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All observing logs for month 2007-01 (earliest log first).

2007-01-01


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-01 12:00 UT
To: 2007-01-01 12:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 8.6C ...
Dew Point: 2.5C ...
Humidity: 66% ...
Wind Speed: 5.5mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1009.3hPa ...
Notes:

Clear and windy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-01 12:00 UT
To: 2007-01-01 12:05 UT

Today I could see 4 sunspots split over three active areas. Active area 933 had two spots, one small and one bigger that displayed an obvious penumbra. Active area 934 had a single small spot. Also, just coming around the limb of the Sun, only just visible, was a single spot in active area 935 (which appears to be a return of active area 930). Despite being greatly foreshortened it was obvious that it too had a visible penumbra.


2007-01-04


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-04 14:25 UT
To: 2007-01-04 14:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 9.4C ...
Dew Point: 4.5C ...
Humidity: 72% ...
Wind Speed: 2.6mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1006.4hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy and breezy day. During a clear spell I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-04 14:25 UT
To: 2007-01-04 14:30 UT

Active areas 933, 934 and 935 were all still visible and looked pretty much the same as they did during the previous observation (leaving aside the fact that they'd all rotated around the Sun a bit).

AA 933 had two spots and 934 and 935 had 1 each.


2007-01-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-09 13:40 UT
To: 2007-01-09 13:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Naked Eye
Temperature: 13.8C ...
Dew Point: 10.0C ...
Humidity: 78% ...
Wind Speed: 2.0mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 994.8hPa ...
Notes:

Clear but windy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-09 13:40 UT
To: 2007-01-09 13:45 UT

Today only active areas 933 and 935 were visible. AA933 had 2 spots visible and AA935 had 1 visible. I could also just about make out the spot in AA935 with the naked eye.


2007-01-10


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-10 13:00 UT
To: 2007-01-10 13:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Naked Eye
Temperature: 8.4C ...
Dew Point: 4.0C ...
Humidity: 74% ...
Wind Speed: 8.8mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1004.1hPa ...
Notes:

Clear but windy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-10 13:00 UT
To: 2007-01-10 13:05 UT

Three active areas visible today. Active area 933 had two visible spots (1 very small). Area 935 had 1 large spot. New area 937 also had 1 small spot visible.

The large spot in area 935 was just visible to the naked eye.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-10 17:00 UT
To: 2007-01-10 17:20 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Meade 10x50 Binoculars
Temperature: 6.4C ...
Dew Point: 2.2C ...
Humidity: 75% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1010.5hPa ...
Notes:

Clear but breezy evening. Decided to talk a walk to the western edge of the village to try and catch a glimpse of comet McNaught.

Comet C/2006 P1 McNaught

From: 2007-01-10 17:00 UT
To: 2007-01-10 17:20 UT

Joined by my wife and son, I took a walk out to the western edge of our village with a hope of catching a glimpse of comet McNaught. This was the first chance I'd had due to bad weather during previous mornings and evenings. Not being sure what to expect (I guess I was expecting something small and fuzzy, probably needing a binocular to find before seeing with the naked eye) I went armed with the Meade 10x50 binoculars.

As we were walking something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. Through some trees I could see the comet. It was huge and bright! Much bigger and brighter than I'd expected. We carried on to the chosen viewing position (looking out over a field with a reasonably clear horizon).

By the time we got to the chosen location I'd say that the comet was about above the horizon (just a rough guess). The head was very bright and I estimated the tail to be about 1 to 2 widths of my thumb held at arms length. It's hard to estimate how bright the head was but, had it been higher, I'd have thought that (taking its diffuse nature into account) it would have been a reasonable rival to Venus (which was visible further to the south). That's not to say it was as bright, just that it probably would be almost as obvious. Some people have been estimating its magnitude as -2.

Beyond the above I didn't really make a note of any "technical" details, time was too short and the sight was just too breathtaking. This is the first big, bright comet I've seen in almost 10 years and it was hard not to just stand there and state and be amazed. My wife and son were both very excited by the view too (all the more special for my son given that this was his first ever view of a comet).

Sadly the view was all too short. Within about 10 minutes of us first seeing it the head had gone behind some trees on the horizon. I watched the tail (both naked eye and through the binocular) for a few minutes more until the view was lost to the thickness of the atmosphere so close to the horizon. It was all over by around 17:20 UT.


2007-01-11


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-11 17:00 UT
To: 2007-01-11 17:10 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Meade 10x50 Binoculars
Temperature: 9.3C ...
Dew Point: 3.4C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: 5.5mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1000.9hPa ...
Notes:

Very windy evening, very murky sky too with quite a bit of cloud around. Despite this I decided to take another walk to the western edge of the village to try and catch a glimpse of comet McNaught.

Comet C/2006 P1 McNaught

From: 2007-01-11 17:00 UT
To: 2007-01-11 17:10 UT

Unlike yesterday evening, McNaught wasn't visible to me during the walk out to the observing spot. It wasn't until I got to the spot that I caught sight of it. It was much harder to find this evening. I doubt it was much, if anything, to do with the brightness of the comet itself, it was probably down to the fact that the atmosphere was horribly murky and there was quite a bit of cloud along the horizon.

The view to the naked eye was nowhere near as impressive as the last view, if anything I'd have said that the view in the binocular was closer to yesterday evening's naked eye view.

I managed to view the comet for getting on for 10 minutes but then totally lost it while I was looking away. Looking back again I failed to find the head or any hint of the tail (probably lost behind some cloud).

In comparison to yesterday's view I'd say this one was disappointing, but that's just because yesterday's view spoiled me. Had this been my first view of it I think I'd have been equally impressed.

Again, given how short a time I had to view it no real attempt was made to take any kind of "technical" notes.


2007-01-12


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-12 13:30 UT
To: 2007-01-12 13:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 13.2C ...
Dew Point: 8.8C ...
Humidity: 75% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: West South West ...
Pressure: 1008.9hPa ...
Notes:

Clear but breezy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-12 13:30 UT
To: 2007-01-12 13:35 UT

Only 1 spot was visible today in active area 935 were visible. While it was getting closer to the limb of the Sun it was still possible to make out that it had a visible umbra and penumbra.


2007-01-14


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-14 13:30 UT
To: 2007-01-14 13:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 7.8C ...
Dew Point: 2.8C ...
Humidity: 71% ...
Wind Speed: 0.4mph ...
Wind Dir: South South East ...
Pressure: 1023.3hPa ...
Notes:

Clear but slightly hazy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-14 13:30 UT
To: 2007-01-14 13:35 UT

No sunspots or other markings were visible on the Sun.


2007-01-17


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-17 13:10 UT
To: 2007-01-17 13:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 9.6C ...
Dew Point: 3.9C ...
Humidity: 70% ...
Wind Speed: 2.0mph ...
Wind Dir: South ...
Pressure: 996.8hPa ...
Notes:

Clear and breezy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-17 13:10 UT
To: 2007-01-17 13:15 UT

No sunspots or other markings were visible on the Sun.


2007-01-19


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-19 12:55 UT
To: 2007-01-19 13:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 10.9C ...
Dew Point: 5.4C ...
Humidity: 68% ...
Wind Speed: 5.8mph ...
Wind Dir: West South Wwst ...
Pressure: 1011.3hPa ...
Notes:

Clear and breezy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-19 12:55 UT
To: 2007-01-19 13:00 UT

No sunspots or other markings were visible on the Sun.


2007-01-20


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-20 12:40 UT
To: 2007-01-20 12:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 9.1C ...
Dew Point: 1.2C ...
Humidity: 58% ...
Wind Speed: 9.2mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1004.2hPa ...
Notes:

Clear and windy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-20 12:40 UT
To: 2007-01-20 12:45 UT

New active area 939 visible with two very small spots. No real detail was visible.


2007-01-21


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-21 15:15 UT
To: 2007-01-21 15:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 6.9C ...
Dew Point: 1.1C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: 3.1mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1005.2hPa ...
Notes:

Clear and breezy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-21 15:15 UT
To: 2007-01-21 15:20 UT

Active area 939 was still visible but now appeared to contain 3 spots, 2 of them very close together. As with yesterday, no real detail was visible.


2007-01-22


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-22 14:40 UT
To: 2007-01-22 14:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 4.3C ...
Dew Point: -2.4C ...
Humidity: 62% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1021.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-01-22 14:40 UT
To: 2007-01-22 14:45 UT

Active area 939 was still visible and looked more or less the same as it did yesterday. Three spots were visible.


2007-01-23


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-23 13:10 UT
To: 2007-01-23 13:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 2.5C ...
Dew Point: -1.4C ...
Humidity: 76% ...
Wind Speed: 5.3mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1017.3hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy and breezy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-23 13:10 UT
To: 2007-01-23 13:15 UT

Active area 939 was still visible although, unlike yesterday, only two spots were visible.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-23 19:30 UT
To: 2007-01-23 20:37 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Temperature: -0.6C ...
Dew Point: -3.8C ...
Humidity: 80% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1014.9hPa ...
Notes:

Clear, still and cold evening. Although cloud was expected later I decided to take the Antares 905 out so that I could test a couple of new filters I'd recently acquired (a Neodymium filter and a contrast booster).

The Moon

From: 2007-01-23 19:35 UT
To: 2007-01-23 20:05 UT

Decided to start by looking at the Moon. Viewed via the 905 with the 10mm eyepiece and no filter the usual flaring was obvious — depending on the location of my eye at the eyepiece or the location of parts of the Moon in the eyepiece the flaring would either appear bluish or yellowish.

Next I fitted the contrast booster to the diagonal of the 905 and viewed the Moon again. The first thing that was noticeable was the fact that the Moon now had a slight yellow/brown tint — not so bad as to be annoying but very noticeable. The filter did, however, appear to do a very good job of removing any fringing from the view. While it wasn't obvious that any more detail was visible on the Moon (I'd have needed a way of flipping the filter in and out of view to do that) it did seem to tidy up the view.

Next I dropped the 6mm eyepiece into the 'scope and had a quick look around. Given that this wasn't really intended to be a serious observing session (more of an equipment test) I wasn't really aiming for anything in particular. However, the crater Stiborius caught my eye. In the lighting conditions, with it being close to the terminator, I could see what appeared to be a raised terrace within the crater, close to the western edge. It was quite a striking sight and really stood out.

I also noticed, touching the northern edge of Piccolomini, what looked like a set of three small craters, touching each other, and all within another crater. While I could see this crater on my map it wasn't marked with a name so I'll need to find a more detailed map and work out what I was looking at.

At 20:05 UT I lost the Moon behind the house next to me so I decided to take a short break before moving on to something else.

Saturn

From: 2007-01-23 20:15 UT
To: 2007-01-23 20:35 UT

Next I decided to turn the 905 on Saturn. Using the 6mm eyepiece (without any filter in place) the view wasn't that good but the planet was still quite low in the sky and I was also viewing it above the roof of an adjacent house.

The rings were obvious although it was hard to tell if there was any sign of a shadow. I could not detect the Cassini Division. Close by I could see Titan.

I then added the contrast booster and looked again. My impression was that the view didn't really appear that much different, it was hard to tell if I could see more with or without the filter. The fact that Saturn was so low and in such a bad position probably meant that any shortcomings in the 905, that would be reduced by the filter, were masked by the general lack of detail that was available anyway.

At 20:28 UT I noticed that some of the forecast cloud was starting to show up to the west and to the north. Given that some snow was forecast too I got ready to pack up pretty soon.

With the filter still in place I carried on watching Saturn for some time with a hope to getting a few good steady moments. While the view did appear to slowly improve as the planet got higher I didn't see any extra detail. I switched back to the view without the filter and still couldn't see any obvious difference. About the nearest I could come to seeing any difference was that the view without the filter appeared slightly "softer" than with but, at the same time, in the odd very steady moment I also felt that there was little difference without or without the filter.

End of session

Time: 2007-01-23 20:37 UT
Temperature: -0.8C ...
Dew Point: -4.0C ...
Humidity: 79% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1013.5hPa ...

By now I could see even more cloud to the north and west and, overhead, it was starting to look rather hazy too. Having at least managed to test the contrast booster I decided it was time to pack up before it got really cloudy and there was a chance of snow starting to fall.


2007-01-24


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-24 13:15 UT
To: 2007-01-24 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 4.1C ...
Dew Point: 1.4C ...
Humidity: 83% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1010.5hPa ...
Notes:

Clear and cold day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-24 13:15 UT
To: 2007-01-24 13:20 UT

Active area 939 was still visible and looked more or less the same as it did yesterday. Two small spots were visible.


2007-01-25


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-25 13:10 UT
To: 2007-01-25 13:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 4.1C ...
Dew Point: -1.4C ...
Humidity: 68% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1026.5hPa ...
Notes:

Clear and cold day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-25 13:10 UT
To: 2007-01-25 13:15 UT

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


2007-01-27


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-27 13:20 UT
To: 2007-01-27 13:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 8.5C ...
Dew Point: 5.2C ...
Humidity: 80% ...
Wind Speed: 3.5mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1029.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-01-27 13:20 UT
To: 2007-01-27 13:25 UT

New active area 940 visible with 1 small but very dark spot. No real detail of any sort was visible.


2007-01-31


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-31 14:05 UT
To: 2007-01-31 14:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 10.2C ...
Dew Point: 7.0C ...
Humidity: 81% ...
Wind Speed: 2.2mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1016.9hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly overcast during the morning and into the afternoon, then cleared so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-31 14:05 UT
To: 2007-01-31 14:10 UT

Active area 940 was still visible and had developed another small faint sport since my last observation.

New active area 941 was visible with 1 dark spot.


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