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All observing logs for month 2006-11 (earliest log first).

2006-11-01


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-01 12:40 UT
To: 2006-11-01 12:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 9.1C ...
Dew Point: 2.6C ...
Humidity: 64% ...
Wind Speed: 5.2mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1027.5hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear, cool and breezy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-01 12:40 UT
To: 2006-11-01 12:45 UT

Active area 921 appears to have developed even more when compared to yesterday. Today I counted 9 spots of varying sizes, at least one of which seemed to be developing a penumbra.

Active area 922 was sill visible with a single small spot.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-01 19:15 UT
To: 2006-11-01 19:25 UT
Equipment: 7x50 Binoculars
Temperature: 4.9C ...
Dew Point: 1.1C ...
Humidity: 77% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1029.5hPa ...
Notes:

Clear night but the sky was washed out by the light of a 75% (approx) waxing Moon. Despite the conditions I decided to get the 7x50 binoculars out to have a quick look for comet Swan.

Comet M4 Swan

From: 2006-11-01 19:15 UT
To: 2006-11-01 19:25 UT

I swept around the general location of comet Swan with the 7x50 binoculars but failed to find it. This wasn't that surprising given how washed out the sky was. I struggled to see the Keystone in Her with the naked eye and, with the binoculars, M13 was almost impossible to see.


2006-11-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-02 13:00 UT
To: 2006-11-02 13:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 8.6C ...
Dew Point: 2.3C ...
Humidity: 65% ...
Wind Speed: 0.4mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1031.8hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear, cool and breezy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-02 13:00 UT
To: 2006-11-02 13:05 UT

Active area 921 appears to have developed even more when compared to yesterday. Today I counted 11 spots of varying sizes. The spot that I saw yesterday, that appeared to be developing a penumbra, now appeared to be two spots sharing a common penumbra.

Active area 922 appeared to have developed a little more and now contained 3 spots.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-02 19:30 UT
To: 2006-11-02 21:00 UT
Equipment: 10x50 Binoculars
Antares 905
Temperature: 3.6C ...
Dew Point: -0.1C ...
Humidity: 77% ...
Wind Speed: 1.5mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1032.1hPa ...
Notes:

Another clear night with an 82% waxing Moon. Despite the extra moonlight the sky actually seemed slightly better than last night. Decided to head out and have another look for comet Swan.

Tracking down comet M4 Swan

From: 2006-11-02 19:30 UT
To: 2006-11-02 19:37 UT

First I stepped outside with my 10x50 binoculars to see if I could find comet Swan. It took a minute or two of sweeping around the right area but I finally managed to find the comet. It was quite hard to see, just a small, faint fuzzy patch. When compared to M13 it looked to me like the comet and the cluster were equally hard to see and both about the same brightness.

Comet M4 Swan with the 905

From: 2006-11-02 19:40 UT
To: 2006-11-02 20:02 UT

At 19:40 UT I took the Antares 905 out into the garden to let it cool off for a short while.

At 19:52 UT I found the comet using the 32mm eyepiece. As with the view by the binocular the comet looked small, faint and fuzzy. I also found that it was almost impossible to see with direct vision. There was no sign of a tail.

I next switched to the 15mm eyepiece and the view didn't seem any different. It was just visible with averted vision but generally disappeared when using direct vision. I could no longer make out the central brightness that I could easily see a few nights back.

I switched to the 10mm eyepiece and the view seemed much better (but sill nowhere near as good as the previous views). The comet now withstood direct vision although averted vision still gave the best view. The best description was still that of a "faint fuzzy patch".

Finally I used the 6mm eyepiece. The view was pretty much the same as that via the 10mm. In all the different eyepieces there was no hint of the tail at all.

Given that conditions were far from ideal for the comet I decided to give up on observing it for this session and to take a short break.

Attempt at imaging the Moon

From: 2006-11-02 20:32 UT
To: 2006-11-02 21:00 UT

After the short break I decided to have a go at imaging the Moon, via the 905, using a little digital camera I'd recently purchased (an Olympus FE-115). I wasn't expecting anything spectacular but I was interested to see how well it might work using afocal projection.

I spent the next 25 minutes or so trying different combinations of settings on the camera and different eyepieces in the 905 and found that the 32mm eyepiece along with maximum optical zoom on the camera gave the best results. Sadly even these results weren't terribly good.

The main problem seems to be with the fact that the camera is auto-focus and it was failing to get useful focus on the Moon. I could see, as it was seeking focus, a nice sharp image and then disappear as it finally settled in the wrong place. Ideally it would have a setting that would force it to focus on infinity. To the best of my knowledge it has no such setting (I'll have to go and read the manual again to double check).

Sadly even the best image acquired is pretty terrible so there's little point in including any of them in this log.


2006-11-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-03 13:15 UT
To: 2006-11-03 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 9.8C ...
Dew Point: 3.0C ...
Humidity: 63% ...
Wind Speed: 4.0mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1031.1hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, a little breezy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-03 13:15 UT
To: 2006-11-03 13:20 UT

Active area 921 appears to have developed a little more when compared to yesterday. Today I counted 12 spots of varying sizes. The "double spot" I saw yesterday now appeared to be a single spot within a penumbra.

Active area 922 appeared to have developed a little more too and now contained 5 spots.


2006-11-06


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-06 11:30 UT
To: 2006-11-06 11:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 12.0C ...
Dew Point: 8.3C ...
Humidity: 78% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1024.6hPa ...
Notes:

Reasonably clear day although slightly hazy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-06 11:30 UT
To: 2006-11-06 11:35 UT

Active areas 921 and 922 both appear to have calmed down quite a bit. AA921 contained just 2 spots (one of them appeared to have a rather nice "tail" associated with it) and AA922 had just 1 small spot.


2006-11-12


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-12 13:35 UT
To: 2006-11-12 13:45 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 10.8C ...
Dew Point: 6.1C ...
Humidity: 73% ...
Wind Speed: 1.3mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1016.0hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly overcast day with some rain at times. Had a brief clear spell (although quite hazy) so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-12 13:35 UT
To: 2006-11-12 13:45 UT

Just the 1 sunspot on the Sun today: in active area 923. Huge umbra with a really deep penumbra. I think this might actually be the biggest sunspot I've seen since I started active solar observing.

Given the size of the spot I grabbed a pair of eclipse shades and checked the Sun with the naked eye and managed to see the spot with no trouble at all.


2006-11-13


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-13 14:05 UT
To: 2006-11-13 14:10 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 12.5C ...
Dew Point: 6.0C ...
Humidity: 65% ...
Wind Speed: 2.6mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1001.4hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly overcast day but had a brief clear spell so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-13 14:05 UT
To: 2006-11-13 14:10 UT

The single spot in active area 923 was still huge and impressive. The umbra appeared to have developed a slight "pinch" in the middle that made it appear like it could split into two at some point soon. The penumbra was still very strong and obvious.

The spot was still easily visible with the naked eye using eclipse shades.

I could also see three small spots in the newly visible active area 924.


2006-11-18


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-18 04:39 UT
To: 2006-11-18 06:00 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Temperature: 3.9C ...
Dew Point: 1.4C ...
Humidity: 84% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1000.7hPa ...
Notes:

Got up early with a view to observing the Leonids meteor shower. I'd read recently that a possible outburst of activity was predicted for around 04:45 UT but, stupidly, I'd got the wrong day (the outburst was predicted for the morning of the 19th, not the 18th). I didn't realise this until the session had ended (not that it would have stopped me if I'd realised as it started).

The sky was amazingly clear.

Leonids watch

From: 2006-11-18 04:39 UT
To: 2006-11-18 06:00 UT

I was set up in the garden, with chair and notebook, by 04:39 UT. For almost the next hour and a I just watched the skies and noted what I saw. The following is a list of what I managed to catch along with the times that I saw them:

04:47 UT: Leonid. Close to Polaris. Very bright. Very fast. Caught out of the corner of my eye.

04:51 UT: Leonid. Short, bright and fast. More or less directly overhead. I could see the resulting trail for a couple of seconds.

04:58 UT: Leonid. Very short, very bright. Just west of Leo. Resulting trail visible for a good couple of seconds.

05:01 UT: Leonid. Very short, very bright. Just north of Auriga. Resulting trail visible for a good couple of seconds.

05:07 UT: Leonid. Very short, not so bright. Straight through Auriga. Resulting trail visible for less than a second.

05:11 UT: Sporadic (I think). North to south, west of Leo. Looked just like most of the Leonids I'd seen so far.

05:13 UT: Leonid. Faint and short. West of Leo.

05:15 UT: Faint satellite seen going south to north through Auriga.

05:25 UT: Sporadic. Short and faint. No visible trail. South of Auriga going east to west.

05:31 UT: The whole sky lit up very briefly. The flash almost looked like lightening. Normally I might have thought it was a bird scarer but this was the only time I saw this happen during the whole session.

05:34 UT: Satellite. Very slow and very faint. Heading roughly south to north, just east of Auriga.

05:42 UT: Satellite. Heading roughly north to south through Auriga. Watched the brightness slowly decrease, until I could no longer see it, and then slowly increase again until it was reasonably bright. Watched it decrease in brightness again and then lost it behind the house.

05:46 UT: Leonid. Very short. Very faint. Just south of Auriga.

05:50 UT: Satellite. Faint and fast. Was going south to north and headed more or less directly overhead.

05:52 UT: Leonid. Reasonably long. Quite bright. Very fast. Seen out of the corner of my eye in the north east part of the sky.

05:55 UT: Leonid. Very faint, only just saw it. In the eastern part of the sky.

By 06:00 UT the sky was starting to noticeably brighten and the cold was starting to get to me so I decided to end the session. In total I noted 9 Leonids, 2 sporadics and noticed 3 satellites.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-18 12:50 UT
To: 2006-11-18 12:55 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 8.8C ...
Dew Point: 2.7C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: 2.9mph ...
Wind Dir: West South West ...
Pressure: 1006.8hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, quite breezy too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-18 12:50 UT
To: 2006-11-18 12:55 UT

The single spot in active area 923 was still huge and impressive, although obviously foreshortened by being much closer to the limb of the Sun. I also checked with the naked eye (via eclipse shades) and I could just about see it, although it did take more effort than previous observations.

I could also see 2 spots in active area 924 and 2 in active area 925.


2006-11-19


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-19 04:29 UT
To: 2006-11-19 05:47 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Temperature: -0.1C ...
Dew Point: -2.2C ...
Humidity: 86% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1012.3hPa ...
Notes:

After getting my dates wrong yesterday, and having seen that the forecast was good again for this morning, I decided to have another go at getting up early and observing an outburst of Leonids activity that was predicted for around 04:45 UT.

The sky wasn't quite as clear as yesterday morning's session and, to start with, there was some thin cloud hanging around to the west but that cleared away during the session.

Leonids watch

From: 2006-11-19 04:29 UT
To: 2006-11-19 05:47 UT

I was set up in the garden, with chair and notebook, by 04:29 UT. I watched solidly from the chair for 1 hour. The following is a list of what I managed to catch along with the times that I saw them:

04:33 UT: Sporadic. West to east. Very short. Just south of Auriga.

04:36 UT: Leonid. Very short. Very fast. Through Auriga.

04:50 UT: Noticed the whole sky flash, just like I noted at 05:31 UT yesterday. Suspect it probably is a bird scarer in one of the fields around me.

04:55 UT: Leonid * 2. Almost together. Both short, fast and not very bright.

04:57 UT: Sporadic. North to south in Cancer. Short, fast and faint.

05:00 UT: Leonid. Short and fast. Through Auriga.

05:12 UT: Leonid. Short, fast and faint. Through Perseus.

05:13 UT: Leonid. Short, fast and bright. Left a visible trail that lasted a second or so. Just west of Leo.

05:14 UT: Leonid. Short and faint. Just south of Auriga.

05:18 UT: Satellite. Travelling roughly south/east to north/west through the zenith.

05:19 UT: Satellite. Travelling roughly south/west to north/east through the zenith. About the same speed and brightness as the previous one.

By 05:30 UT tiredness and the cold were really starting to get to me. Given that there'd been no obvious sign of the outburst I decided to pack up earlier than I'd planned and go and warm up. However, while packing up and moving things back into the office I managed to catch two more Leonids:

05:39 UT: Leonid. Short and very bright. Through Cassiopeia. Left a short wide trail that lasted a good couple of seconds.

05:47 UT: Leonid. Short and bright. Through Perseus.

If there was an outburst I didn't see any evidence of it. During this session I counted 9 Leonids — the same number as yesterday and over a similar period of time. I also counted 2 sporadics and noticed 2 satellites.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-19 12:40 UT
To: 2006-11-19 12:45 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 8.2C ...
Dew Point: 4.4C ...
Humidity: 77% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1011.3hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-19 12:40 UT
To: 2006-11-19 12:45 UT

The single spot in active area 923 still looked quite impressive but also even more foreshortened due to it being much closer to the limb of the Sun. I also checked with the naked eye (via eclipse shades) and, for the first time since I first observed it I was unable to see it.

I could also see 1 spot in active area 924 and 1 in active area 925.


2006-11-20


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-20 13:50 UT
To: 2006-11-20 13:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 11.1C ...
Dew Point: 4.7C ...
Humidity: 65% ...
Wind Speed: 3.3mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 996.7hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day. Slightly breezy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-20 13:50 UT
To: 2006-11-20 13:55 UT

The single spot in active area 923 was just about visible, very close to the limb of the Sun. No real detail could be seen, just a very foreshortened dark patch.

I could just about make out 1 very small spot in active area 924.

Active area 925 was no longer visible.


2006-11-21


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-21 13:10 UT
To: 2006-11-21 13:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 7.6C ...
Dew Point: 2.2C ...
Humidity: 69% ...
Wind Speed: 2.9mph ...
Wind Dir: West South West ...
Pressure: 990.1hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day. Slightly breezy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-21 13:10 UT
To: 2006-11-21 13:15 UT

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


2006-11-23


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-23 12:34 UT
To: 2006-11-23 12:38 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 11.4C ...
Dew Point: 6.7C ...
Humidity: 73% ...
Wind Speed: 6.1mph ...
Wind Dir: South South East ...
Pressure: 976.3hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day. Very windy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-23 12:34 UT
To: 2006-11-23 12:38 UT

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


2006-11-26


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-26 13:18 UT
To: 2006-11-26 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 11.4C ...
Dew Point: 8.1C ...
Humidity: 80% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1006.7hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, bit of a breeze. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-26 13:18 UT
To: 2006-11-26 13:20 UT

New active area visible today: 926. One spot visible. No real detail could be seen due to it being very close to the limb of the Sun.


2006-11-27


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-27 13:10 UT
To: 2006-11-27 13:14 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 13.3C ...
Dew Point: 9.7C ...
Humidity: 79% ...
Wind Speed: 4.2mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1005.0hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, very breezy too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-27 13:10 UT
To: 2006-11-27 13:14 UT

Like yesterday, active area 926 was visible. Some more detail was visible today and the single spot I saw yesterday now appears to be two spots, one bigger than the other, both very close to each other and sharing a common penumbra.


2006-11-28


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-28 13:00 UT
To: 2006-11-28 13:04 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 11.6C ...
Dew Point: 8.8C ...
Humidity: 83% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1006.1hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day but had a brief break in the clouds so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-28 13:00 UT
To: 2006-11-28 13:04 UT

Like yesterday, active area 926 was visible with 2 spots very close together and apparently sharing a common penumbra.

New since yesterday was a small single spot, close to the limb of the Sun, in new active area 927.


2006-11-29


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-11-29 13:00 UT
To: 2006-11-29 13:04 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 11.1C ...
Dew Point: 8.1C ...
Humidity: 82% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1022.9hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, very calm too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-11-29 13:00 UT
To: 2006-11-29 13:04 UT

Active area 926 appeared to have developed a little more when compared to yesterday, I could now make out 3 spots. One spot is bigger than the other two (which are both quite small) and all three spots appear to be sharing a common penumbra.

Also, compared to yesterday, active area 927 seems to have developed a little more too. Today I could see 2 small spots.


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