Date Time: Sept 20, 2015 2100-2300 hrs
Sept 21, 2015 0530-0630 hrs
Weather: Sept 20/15 Cool, no wind, no clouds to some clouds, hazy, 10C to 5C, some dew, and no bugs.
Sept 21/15 Following morning. Cold, 0C first frost of the year, ice on everything, no wind.
Attendance: David M
Equipment: Big Scope with Canon Rebel and Nexus 4 cellphone camera.
Objective: In the evening; to view and image M22 in Sagittarius and to scan same constellation for deep sky objects. In the morning; to view and image Venus/Mars/Jupiter conjunction that is suppose to happen just before sun-up.
- Aligned scope on Altair both setups.
- After a brief search NE of Kaus Borealis (very top of the 'tea pot') a very bright Globular Cluster M22 came into view. A personal first observation for this M object. Its so bright, surprised its not visible naked eye. Very round and similar to M13 in brightness and size. According to Admiral William Henry Smyth, in his year 1844 'A Cycle of Celestial Objects', "A fine globular cluster, outlying that astral stream the Via Lactea, the space between the Archer's Head and bow, not far from the point of the winter solstice, and midway between u and o Sagittarii. It consists of very minute and thickly condensed particles of light, with a group of small stars preceding by 3m , somewhat in a crucial form." Via Lactea being Latin for The Milky Way.
- Did an extensive search for M11 in Scutum. Couldn't find any deep sky object except for one, which was approximately 5 degrees south of where I thought M11 should be. After imaging it, then searching my Pocket Sky Atlas for possible candidates, it was decided to upload the image to the facebook page 'Amateur Astronomy - Telescope, Binocular and imaging forum', for id help. Through the help of other amateur astronomers it was determined that this very faint Globular Cluster is NGC 6712. Actually, wasnt sure if it was a globular cluster or some kind of nebula. A personal first time observation.
- Observed and imaged the Moon which was one day before first quarter.
- Covered everything up, then went to bed. Set the alarm for 0515 hrs then was out observing for 0530 hrs. Temperature dropped to 0C. First frost of the year, thin layer of ice covered the deck. Heater was needed to de-fog front lens of telescope.
- Nice, bright Jupiter Regulus Mars Venus conjunction rising in the East at 0530 hrs. Still completely dark out. The 'question mark' of Leo could be seen, but not the triangle part. Imaged Conjunction.
- Jupiter was viewed and imaged through telescope. Cloud bands could not be resolved, possibly due to its low position on the horizon. Three of its Moons were easily seen, with one 'hugging the giant planet, just barely visible.
- Mars was viewed and imaged. No detail could be seen across the very small disk.
- Venus was viewed and imaged in its crescent moon phase. Very bright and high during observing period.
- One faint shooting star, in the west was observed in the morning. Left a long smoke trail. No satellites observed.
Note: Inspiration for referencing Admiral William Henry Smyths' A Cycle of Celestial Objects comes from observing pod casts by Astronomy Magazines' Michael E. Bakich.