Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Location:  West Saint John, NB, Canada

Date Time:  June 30, 2015 2115hrs-2345hrs.

Weather:  Some clouds, many con-trails to mostly cloudy.  Cool 13C, lots of dew, lots of mosquitoes and spiders.  Light to no breeze.

Attendance:  Ed O, a neighbor named Bob, two passerby's and myself.

Equipment:  Eds' 15x70 binos and 8" Dobsonian.  My 80 ED/APO on a vixen alt az mount with 6mm, 12mm and 32mm eyepieces.  Canon Rebel DSLR with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses.

Objective:  To view and image the Venus Jupiter conjunction that was suppose to occur on this date.  They were reportedly going to get within .3 of a degree apart.

Highlights:  Were very lucky to have clear skies for this evenings conjunction.  It was suppose to be foggy, with a bank of clouds very close to Saint John, but as luck would have it, it remained clear enough for some observing and imaging.  Only about an hour, though, of the conjunction, before a cloud bank rolled in from the west, shortly before the two planets went below a neighbors house.

Venus was a very bright Crescent Moon shape in the small telescope.  Jupiter was easily in the same field of view even at the highest magnification with the 6 mm eyepiece.  Three of Jupiter's moons could be seen and its Storm cloud bands seemed to fade into and out of view.  Atmospheric disturbance perhaps?

Mizar and Alcor, the naked eye double star in Ursa Major was viewed in the small telescope.  There were clearly three stars in the field of view, although it is said that this is a quadruple star system.  Very nice sight in telescope!

Saturn and its rings were very nice and bright, even with the nearly full moon nearby.  Titan could also be seen.

Zubeneschamali, in Libra was viewed by naked eye and I thought it looked kind of green.

Zubenelgenubi, also in Libra looked white to me and it went behind a big tree before the scope could be trained on it.  It is a famous double star system.

Antares was simply amazing in Eds' binoculars.  It literally sparkled like it was on fire, brilliantly reddish orange.  It didn't sparkle near as much in the telescope for some reason.

The Moon was very bright and rose above the house by 2300 hrs.  Tycho and Mare Crism showed up very well, as well as some craters along the terminator.

We located Albireo in Cygnus, then trained Eds big scope on it.  It showed up very nicely as a double star.  The star on the right whitish blue, the star on the left whitish red.

No shooting stars were seen, but one iridium flare showed up much brighter than Venus for about 2 seconds then faded, then disappeared behind some clouds.

Venus and Jupiter at around 2200 hrs.  About 1/3 degree separation is about the same width of the Moon.

With big camera and 300mm lens.  You can see three of Jupiters Moons if you look closely.

With cellphone camera held up to 12 mm eyepiece.  Venus in Crescent Moon phase, three of Jupiter's Moons visible.
This taken just before a cloud bank moved in and ended the Conjunction show.

Ed checking out a nearly full Moon around 2300hrs.

Nearly Full Moon was very bright after 2300hrs.

These two Moon images taken with cellphone camera.  Mare Crism and Tyco showed up very nice in small telescope and Eds binoculars.

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