weather:  Clear, no wind to mild breezes, -18C to -25C.

Attendance:  Carla, Leah, Jessica, Madison, McKenzie, Brandon, Edward O, and Myself.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses mounted on Tripod.  Canadian Telescopes 80ED/APO with 32mm, 19mm and 12mm eyepieces and Ed's 8" Dobsonion.

Objective:  To view and image Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 which was heading from through Lepus The Hare to Taurus The Bull to just southwest of M45.

Report:  This has been an excellent target to view over these nights.  Its very easy to locate with binoculars, because its relatively low in the sky and shows up like a huge slightly dark green fuzzball in the eyepiece. Long exposure images clearly show the distinctive green hew, which makes it easy to distinguish from the background stars.

Jan 9/15 was the first time I have been able to see it naked eye.  It's very faint, but with averted vision, the size of it stands out.  Its huge!  Ed O and I observed it naked eye Jan 17.  On this moonless night it stood out plainly.

Leah remarked that it looked like a faint star with a 'dark shadow' around it, while four year old McKenzie said it looked like a 'fuzzball' to her.  No else, but me picked up the color.  Have to wonder if its because I seen it in photographs before, and knew to look for green.

In the images below, look for the date.  It can be easily seen how the Comet has moved across the sky, when compared to background Constellations, Orion, Lepus and Taurus.

No Shooting stars or satellites were observed during observation period...which is surprising in itself, as the sky was closely observed, trying to locate the comet, for many hours over these dates.


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