Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Location Date & Time:
March 23, 2017  2230-2310 hrs-Front Porch, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada
March 25, 2017 2245-2317 hrs-West side Saint John, NB, Canada
March 26, 2017 0015-0035 hrs-Front Porch, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada
April 2, 2017 2200-2220 hrs- Front Porch, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada
April 14, 2017 2215-2300 hrs - Side yard on driveway, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

March 23 & 25 were the same weather wise.  Nearing new Moon on March 27 the skies were very dark, clear, no wind and a very cool -10C.
March 25 N/A
April 2 NA
April 14-No wind, clear, 0C.

March 23- Tim, Josh and David McCashion
March 25- Ed O and David McCashion
March 26- David McCashion
April 2-David McCashion
April 14-Ed O and David McCashion

March 23-8"Meade LX 200 with 32mm, 19mm and 12.5mm eyepieces.  Canon Rebel Xsi with 75-300mm lenses on tripod.

March 25-  Ed's 8" Dobsonian with 25mm eyepiece and 15x70 binoculars.

March 26-Canon Rebel Xsi with 75-300 mm lens with tripod.  20x80 binoculars on tripod.

April 14 - Eds 15x70 binoculars, and my 20x80 binoculars and Canon Rebel with 75-300mm lens

To view and image Comet 41P.

Sky Chart from

March 23

  • Tim and Josh, who have been to Colorado commented on how dark the skies were on this evening.  They said it was as dark as Colorado skies.
  • With big telescope, showed them M42(South western sky)M41(Southern sky), Jupiter(South eastern sky), Comet 41P(high in north eastern sky in Ursa Major) and split Polaris.
  • Imaged Comet 41P and Jupiter.  Only three moons of Jupiter were visible.

March 25
  • After the hockey game, Ed and I went out in his backyard(Saint John West) to search for Comet 41P with his 8" Dobsonian and 15x70 binoculars.  After a prolonged search of Ursa Major with both in the right area where Comet was suppose to be, a sighting of the Comet could not be confirmed.
March 26
  • About an hour after observing at Ed place in SJ, went home to Little Lepreau and skies were much darker, so tried with camera and binoculars.  Comet was very easy to locate with binos.  Huge greenish patch in same location as we searched in SJ.
  • One shooting star was seen to the NNW.

April 2

  • Could not see the comet with 20x80 binoculars, but might have picked up the big, faint, diffuse comet in a processed image.

April 14

  • Ed and I both found the Comet fairly easily, with our binoculars, exactly where the sky chart showed it to be on April 14.  Comet was located in North Eastern sky, in-between Ursa Minor and Hercules.
  • A waning gibbous Moon was due to rise before midnight, which threatened to wash out the faint Comet
  • Was only visible through the aid of binoculars, therefore, not a naked eye comet.  Was a big, dark patch.  Diffuse in field of view, next to a approx magnitude 5 star, surprisingly looked the same as when I viewed it on March 26 if not slightly fainter.
  • One shooting star was seen high to the NNW, from the direction of Ursa Major.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Location:  Front yard and front porch, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  March 20, 2017 2000-2215 hrs

Weather:  Breezy, mostly clear to clear, -2C with windchill -9C.

Attendance:  Carla M and David M

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 75-300mm lens, 20x80 binoculars, tripod.

Objective:  To view and image Mercury/Venus Conjunction during sunset and to search for Comet 41P T-G-K which is approaching Merak in Ursa Major.


  • As Sun set around 2000hrs, went out with camera to capture Mercury/Venus conjunction.  Could not find Venus, as it was too low on the horizon, but did find Mercury between some trees, low on the horizon.  Looked like a bright star.
Canon Rebel Xsi with 75-300mm lens, ISO 1600, 1/40 second, f/11 and focal length of 300mm
  • Did another comet 41P T-G-K search.  Took images of sky to the lower right of Ursa Major star Merak and did capture a fuzzy patch that might have been the comet or might have been M 108 or M 97.  Think it might be M97.  Also searched area visually with tripod mounted 20x80 binoculars.  Huge fuzzy patch to the lower right of Merak stood out easily in the field of view, but again, not sure if it was one of the Messier objects or the Comet.  Can see how Charles Messier himself thought the objects he cataloged in the mid to late 1700's were comets.
Image from

Image from

Just under the bowl of the Big Dipper.  Camera set to 8 second, ISO 1600, f/5, and focal length of 75mm
Zoomed in area to the lower right of Merak.  Camera set to 8 second, ISO 1600, f/5, and focal length of 160mm

  • Seen several satellites including the one imaged above.  Two satellites were travelling one leading the other close together as I was searching for the comet visually with binoculars.  One of the Satellites went through my field of view.  No shooting stars were seen.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Location:  Front yard and porch, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  March 18, 2017 1945-0010hrs

Weather:  No wind, clear, -9C, very dark skies.

Equipment:  8" Meade LX200 with 32mm, 13.8mm and 12mm eyepieces.  Canon Rebel with 18-55mm, 75-300mm and telescope attachment.  Galaxy S5 Neo cellphone camera with cellphone adapter.

Attendance:  Myself.

Objective:  To image Venus, which is approaching Inferior Conjunction on March 25.  To search for Comet 41P T-G-K, which is approaching Ursa Major.  To view M108 and M97, near the star Merak in Ursa Major for first time.


  • There was still lots of twilight at 1950 hrs, when I first went out looking for Venus.  It was low, in the West, just above the treeline, so there was only time to setup quickly and take a few images before it sank behind the trees.
Single shot with Canon using telescope at prime focus, ISO 200, 1/60 second.
  • Had to wait till past 2030hrs for sky to darken enough to look for Comet 41P T-G-K.  Could not locate it in time elapse images.  Must still be very faint.  People are saying that it may brighten significantly in April.

In the North Eastern sky at 2043hrs, zoomed out processed image of area to the south of Ursa Major where Comet 41P was suppose to be.  Must be faint.

In the North Eastern sky at 2050hrs, zoomed in processed image of area to the south of Ursa Major where Comet 41P was suppose to be.  Must be faint.

  • Around 2330 hrs, searched for M108 and M97, which are near the star Merak in Ursa Major, with telescope and 32mm eyepiece.  With the aid of a finder chart named "Finder Charts of The Messier Objects Volume 2 - M56 through M110" was able to locate both, fairly easily, although they were both faint.  M108, a Mag 10 Galaxy, was found first, as it was closer to Merak.  It appeared as a faint, grayish, oval shaped smudge in the eyepiece.  M97, "The Owl Nebula", even at Mag 11 was also easy to find and also appeared in the eyepiece as grayish oval smudge, larger and fatter than M108, but not my much.  In fact, they didn't look much different in the eyepiece.  This was my first time locating and viewing these Messier objects.  Using the finder chart helped immensely.
  • By midnight, Jupiter was part way up in the south Eastern sky, to the East of Corvus.  Through the eyepiece the storm clouds could easily be seen but only three of its moons were visible.
Single shot with Cellphone camera attached to 12.5mm eyepiece, through telescope.

Single shot with Canon Rebel and 75-300mm lens
  • A few satellites were seen but no shooting stars.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Location:  Front Deck, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  March 3 & 4, 2017 @ 2047 hrs and 1948 hrs.

Weather:  N/A

Equipment:  For March 3 - Meade 8" LX200 with .6x focal reducer, 32mm eyepiece and image taken with handheld Galaxy s5 Neo cellphone.
For March 4 - Canon Rebel with 75-300 mm lens on tripod.

Attendance:  For March 3  Becky and Myself.


Moon about to occult the star on the right side of the Moon.

Moon near Aldebaran very close to two stars of Taurus.


Location:  Front yard, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  March 13, 2017 1850-2320hrs

Weather:  Windy at first then winds died down considerably after dark, which it didn't get dark till 2030 hrs.  Cool -8C, partly cloudy to mostly cloudy and at times clear.

Equipment:  Meade 8" LX200, .6x focal reducer with 19 mm and 32 mm eyepieces and Canon Rebel with telescope attachment and 18-55 mm and 75-300 mm lenses.

Attendance:  Myself.

Objective:  To view and image a crescent Venus, locate Comet 41P T-G-K and image a Moon which was one day past full.


  • Daylight savings started early the previous day, so daylight was still present much later in the evening.  It didn't get dark till well after 2030 hrs.
  • By 1950hrs there was still lots of light left in sky but Venus was easily visible low in the west.  It was much lower than it was early last week.  In the 19 mm eyepiece, Venus was brownish white and a very thin crescent shape.

  • Had to wait till 2040hrs for the skies to darken enough to look for Comet 41P T-G-K.  It was in Leo Minor, between Ursa Major and Leo, near a bright star according to  Could not confirm a sighting of the comet either visually through the telescope or with the aid of time elapse imaging.  It could have been higher in the sky, as a sky chart by had it higher in the sky than the heavens above.
Image from

Sky chart from
Unprocessed image.  Two bright stars in center of image are in region around Leo Minor and Lynx..

Zoomed out view of the image above.  Area of sky between the pointer stars of the Big Dipper and the 'hook' of Leo.

Processed image of above showing shooting star or satellite.

Processed zoomed in image from above.
  • Moon which was one day past full did not come up high enough above the trees till after 2300hrs.  Imaged with camera attached to telescope at prime focus.

  • No shooting stars and many satellites were seen.  One shooting star may have been imaged.
Note:  Searching for comets frequently takes the observer into lesser known constellations, which are lesser known because they are so dim.  This is a great way to become more familiar with the constellations and expand the observers knowledge of the sky in general.   You may not find what you started your search for, but, you might observe other things, in that area of the sky that you were not aware of and would not have thought to look for.


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