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All observing logs for month 2006-12 (earliest log first).

2006-12-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-12-02 14:25 UT
To: 2006-12-02 14:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 10.0C ...
Dew Point: 6.5C ...
Humidity: 79% ...
Wind Speed: 2.2mph ...
Wind Dir: South South West ...
Pressure: 1004.7hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2006-12-02 14:25 UT
To: 2006-12-02 14:30 UT

Active area 926 appeared even more developed when compared to my last observation, I could now make out 7 spots, although no real detail was visible anywhere.

Today active area 927 only had a single spot visible. It looked rather small but with a hint of a penumbra.


2006-12-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-12-03 12:10 UT
To: 2006-12-03 12:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 9.8C ...
Dew Point: 4.3C ...
Humidity: 69% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 984.0hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, also very windy (ignore the fact that the wind recorded for this observation says "calm", that was a fluke reading on the weather station, it was a very windy day). Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-12-03 12:10 UT
To: 2006-12-03 12:15 UT

Active areas 926 and 927 looked pretty much the same as they did yesterday. The only noticeable difference was that 926 only had 5 visible spots. This was a very hard observation due to the wind (it was pretty much impossible to keep the Solarscope steady).


2006-12-04


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-12-04 11:30 UT
To: 2006-12-04 11:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 10.3C ...
Dew Point: 5.2C ...
Humidity: 71% ...
Wind Speed: 4.0mph ...
Wind Dir: South ...
Pressure: 991.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2006-12-04 11:30 UT
To: 2006-12-04 11:35 UT

Active areas 926 and 927 looked pretty much the same as they did yesterday. The only noticeable difference was that 926 only had 4 visible spots.


2006-12-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-12-09 12:00 UT
To: 2006-12-09 12:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Naked Eye
Temperature: 7.8C ...
Dew Point: 3.5C ...
Humidity: 77% ...
Wind Speed: 4.0mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1008.1hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2006-12-09 12:00 UT
To: 2006-12-09 12:05 UT

Active area 930 was visible with 2 spots on show. One very large spot surrounded by a large penumbra and one small spot on the edge of the penumbra.

The spot was also visible to the naked eye (via eclipse shades).


2006-12-12


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-12-12 13:20 UT
To: 2006-12-12 13:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Naked Eye
Temperature: 9.1C ...
Dew Point: 5.2C ...
Humidity: 77% ...
Wind Speed: 4.9mph ...
Wind Dir: South ...
Pressure: 1008.8hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy day, very windy. During a brief clear spell I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-12-12 13:20 UT
To: 2006-12-12 13:25 UT

Active area 930 was still visible with 3 spots on show. Large very spot surrounded by a large penumbra, one smaller spot with a penumbra that appeared to be attached to the largest and one small spot on the edge of the penumbra.

The spot was also visible to the naked eye (via eclipse shades).


2006-12-14


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-12-14 14:40 UT
To: 2006-12-14 14:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Naked Eye
Temperature: 12.5C ...
Dew Point: 8.9C ...
Humidity: 79% ...
Wind Speed: 2.4mph ...
Wind Dir: South South West ...
Pressure: 1013.3hPa ...
Notes:

Very cloudy and windy day. During a brief clear spell I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-12-14 14:40 UT
To: 2006-12-14 14:45 UT

Active area 930 was still visible with 2 spots on show. A very large spot surrounded by a large penumbra and a smaller spot with a penumbra that appeared to be attached to the large spot. Other than that not much detail was visible due to the fact that some thin cloud was getting in the way.

The spot was also visible to the naked eye (via eclipse shades).


2006-12-16


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-12-16 12:20 UT
To: 2006-12-16 12:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Naked Eye
Temperature: 6.9C ...
Dew Point: 3.7C ...
Humidity: 80% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1017.9hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2006-12-16 12:20 UT
To: 2006-12-16 12:25 UT

Active area 930 was still visible although somewhat foreshortened due to getting closer to the limb of the Sun. Today I could only make out a single large spot. The penumbra around it was just about visible.

This was the first observation of 930 where I was unable to see it with the naked eye (via eclipse shades).

Location: Woodland Waters (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-12-16 19:00 UT
To: 2006-12-16 23:50 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Naked Eye
Notes:

Very clear and cold night. Arranged to meet up with John Turner at Woodland Waters to try it out as an observing location. I took along my Antares 905 and John brought his Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M mounted on an EQ5 mount.

A Leisurely View of Various Objects

From: 2006-12-16 19:00 UT
To: 2006-12-16 23:50 UT

We got to the observing location at around 19:00 UT to find reasonable clear skies with no sign of any cloud anywhere. Some time was spent finding a location and setting up and then the rest of the evening was spent chatting and having a leisurely view of random sights in the sky.

I started with a quick view of M42. Orion was still quite low at the time and the view wasn't very impressive. With the 32mm eyepiece and the 905 I could only just make out the glow of the nebula with averted vision. I decided to come back to it when Orion was higher.

Next I had a quick look at M45. I noticed that the seeing seemed very steady.

I then went on to have a look at M1. This was the first time I'd had a look at it in over a year and it was also the first time I'd observed it with the 905. The view was more or less the same as I remember from the last time — an indistinct patch of glowing sky that was best noticed with averted vision.

At 20:30 UT I saw a very bright and fast meteor travel north to south just below Taurus.

I then had a quick look at M36, M37 and M38 via the 905. All looked very clear and very steady with many individual stars visible. It was quite a different view from that that I've previously had in a binocular. With a binocular I'd previously noted that the clusters had the appearance of globular clusters but via the 905 it was very obvious that I was looking at open clusters.

At around 21:15 UT I returned to M42. By now Orion was higher and the view was much better. With the 905 and the 32mm eyepiece the nebula easily withstood direct vision. Quite a bit of detail was visible, it had quite a mottled appearance. I then dropped the 6mm eyepiece in the 905 and could easily pick out the trapezium.

During the next hour I kept going back to M42 and noted that the view kept improving as it got higher in the sky. Had it not been for the dampness (quite a bit of dew was forming) I'd probably have had a go at producing a sketch.

At around 22:23 UT Saturn was starting to rise above some trees near us. I had a quick look with the 905 and the 6mm eyepiece. The view wasn't that good due to it still being quite low, being viewed amongst the top branches of the trees and also due to some thin cloud started to get in the way. I could, however, easily make out the rings and a hint of the shadow of the rings. There was no sign of the Cassini Division. Titan was easily visible too.

Around 23:19 UT John suggested that I try and locate M81 and M82 in the 905. Using the 32mm eyepiece I pointed the 'scope at about the right location (working off 24 Ursae Majoris) and found them right away. The sight was far more impressive than I thought it would be. M81 had an elliptical appearance, as if I was seeing a galaxy partially tilted towards me, whereas M82 looked more like it was edge on and appeared to have a kink in it. The following evening I did some checking in a couple of books and the impression I had of them appears to perfectly fit the images.

At around 23:50 UT we started to pack up the equipment. All in all I'd say it was one of the best sessions I've had yet. While I didn't have any kind of observing plan, and while my notes weren't as detailed as they normally are when I observe alone, it was nice to share views and impressions with another observer. It was also nice to observe a largely unobstructed sky.


2006-12-20


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-12-20 12:40 UT
To: 2006-12-20 12:43 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 4.2C ...
Dew Point: 2.5C ...
Humidity: 89% ...
Wind Speed: 0.6mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1036.9hPa ...
Notes:

Clear, cool and calm day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-12-20 12:40 UT
To: 2006-12-20 12:43 UT

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


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