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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

OBSERVING REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 10, 2016

Location:  Side yard off driveway, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada.

Date Time:  Feb 10/16 1800-2030hrs

Weather:  Mostly clear to mostly cloudy calling for snow flurries of possibly 10cm by morning.  No wind, -9C, no windchill and no wind.

Equipment:  Canadian Telescopes 80 ED/APO f/6.25 with 32mm eyepiece, camera adapter mounted on a Vixen Alt/Az mount and a Canon Rebel Xsi camera with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses.

Attendance:  Myself.

Objective:  To view and image Moon and two comets:  C/2013 US10 Catalina in Camelopardalis and C/2013 X1 Panstarrs in Pegasus.

Report:

  • Viewed and imaged a thin crescent moon part way up in the western sky from 1800-1850hrs.  Clouds moved in through most of the western and southern sky, covering the moon after 1850hrs.  Moon was thin and Earthshine showed up in the eyepiece and in images.
  • Attempted to view and image Catalina, but could not find it above Polaris in Camelopardalis in the eyepiece.  My first attempt was in the wrong direction(under Polaris), but after checking heavens-above.com the correct location was scanned.  By this time, this part of the sky was starting to cloud over.  Images of the region it was thought to be in were taken.  Preliminary viewing did not spot the faint magnitude 7 comet in the view screen.  After reviewing processed image taken, a very faint Catalina was captured in image!
  • Comet Panstarrs, in Pegasus was too close to the Moon, too low in the sky and there was too much hazy cloud to even attempt to locate the magnitude 9 comet.  No attempt was made.
  • Viewed and imaged Ursa Major, standing on its tail in the NE, Cassiopeia in the NW, Polaris due North and Orion in the SE, in between clouds.  Captured a Satellite going through Ursa Major in an image.  Attempted to image double star system Mizar and Alcor but clouds moved in as camera was being set in that direction.
  • Clouds completely took over the entire sky by 2030hrs.
  • No shooting stars were seen and one satellite.

Note:  The following morning, February 11, by 0930hrs, at least 25cm of light snow had fallen.


Images:


Moon Camera attached to telescope at prime focus, 1/6 second, ISO 200, f/6.5
Earthshine at 1846hrs.  Camera attached to telescope at prime focus, 3.2 second exposure, f/6.5, ISO 100.
Orion obove the clouds at 1935hrs, 25 second exposure, ISO 1600, f/4.5 

Polaris over a Hemlock tree at 1933hrs 25 second exposure, ISO 1600, f/4.5

Catalina in Camelapardalis at 2012hrs, 25 second exposure, ISO 1600, focal length 120mm, f/4.5

Satellite flies through Ursa Major at 1930hrs, f/4.5, focal length 1930hrs, 25 second exposure.

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