Observing Logs
www.astronomer.me.uk

Observing Logs

Latest Log
Related Links

All observing logs for month 2006-06 (earliest log first).

2006-06-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-02 14:05 UT
To: 2006-06-02 14:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.4C ...
Dew Point: 11.1C ...
Humidity: 50% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1028.2hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day, with some brief clear but hazy moments. During such a moment I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-02 14:05 UT
To: 2006-06-02 14:10 UT

No active areas or spots of any kind were visible on the Sun today.


2006-06-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-03 14:30 UT
To: 2006-06-03 14:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.0C ...
Dew Point: 10.1C ...
Humidity: 47% ...
Wind Speed: 3.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South South East ...
Pressure: 1026.9hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, hardly any cloud at all. Slight breeze. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-03 14:30 UT
To: 2006-06-03 14:35 UT

No active areas were visible on the Sun (so, obviously, no sunspots were visible). No other markings of any type could be see.


2006-06-05


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-05 12:08 UT
To: 2006-06-05 12:12 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.5C ...
Dew Point: 8.3C ...
Humidity: 55% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1025.5hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day with very few gaps in the cloud. What gaps there are tend to be quite hazy. During a brief gap I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-05 12:08 UT
To: 2006-06-05 12:12 UT

Right away, very close to the limb of the Sun, I could see 5 spots in active area 892. The group appeared to be quite mature based on the apparent size (especially taking into account the fact that the view will have been very foreshortened). I could also see some penumbra around one of the spots.

If the weather had been better and I could have been guaranteed a longer clear spell I would have done a sketch of it.


2006-06-06


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-06 14:00 UT
To: 2006-06-06 14:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.8C ...
Dew Point: 11.8C ...
Humidity: 49% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1026.8hPa ...
Notes:

Very hazy day with quite a bit of cloud around. Quite calm too. During a reasonable gap in the clouds I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-06 14:00 UT
To: 2006-06-06 14:10 UT

Like yesterday the only active area I could see was area 892. The group of spots didn't seem to have changed in any obvious way (other than having moved further into view). About the only difference that was now visible was that two pairs of spots had an obvious penumbra.

I noticed that it was more or less impossible to get a sharp image today — I suspect this was probably down to the haze.


2006-06-07


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-07 13:05 UT
To: 2006-06-07 13:12 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 25.9C ...
Dew Point: 14.3C ...
Humidity: 50% ...
Wind Speed: 1.5mph ...
Wind Dir: North East ...
Pressure: 1024.6hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly clear day, just a few clouds around (which seemed to always be in the way of the Sun). Slight haze too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-07 13:05 UT
To: 2006-06-07 13:12 UT

Area 892 looked more detailed (probably down to it having moved into a more face-on view) and I was able to count 10 spots in the region.

Also noticed that area 893 had come into view from around the limb of the Sun. I could count three spots in that group, one of them appearing to have a reasonable penumbra.


2006-06-08


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-08 14:05 UT
To: 2006-06-08 14:13 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 23.2C ...
Dew Point: 14.1C ...
Humidity: 57% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1024.4hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear and calm day. Just the odd bit of very high-level cloud around, also a slight haze in the sky.Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-08 14:05 UT
To: 2006-06-08 14:13 UT

Area 892 looked a little less detailed when compared to yesterday with only 8 spots visible.

Area 893 also looked a little less complex too with just 2 spots visible (compared to yesterday's 3).

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-08 21:45 UT
To: 2006-06-08 22:55 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Temperature: 16.5C ...
Dew Point: 11.2C ...
Humidity: 71% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1024.1hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly clear night with some thin cloud around (I could, for example, see a pretty nice halo around the Moon). The sky was still very light but given that Jupiter was in a position where I could see it from my back garden I decided to have a quick session looking at it with the 905.

Jupiter, including a shadow transit

From: 2006-06-08 21:45 UT
To: 2006-06-08 22:55 UT

I got Jupiter lined up in the 905 using a low-power eyepiece and then I dropped in the 6mm eyepiece. Initially the image was pretty poor, moving around quite a bit and the visible detail was much less than previous views of the planet with the same equipment. That said, the 'scope hadn't had any chance to cool down.

As usual the two main bands were easily visible and there was obvious variation on the rest of the disc. I could only make out three moons (later checking showed them to be Europa, Ganymede and Callisto). Europa and Callisto were some distance out, either side of the planet while Ganymede was quite close to the planet.

Around 21:58 UT, in very steady moments (the image was rapidly getting better), I started to notice a very clear, sharp, dark spot near the north pole of Jupiter. My initial impression was that I was seeing a shadow of one of the moons (presumably the Ganymede). To be sure that this wasn't just an artifact I tried changing eyes, rotating the eyepiece and shifting the 'scope about to place the planet in a different part of the field of view. Nothing I did changed the image.

After watching this a bit more I grabbed my sketching box and, between 22:10 UT and 22:15 UT, I made the following rough sketch so that I could compare the view I had with some other source later.

Rough sketch of my view of Jupiter

After doing the sketch I popped into the office and fired up Starry Night to check what I was seeing. It confirmed that I was seeing a shadow and that it was the shadow of Ganymede. My first ever Jovian shadow transit!

Around 22:30 UT some thin cloud moved in such that my view of Jupiter got a lot worse. The amount of visible detail was reduced and I could no longer see the shadow. By 22:39 UT the cloud was still hanging around and the image had deteriorated even more. I also noticed that the air suddenly felt quite damp and that a thin layer of dew was forming on everything.

By 22:50 UT the cloud had finally cleared and the view of Jupiter had improved again (although it didn't seem to be as crisp as it had earlier on) but I still couldn't make out the shadow any more. At 22:55 UT, given that I still couldn't make out the shadow and that I needed to get to bed soon, I called it a night on the session.

Checking the following day, using the "Jupiter's Moons" tool on the Sky & Telescope website, I've now further confirmed that it was Ganymede's shadow. The times given for the event are:

  • 21:18 UT Ganymede's shadow begins to cross Jupiter.
  • 23:08 UT Ganymede's shadow leaves Jupiter's disk.

This would explain why I was unable to see the shadow towards the end of the session: it would have been very close to the edge of the planet's disc and I would probably have been unable to resolve it that close with the equipment I was using.


2006-06-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-09 13:35 UT
To: 2006-06-09 13:42 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 27.3C ...
Dew Point: 12.5C ...
Humidity: 40% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1020.8hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, hardly a cloud about. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-09 13:35 UT
To: 2006-06-09 13:42 UT

Area 892 is more or less in the middle of the Sun now. Despite this I could only count 5 spots (down 3 from the 8 I saw yesterday). There was a slight hint of some mottling near by (about way to 893).

Area 893 appeared more or less the same as yesterday with 2 spots visible.


2006-06-10


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-10 12:36 UT
To: 2006-06-10 12:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 28.2C ...
Dew Point: 11.6C ...
Humidity: 36% ...
Wind Speed: 2.4mph ...
Wind Dir: East South East ...
Pressure: 1016.4hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear, warm day. No clouds in the sky at all. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-10 12:36 UT
To: 2006-06-10 12:40 UT

Areas 892 and 893 both looked less "complex" than on previous days (even when compared to yesterday). In both areas I could only count 3 spots (giving a total of 6).


2006-06-12


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-12 13:35 UT
To: 2006-06-12 13:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 30.8C ...
Dew Point: 16.4C ...
Humidity: 42% ...
Wind Speed: 6.5mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1015.4hPa ...
Notes:

Very hazy day, some cloud around. Very hot. Had a short spell of reasonably clear sky that allowed a view of the Sun so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-12 13:35 UT
To: 2006-06-12 13:40 UT

Areas 892 and 893 were greatly reduced from my last count, both areas contained just a single spot. In both cases the spots appeared to have an obvious penumbra. The spot in 892 was bigger than that in 893.


2006-06-14


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-14 15:30 UT
To: 2006-06-14 15:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.6C ...
Dew Point: 7.3C ...
Humidity: 51% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1021.4hPa ...
Notes:

Overcast most of the day until later on in the afternoon when the clouds finally cleared. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-14 15:30 UT
To: 2006-06-14 15:35 UT

Area 892 was the only thing visible on the Sun and it only had a single spot in it. Some light mottling was also visible around the spot. 892 is now getting quite close the to the limb.

There was no sign of area 893.


2006-06-20


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-20 13:20 UT
To: 2006-06-20 13:27 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 24.2C ...
Dew Point: 11.1C ...
Humidity: 45% ...
Wind Speed: 2.0mph ...
Wind Dir: West South West ...
Pressure: 1007.9hPa ...
Notes:

Warm and mostly cloudy day with a few sunny but hazy spells. Also breezy with occasional gusts. Used a short gap in the clouds to get the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-20 13:20 UT
To: 2006-06-20 13:27 UT

Only one active area was visible (896) and I could only make out a single, faint spot in it. I could see what appeared to be an even fainter "tail" coming from the spot. This "tail" might well have been some more spots but, due to the conditions (the haze and the fact that the odd gust kept buffeting the Solarscope), it was hard to be sure.


2006-06-23


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-23 18:10 UT
To: 2006-06-23 18:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.9C ...
Dew Point: 8.5C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1014.7hPa ...
Notes:

The day had been mostly overcast but, late in the afternoon, the cloud started to break so, during a brief spell of sunshine (and despite the low altitude of the Sun) I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-23 18:10 UT
To: 2006-06-23 18:15 UT

No sunspots or other markings were visible on the Sun.


2006-06-27


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-27 14:35 UT
To: 2006-06-27 14:42 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.6C ...
Dew Point: 8.9C ...
Humidity: 50% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1019.1hPa ...
Notes:

As with the past few days (my last chance to observe the Sun was 4 days ago) today has mostly been overcast. For a short while the cloud broke up a little giving some hazy gaps. I took this opportunity to take the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-27 14:35 UT
To: 2006-06-27 14:42 UT

Only one active area was visible (897). I could make out 4 spots, one that was reasonably obvious and three fainter. None of the spots were very distinct. I also observed some faint darkening within the region. Other than that it was quite hard to see any real detail due to the hazy conditions and thin cloud getting in the way.


2006-06-28


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-28 14:55 UT
To: 2006-06-28 15:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.9C ...
Dew Point: 10.5C ...
Humidity: 47% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.7hPa ...
Notes:

Today has been similar to yesterday in that the day has mostly been overcast except for a brief spell of broken cloud in the afternoon. During this brief spell of sunshine I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-28 14:55 UT
To: 2006-06-28 15:00 UT

Area 897 was more spread out when compared to yesterday (hardly surprising given that it has rotated further into view) and I could count 5 spots in the region. The darkening I noted yesterday wasn't evident today.

New area 898 has come over the limb and comprises of a single, large, circular spot with quite a pronounced penumbra.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-28 21:35 UT
To: 2006-06-28 23:34 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M
Temperature: 16.8C ...
Dew Point: 9.0C ...
Humidity: 60% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1019.1hPa ...
Notes:

Calm, clear evening with some thin cloud about. The sky wasn't very dark yet but given that I could see Jupiter from my usual observing spot I decided to get the 905 out and have a look.

Jupiter, including a transit event

From: 2006-06-28 21:35 UT
To: 2006-06-28 22:59 UT

Started out with the 905 and 6mm eyepiece. The image was awful. I could only just see the two main bands. The reason for this was probably down to the quality of the sky and also down to the fact that the 'scope hadn't had much time to cool down yet.

I could see all 4 Jovian moons (one of them was very close to the planet) and I could also see a reasonably bright background star that could have been mistaken for a 5th moon (later checking with Starry Night showed that it was HIP70714 ).

I then added the #80A Medium Blue filter to the 'scope and had another look. While this dulled the image a little it did also appear to improve the contrast. The two main bands stood out a little better, darkening towards the poles became obvious and in moments when the image was steady there was obvious mottling in the bands.

I'd say that tonight's view of Jupiter is the worst one I've had this apparition.

I've never compared the view of Jupiter in the 130M with that in the 905 so, at around 21:53 UT, I brought the 130M out and left it to cool off. A short while later (probably with too little cooling-off time) I lined Jupiter up in the 130M and used the 6mm eyepiece to have a look. The imagine was really terrible — much worse then the image in the 905. While the view was much brighter there was hardly any detail to speak of, almost as if it was impossible to get sharp focus.

I switched from the 6mm to the 10mm eyepiece and things looked a little better. This time the quality compared more favourably with that as seen in the 905+6mm but, even then, I'd say that the 905 won out in terms of detail that could be seen. It would appear that I need to give the 130M a good check-up at some point. While I did give the collimation a quick check when I brought the 130M out I guess I need to have it a really fine tweak some time soon.

I'm also seeing why planetary observers tend to prefer a refractor rather than a reflecting telescope.

Back at the 905 (with the 6mm), at around 22:19 UT, I noticed that the moon closest to Jupiter had apparently got even closer. Compared to when I started observing this evening it was harder to see it, the gap between it and the planet being obviously narrower. I stepped into the office to check what was going on and I confirmed that the moon was Europa and that it was due to start a transit of the planet at around 22:38 UT. My first ever transit of a Jovian moon! Annoyingly, when I came back out of the office, I noticed that some thin cloud had moved in the way and was dulling the view of Jupiter.

By 22:31 UT the image had improved again. I could just see Europa but it was impossible to see a gap between it and the planet — it looked more like a bump on the limb.

By 22:36 UT I had lost sight of Europa. From then until 22:59 UT I kept observing to see if I could detect Europa in front of the planet but I never got a hint of it. This was made harder by the fact that more thin cloud was moving in the way and significantly dulling the view.

Random sweeping of the Milky Way

From: 2006-06-28 23:00 UT
To: 2006-06-28 23:34 UT

To finish off the session I decided to use the 905 for one of the main purposes I intended: just sweeping around the sky and seeing what I can find. Using the 32mm eyepiece I started to have a random sweep and, almost right away, stumbled on The Coathanger (an asterism I first observed almost a year ago).

After spending some more time just sweeping around (mostly around The Milky Way in and around Cygnus) I decided to call it a night at 23:34 UT.


2006-06-29


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-29 13:30 UT
To: 2006-06-29 13:39 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 25.4C ...
Dew Point: 10.8C ...
Humidity: 40% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1019.9hPa ...
Notes:

The day started off very clear but, by the time I got out with the Solarscope to do a sunspot count, plenty of cloud had started to gather. The count had to be done in fleeting clear moments.

Sun

From: 2006-06-29 13:30 UT
To: 2006-06-29 13:39 UT

Active areas 897 and 898 were both nicely visible without any trouble. I could count 4 spots in 897 (down 1 from yesterday), I got the impression that the whole area had faded a little too.

Area 898 still had a the large spot I could see yesterday, the umbra appeared very dark, the edges look quite sharp. It is still surrounded by a very obvious penumbra. I could also see a second spot in the area, much smaller than the main one.


2006-06-30


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-30 13:15 UT
To: 2006-06-30 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 28.4C ...
Dew Point: 12.2C ...
Humidity: 37% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1021.5hPa ...
Notes:

Very warm, clear, calm day. Some thin cloud around but nothing to get in the way. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-30 13:15 UT
To: 2006-06-30 13:20 UT

Active area 897 was still visible but each of the spots in it seem to have faded a little when compared to yesterday. I could count 5 spots in the area (which is actually 1 up on yesterday — probably helped by better conditions today).

The main spot in area 898 still looked crisp and strong with a very dark umbra and quite a thick penumbra. I could still see a second spot in the area which was still much smaller and fainter than the main one.


Page last modified: 2013-04-09 09:19:19 UT
Dave Pearson <davep@davep.org>
Valid XHTML 1.1 Valid CSS