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All observing logs for month 2006-07 (earliest log first).

2006-07-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-02 13:00 UT
To: 2006-07-02 13:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.9C ...
Dew Point: 16.3C ...
Humidity: 43% ...
Wind Speed: 1.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1017.3hPa ...
Notes:

Very hot day with some thin cloud about. Very slight breeze with the occasional short gust. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-02 13:00 UT
To: 2006-07-02 13:05 UT

Active area 897 was just visible but appears to have faded even more. I could just make out 4 very faint spots. By the looks of things I won't be able to see any evidence of it in the Solarscope within the next day or so.

Active area 898 still looked very strong. The main spot still looked very crisp and well defined. The umbra still looked very dark and the penumbra was well defined and appeared at least as "wide" as the diameter of the umbra.


2006-07-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-03 14:45 UT
To: 2006-07-03 14:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.2C ...
Dew Point: 12.9C ...
Humidity: 37% ...
Wind Speed: 2.4mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1014.8hPa ...
Notes:

A very hot, clear but breezy day. A hint of haze about but nothing terrible. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-03 14:45 UT
To: 2006-07-03 14:50 UT

There was no evidence of active area 897 today. I couldn't see any spots and there wasn't even any evidence of any other kind of markings. It would appear that it's now totally faded from my view.

Active area 898 had just the main spot visible. It still looked very crisp and clear with the umbra still looking very dark and the penumbra still looking very well defined and quite broad.


2006-07-04


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-04 13:20 UT
To: 2006-07-04 13:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 26.8C ...
Dew Point: 14.5C ...
Humidity: 47% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1013.1hPa ...
Notes:

A very warm, calm and hazy afternoon — not the most ideal conditions. However, given that I could see the Sun I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count anyway.

Sun

From: 2006-07-04 13:20 UT
To: 2006-07-04 13:30 UT

Active area 898 had three visible spots. The main spot looked as strong as ever although its overall shape seems to have become elongated — it almost looked like it was starting to split into three different spots. The two other spots I could see were very small and faint.


2006-07-05


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-05 12:50 UT
To: 2006-07-05 12:58 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.5C ...
Dew Point: 18.0C ...
Humidity: 75% ...
Wind Speed: 3.3mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1011.3hPa ...
Notes:

After a stormy morning the sky cleared so I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count while I had the chance.

Sun

From: 2006-07-05 12:50 UT
To: 2006-07-05 12:58 UT

Further to yesterday's observation about active area 898's appearance I could see that the umbra had broken up into 4 different spots — all surrounded by a common penumbra. The adjacent spot that I saw yesterday wasn't visible.

I could also see a new active area — 899 — coming around the limb of the Sun. Within it I could count 2 small, faint spots.


2006-07-07


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-07 15:55 UT
To: 2006-07-07 16:02 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.6C ...
Dew Point: 14.4C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: 3.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South ...
Pressure: 1013.5hPa ...
Notes:

After a mostly overcast day the sky finally cleared so I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count while I had the chance.

Sun

From: 2006-07-07 15:55 UT
To: 2006-07-07 16:02 UT

Active area 898 was still visible with a count of 4 spots. I could see three very dark spots all sharing the same penumbra and one isolated spot adjacent to them.

Active area 899 was still visible. Within it I could count 2 small, faint spots.


2006-07-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-09 12:45 UT
To: 2006-07-09 12:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 23.5C ...
Dew Point: 13.6C ...
Humidity: 54% ...
Wind Speed: 1.5mph ...
Wind Dir: West South West ...
Pressure: 1003.7hPa ...
Notes:

Very cloudy and windy day — very few opportunities to observe the Sun. Finally had a short break in the clouds so too the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count while I had the chance.

Sun

From: 2006-07-09 12:45 UT
To: 2006-07-09 12:50 UT

Active area 898 was very close to the limb of the Sun, almost out of view. I could only count a single spot.

Active area 899 was still visible. I could only count 1 small spot.


2006-07-11


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-11 13:30 UT
To: 2006-07-11 13:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 25.9C ...
Dew Point: 9.5C ...
Humidity: 36% ...
Wind Speed: 2.0mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1021.4hPa ...
Notes:

Warm and mostly clear day with some high-level cloud about. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-11 13:30 UT
To: 2006-07-11 13:35 UT

Active area 898 was no longer visible. Presumably it has now gone around the limb of the Sun.

Active area 899 was still visible with just one small and faint spot visible.


2006-07-12


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-12 12:55 UT
To: 2006-07-12 13:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 27.5C ...
Dew Point: 11.8C ...
Humidity: 38% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1021.1hPa ...
Notes:

Warm, clear and calm day. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-12 12:55 UT
To: 2006-07-12 13:00 UT

No visible sign of active area 899 today. No markings of any kind were visible on the surface of the Sun.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-12 21:20 UT
To: 2006-07-12 22:25 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Temperature: 21.4C ...
Dew Point: 12.2C ...
Humidity: 56% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1020.0hPa ...
Notes:

Clear night but with a good hint of haze about. Quite warm. The sky was still light but I decided to get the 905 out to have a look at Jupiter.

Jupiter

From: 2006-07-12 21:20 UT
To: 2006-07-12 21:56 UT

Using the 905 with the 6mm lens I had a pretty good view of Jupiter right away. All of the four main Jovian moons were visible, all on one side of the planet. Ganymede was furthest out and Io, Europa and Callisto were closer in to the planet, bunch up in a line that ran diagonal to the planet. Also close by, "above" Jupiter, I could see TYC5575-473-1.

Detail on the planet itself was pretty good with both the main bands showing some mottling and colour changes towards both the poles standing out.

I spent some time just observing, watching and waiting for very steady moments. At no time did the view get any better than my initial view but there were times when the image would deteriorate quite rapidly.

Starting at 21:43 UT, and given that the view was generally pretty good, I decided to test some of my filters to get a feel for what difference they made. The #15 yellow/orange didn't seem to given any improvement, neither did the #21 orange. In both cases they appeared to make it harder to make out any detail.

I next tried the #56 green filter and this appeared to give a slightly improvement. The contrast of the two main bands against the rest of the planet seemed to be improved.

Finally tried the #80A medium blue filter. This gave a very obvious improvement. The variation in the shades over the whole disc really stood out. Much better than with the other filters (or without a filter).

At 21:56 UT I decided to have a short break.

A Hedgehog, and end of session

From: 2006-07-12 22:10 UT
To: 2006-07-12 22:25 UT

During the break, while sitting with a drink and just admiring the sky, I kept hearing odd sounds on the lawn. While I'm used to hearing my cat playing in the garden while I observe, this was different. I kept listening and finally hunted down the source of the noises:

A Hedgehog

A hedgehog was having a wander around the lawn, probably on the hunt for something to eat. Sadly the only thing I had with me to take an image was my mobile phone, and it's not terribly good at taking pictures at night.

After being distracted by the visitor for some time I noticed that the sky seemed more hazy and was becoming quite washed out (probably due to the just-past-full Moon rising) so, given that and the fact that I needed to be up for work in the morning, I decided to call it a night.


2006-07-13


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-13 13:00 UT
To: 2006-07-13 13:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 24.6C ...
Dew Point: 7.6C ...
Humidity: 34% ...
Wind Speed: 0.4mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1025.3hPa ...
Notes:

Another very clear and warm day. Not a single cloud in the sky. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-13 13:00 UT
To: 2006-07-13 13:05 UT

Just as with yesterday, no marks of any sort were visible on the Sun.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-13 21:25 UT
To: 2006-07-13 22:30 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
7x50 Binoculars
Temperature: 15.4C ...
Dew Point: 7.7C ...
Humidity: 60% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: North North East ...
Pressure: 1029.2hPa ...
Notes:

Nice clear night, less haze than last night. Very slight breeze now and again. Also felt cooler than last night. Decided to get the 905 out to have another look at Jupiter.

Bright satellite

Time: 2006-07-13 21:26 UT

While setting up the 905 to look at Jupiter I noticed a very bright satellite in the same general part of the sky. It was "above" Jupiter and was heading south to north in the western part of the sky. When I first saw it I would have said it was at least as bright as Jupiter but as it headed further north it faded rapidly.

Sadly, as normally happens with these chance observations, I wasn't really in a position to make careful notes of exact location and path.

At the time I suspected that it might be an Iridium flare but, after checking later on Heavens Above, it would appear that there was no predicted flare around that time. I'm left wondering what it was.

Update 2006-07-17: According to stella, a poster on the SPA's BB, what I saw was "classified surveillance satellite, USA 186, 05-42A".

Jupiter

From: 2006-07-13 21:30 UT
To: 2006-07-13 21:57 UT

With the 905 and the 6mm eyepiece all four main moons were visible with Ganymede on its own on one side of the planet and Io, Callisto and Europa grouped in a nice, neat triangle on the other side. TYC5575-473-1 was still close by but its position in relation to Jupiter was obviously different from last night.

The image was pretty good from the start. The main northern band stood out very well and had very visible signs of mottling. Interestingly the main southern band didn't stand out anywhere near as much and, at times, it almost appeared to be lighter than the surrounding surface. I've never noticed or seen this before — they've always appeared to be about the same shade to me in the past.

Around 21:47 UT the image started to boil a little and some of the detail was lost. Out of curiosity I decided to try the ND25 filter. I don't know if it was just my mind or my eyes playing tricks on me but, with the reduced brightness, I was sure I could see a hint of brown in the colour of the planet — almost like you see in many pictures of Jupiter.

By 21:57 UT the image was getting really bad so I decided to take a short break and possibly come back to look at something else.

Test of 7x50 binocular

From: 2006-07-13 22:10 UT
To: 2006-07-13 22:25 UT

A couple of weeks back, while at the RAF Waddington airshow, I picked up a cheap and unnamed 7x50 binocular. I mostly got them so I could throw them in the car and take them anywhere (and, at the time, mostly because I forgot to take a binocular to the show). Given that the skies were still too light to get any "serious" observing done I decided to try them out at night.

They turned out to be less than brilliant for astronomical work in that, towards the edge of the field, stars would appear slightly out of focus. Towards the middle of the field everything seemed fine. That said, because they're quite small and light they did feel very comfortable for just lying back and sweeping the sky.

Another bright satellite

Time: 2006-07-13 22:27 UT

I noticed another bright satellite, this time in the western sky, not far "below" The Plough. I saw it brighten a bit and then fade. I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention but I would estimate that it got at least as bright as Alioth.

Checking later on Heavens Above I suspect that it might have been Iridium 81 as that was predicted to flare around 22:18 UT. I'm a little concerned that the times are so far apart (at worst I probably noted the time down as being a couple of minutes late) but the other details given for the flare seem to match.

Update 2006-07-17: According to stella, a poster on the SPA's BB, this wasn't Iridium 81 but was, instead, "Terra, 99-68A".

End of session

Time: 2006-07-13 22:30 UT

Sky was still quite light and I really need to be getting off to bed so decided to call it a night.


2006-07-14


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-14 12:10 UT
To: 2006-07-14 12:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.1C ...
Dew Point: 8.6C ...
Humidity: 45% ...
Wind Speed: 5.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1032.4hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy and breezy day but with plenty of gaps between the clouds. Did a sunspot count with the Solarscope.

Sun

From: 2006-07-14 12:10 UT
To: 2006-07-14 12:15 UT

No sunspots or other markings visible on the Sun.


2006-07-15


Location: Imphal Barracks, York (North Yorkshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-15 15:15 UT
To: 2006-07-15 15:30 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Notes:

While attending an open day at Imphal Barracks in York I noticed a partial halo around the Sun.

Faint solar halo

From: 2006-07-15 15:15 UT
To: 2006-07-15 15:30 UT

I first noticed the partial halo at around 15:15 UT. It was very faint and had just a hint of colour to it. As with a previous observation of a halo I found that it was easier to see it while wearing my sunglasses.

I attempted to image it using the camera in my mobile phone:

Faint partial solar halo


2006-07-16


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-16 09:00 UT
To: 2006-07-16 10:30 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Notes:

Sunny morning with quite a bit of cirrus cloud about. Managed to observe a partial halo around the Sun for the second time during the weekend.

Partial solar halo

From: 2006-07-16 09:00 UT
To: 2006-07-16 10:30 UT

At around 09:00 UT I initially noticed a bright and colourful partial halo around the Sun. I grabbed my mobile phone and, with the camera in it, took this image:

Partial solar halo

Over the course of the next 90 minutes or so the cirrus cloud seemed to get thicker and spread out more. During this time the halo appeared to lose colour but also to grow in size:

Partial solar halo

Partial solar halo

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-16 12:00 UT
To: 2006-07-16 12:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 25.8C ...
Dew Point: 13.9C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1026.2hPa ...
Notes:

The cloud from earlier had cleared so I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-16 12:00 UT
To: 2006-07-16 12:05 UT

After a little bit of effort I noticed that active area 900 was visible. Within it I managed to count 5 spots. All were very small.


2006-07-17


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-17 12:35 UT
To: 2006-07-17 12:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.9C ...
Dew Point: 13.1C ...
Humidity: 36% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: East North East ...
Pressure: 1023.2hPa ...
Notes:

Very warm and clear day, pretty much no cloud around at all. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-17 12:35 UT
To: 2006-07-17 12:40 UT

Active area 900 was still visible and, just like yesterday, I could count 5 spots in the area. Two of the spots appeared slightly darker than yesterday's observation.


2006-07-18


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-18 12:25 UT
To: 2006-07-18 12:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.8C ...
Dew Point: 12.1C ...
Humidity: 34% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1019.7hPa ...
Notes:

Hot, calm and clear day. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-18 12:25 UT
To: 2006-07-18 12:30 UT

Active area 900 was still visible I could only count 4 spots today (down 1 from yesterday. The whole group also seems to appear like it's faded a little when compared to yesterday.


2006-07-19


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-19 12:50 UT
To: 2006-07-19 12:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.4C ...
Dew Point: 14.0C ...
Humidity: 39% ...
Wind Speed: 4.0mph ...
Wind Dir: East South East ...
Pressure: 1014.5hPa ...
Notes:

Hot clear and very breezy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-19 12:50 UT
To: 2006-07-19 12:55 UT

It took me quite a while to find active area 900 today — at first I thought it had totally disappeared. However, after a short while I managed to find it but all of the spots appeared to have faded a lot. I could just about count 5 spots in the area.


2006-07-20


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-20 14:35 UT
To: 2006-07-20 14:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.5C ...
Dew Point: 17.3C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: 0.6mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1013.0hPa ...
Notes:

Hot and sticky day that had been mostly overcast. During the afternoon the cloud started to clear a little but the skies were still very hazy. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-20 14:35 UT
To: 2006-07-20 14:40 UT

No spots were visible on the Sun today. All I could see was some slight darkening around where active area 900 should have been.


2006-07-21


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-21 12:55 UT
To: 2006-07-21 13:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 31.3C ...
Dew Point: 16.1C ...
Humidity: 41% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: South ...
Pressure: 1016.6hPa ...
Notes:

Very hot, sticky and hazy day. Very little cloud about. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-21 12:55 UT
To: 2006-07-21 13:00 UT

No spots or other kinds of marks were visible on the Sun today.


2006-07-24


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-24 14:05 UT
To: 2006-07-24 14:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.4C ...
Dew Point: 13.5C ...
Humidity: 38% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.2hPa ...
Notes:

Very hot, calm and mostly clear day — some haze. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-24 14:05 UT
To: 2006-07-24 14:10 UT

The image of the Sun was very unsteady, probably the worst I've ever seen it. Despite this I could easily make out new active area 901. The area contained three spots. The biggest appeared elongated with a hint of a penumbra, the second appeared as dark as the biggest but was much smaller, the third appeared a little smaller than the second and somewhat fainter.


2006-07-25


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-25 14:00 UT
To: 2006-07-25 14:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.5C ...
Dew Point: 17.3C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: 1.5mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1015.4hPa ...
Notes:

Hot, hazy and breezy day — no cloud to be seen. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-25 14:00 UT
To: 2006-07-25 14:05 UT

Active area 901 was still visible and looked more or less the same as yesterday (although a little more spread out due to it having rotated more into view).


2006-07-28


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-28 14:45 UT
To: 2006-07-28 14:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 30.1C ...
Dew Point: 15.7C ...
Humidity: 43% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1009.7hPa ...
Notes:

Hot, cloudy, hazy and muggy day. While there was a reasonable gap in the clouds I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-28 14:45 UT
To: 2006-07-28 14:50 UT

Active area 901 was still visible with a single dark spot (no penumbra visible) and some vague colour differences in the general area.


2006-07-31


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-31 15:30 UT
To: 2006-07-31 15:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 24.8C ...
Dew Point: 11.0C ...
Humidity: 42% ...
Wind Speed: 8.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South South West ...
Pressure: 1003.7hPa ...
Notes:

Warm, windy and cloudy day. During a brief gap in the clouds I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-31 15:30 UT
To: 2006-07-31 15:35 UT

No spots or other marks were visible on the surface of the Sun.


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