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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

TAURID METEOR SHOWER

Location:  Stevens' House, Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  November 9, 2015  2100-0000hrs

Weather:  Cool 8C feels like 6C, dew point 2C no dew, no wind, clear very dark skies.

Equipment:  Stevens' 20' Dobsonion with 22mm 2" eyepiece and a stepladder to reach eyepiece!  My Canon Rebel XSi with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses and Samsung Nexus 4 cellphone camera.

Attendance:  Matthew W., Steven T, Ed O, and David M.

Objective:  To view Comet Panstarrs C/2013 X1 which was said to be in Perseus with Stevens huge telescope.

Highlights:

  • This might have been the last time we have access to Stevens big telescope due to circumstances, so we tried to see as many celestial objects as we could with limited time.
  • With Eds help, we found 17 Messier objects including 57, 13, 92, 27, 31, 45, 71, 15, 74, 1, 42, 43, 78, 33, 32, 110, and 77.
  • M15 was a first time for me.  Curt talked about it at the last Saint John Astronomy Club meeting and it was goal of mine.  According to William Henry Smyth in his 'Cycle of Celestial Objects', "Although this noble cluster is rated globular, it is not exactly round and under the best circumstances is seen as in the diagram, with stragglers branching from a Central blaze."  We all noted how bright the center of the globular appeared.
  • M78 was also a first for me.  Two close stars in a faint cloud.
  • My first view of M1.  A very ghostly, small cloud that seemed to have dimension to it.
  • M33 we all viewed faint spiral arms.
  • M42 and M43 were simply spectacular!  Two huge 'arms' of clouds with definite dimension and depth and a well defined head (M43)!  Ed and I agreed that this was the best we have ever seen this Nebula.  I have never seen it like this before!
  • Ed and I did an extensive search for Comet C/2013 X1, in Perseus to no avail.  We later found out that we were looking too far to the East.
  • Comet C/2014 S2 Panstarrs, in Ursa Minor was below the tree line during observing time.
  • The tail end of Pegasus star named Enif was used to find M15.  We all observed this star in Stephens' 20" Dobsonion and all agreed on how brilliantly yellow it was.
  • Rigel was split...barely.  The fainter companion was very close to main star in the 910 o'clock position.  A first time for me splitting this difficult double star.
  • The Taurid Meteor Shower was underway and put on a great show!  Matthew seen 6 Taurids and 2 others.  Ed and Steven seen several and I seen 10 Taurids, 3 others including 1 huge fireball that left a smoke trail.  Most that I seen were either in NW or almost straight up to the south.  The ones high up were faint and rather short while the ones to the NW were longer and brighter.  One Satellite was seen.


Images:
Orion over Stevens house with Canon and 18-55mm lens.
Area Comet Panstars was supose to be in Perseus with Canon and 75-300mm lens.


M42 with cellphone camera.  

Rigel with Cellphone camera

The next morning, Ed went out to check out the Conjunction and spotted this thin Crescent Moon!  I went out with the Canon and imaged it.


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