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.
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 heavens-above.com. 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 astrobob.areavoices.com had it higher in the sky than the heavens above.
|Image from Heaven-above.com|
|Sky chart from SkyandTelescope.com|
|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.