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.

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