Friday, March 13, 2015


Location:  McPherson Beach, NB, Canada

Date Time:  March 12, 2015 2100-2145hrs

Weather:  No clouds, gusty winds, -11C with a reported winchill of -19C.

Attendance:  Myself.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel DSLR camera with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses, 20x80 binoculars, tripod.

Objective:  To locate, view and image Uranus which was reportedly near Mars and easily visible after sun-down.  Finding Uranus would be a 'first for me' event.

Report:  As soon as I set the binoculars on Mars and scanned just below the Red Planet, the bluish green Uranus stood out instantly, just above the treetops, in the western sky.  The first time locating it on my own!  It is a very faint planet that resembles just another background star...the distinctive color sets it apart.

Gusty winds made imaging very difficult.  Made keeping the camera still for the time exposure images very difficult.

Tried to find Comet Lovejoy in Cassiopeia with naked-eye and averted vision, but it didn't pop out.  Was in a much darker area, with no streetlights nearby and my vision did adjust for the dark.  This comet is not a naked-eye comet, in my opinion.

Did not use the binoculars to view the comet on this night.  With the gusting wind and freezing temperatures I decided to focus on imaging the comet instead.

After comparing images taken earlier in Dec and Jan, it can easily be seen that the comet has dimmed dramatically, but the tail has brightened and enlarged.

One Satellite was seen going from the SE to the NE, almost through the Big Dipper.  One shooting star was seen going coming almost straight down, through Cassiopeia, just before I imaged that area.

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