Observing Logs
www.astronomer.me.uk

Observing Logs

Latest Log
Related Links

All observing logs for month 2007-04 (earliest log first).

2007-04-01


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-01 12:25 UT
To: 2007-04-01 12:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 12.9C ...
Dew Point: 6.6C ...
Humidity: 66% ...
Wind Speed: 4.0mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1028.8hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-01 12:25 UT
To: 2007-04-01 12:30 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-02 13:35 UT
To: 2007-04-02 13:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 14.4C ...
Dew Point: 6.2C ...
Humidity: 58% ...
Wind Speed: 2.9mph ...
Wind Dir: North East ...
Pressure: 1027.7hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-02 13:35 UT
To: 2007-04-02 13:40 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-04


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-04 15:10 UT
To: 2007-04-04 15:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 10.8C ...
Dew Point: 4.6C ...
Humidity: 66% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1022.6hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day. Started to clear some later into the afternoon so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-04-04 15:10 UT
To: 2007-04-04 15:15 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-04 19:19 UT
To: 2007-04-04 20:48 UT
Equipment: Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M
Temperature: 7.1C ...
Dew Point: 2.9C ...
Humidity: 75% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1022.2hPa ...
Notes:

The day cleared further and resulted in a pretty nice evening. I decided to get the 130M out and have a look at Venus with it.

Venus

From: 2007-04-04 19:19 UT
To: 2007-04-04 20:05 UT

I'd put the 130M outside about 20 minutes earlier in the hope that it would cool off enough. Having only used the 905 to observe Venus I was keen to have a go with the 130M.

I first lined the planet up with the 25mm eyepiece. The planet seemed very bright and I could see four huge diffraction spikes coming off it. It was almost impossible to see any shape to the planet itself.

Next I switched to the 10mm eyepiece. I could now see some hint of shape but the planet was still very bright and was still mostly obscured by spikes.

I then switched to the 6mm eyepiece. Despite it being too bright a view still, and despite it still being marred by spikes, I could now easily make out the phase. I was also very surprised at how large the planet looked (the 6mm in the 130M gives 150x magnification).

In an effort to improve the view I placed the end cap of the 'scope back in place and removed the cap from the small aperture. This made a huge difference. The view wasn't anywhere near as bright and I was no longer bothered by spikes (for obvious reasons). While the view wasn't crisp, there was a well defined gibbous phase visible.

Next I added the barlow. The view was very soft with some false colour, not the best view but pretty magnificent when compared to the view via the 905.

I did some more experimenting, adding filters and the like, and found that a good view could be obtained with the 6mm eyepiece (no barlow), the ND25 filter and the cap in place (with the smaller hole open, obviously). While the image was still a little soft around the edges, and gave the odd hint of a red and a blue from time to time, it was a very good view.

As a comparison I then tried the contrast booster and the #80A medium blue filters with the 6mm (still with the cap in place). This also worked well (as I've found on the 905).

In all the experimenting I did none of the images I had appeared to be the sort of image that would allow me to do any sort of "serious" observation, I can't imagine managing to make the sorts of observations that avid Venus observers do. I will, with either 'scope, be able to follow the phase changes though.

At 20:05 UT I finished with Venus.

Saturn

From: 2007-04-04 20:10 UT
To: 2007-04-04 20:48 UT

Given that it was well placed and I had the 130M out I decided to move on to Saturn.

I first got the planet lined up in the 'scope with the 25mm eyepiece and I then switched to the 10mm eyepiece. The view was amazing! Easily as good as, if not better than, the best view I had last year. The Cassini Division stood out right away, there was no problem seeing it. I could also clearly see the shadow of the rings on the planet and the shadow of the planet on the rings. I could also see, without any real effort, some faint banding on the planet itself.

Keeping in mind all the problems I had in the past with the old barlow and the 10mm eyepiece I added the barlow to the mix and looked again. The view was stunning and there was no problem finding focus. There's little doubt that this barlow works far better with the 130M than the one that was supplied with the 'scope.

I then mixed the 6mm eyepiece with the barlow. The view was a little soft but I could see obvious variation in the rings, the Cassini Division stood out and the banding on the planet was still visible.

I noted that this must have been an exceptional sky tonight as I appeared to be getting better and more consistent views than I've ever had before.

Back on the 6mm with no barlow, I noticed to the left of the planet, about a ring diameter away, I could see a faint "star". Checking later with Starry Night is seems that this was Rhea. To the right of the planet, much further out, I could see Titan.

I spent more time just looking at Saturn, watching the really clear moments, the really steady moments, pop in and out of view (and there were many of them). Finally, at 2007-04-04T20:48Z, with some thin cloud starting to get in the way of the view, I decided to pack up for the night.


2007-04-05


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-05 13:15 UT
To: 2007-04-05 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.1C ...
Dew Point: 7.0C ...
Humidity: 44% ...
Wind Speed: 0.4mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1019.8hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-05 13:15 UT
To: 2007-04-05 13:20 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-06


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-06 16:00 UT
To: 2007-04-06 16:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 14.8C ...
Dew Point: 3.8C ...
Humidity: 49% ...
Wind Speed: 2.9mph ...
Wind Dir: North North East ...
Pressure: 1022.1hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-06 16:00 UT
To: 2007-04-06 16:05 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-07


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-07 14:40 UT
To: 2007-04-07 14:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.1C ...
Dew Point: 3.7C ...
Humidity: 41% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1025.5hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-07 14:40 UT
To: 2007-04-07 14:45 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-08


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-08 13:25 UT
To: 2007-04-08 13:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 18.2C ...
Dew Point: 6.9C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: 2.0mph ...
Wind Dir: West South West ...
Pressure: 1020.4hPa ...
Notes:

Sunny day with lots of high thin cloud. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-04-08 13:25 UT
To: 2007-04-08 13:30 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-09 12:45 UT
To: 2007-04-09 12:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 16.8C ...
Dew Point: 8.4C ...
Humidity: 58% ...
Wind Speed: 4.0mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1016.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-09 12:45 UT
To: 2007-04-09 12:50 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-11


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-11 13:05 UT
To: 2007-04-11 13:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 18.4C ...
Dew Point: 7.8C ...
Humidity: 50% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1021.9hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-11 13:05 UT
To: 2007-04-11 13:10 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-13


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-13 15:35 UT
To: 2007-04-13 15:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 13.6C ...
Dew Point: 9.4C ...
Humidity: 76% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.9hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day. Later into the afternoon had a clear but hazy spell so I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-04-13 15:35 UT
To: 2007-04-13 15:40 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-14


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-14 15:35 UT
To: 2007-04-14 15:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.8C ...
Dew Point: 10.7C ...
Humidity: 58% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1021.0hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly clear but hazy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-04-14 15:35 UT
To: 2007-04-14 15:40 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-15


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-15 15:05 UT
To: 2007-04-15 15:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.9C ...
Dew Point: 10.5C ...
Humidity: 46% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1019.4hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-15 15:05 UT
To: 2007-04-15 15:10 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-17


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-17 13:05 UT
To: 2007-04-17 13:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 18.1C ...
Dew Point: 5.2C ...
Humidity: 42% ...
Wind Speed: 4.2mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1022.8hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly clear day, although with a fair bit of very high thin cloud. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-04-17 13:05 UT
To: 2007-04-17 13:10 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-18


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-18 12:55 UT
To: 2007-04-18 13:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.5C ...
Dew Point: 4.0C ...
Humidity: 41% ...
Wind Speed: 4.0mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1022.8hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-18 12:55 UT
To: 2007-04-18 13:00 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-18 20:15 UT
To: 2007-04-18 20:40 UT
Equipment: Canon EOS 400D
Temperature: 11.1C ...
Dew Point: 3.6C ...
Humidity: 60% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1020.6hPa ...
Notes:

Saw earlier on in the day that the ISS would be making a good pass this evening so I decided to have a go at photographing it.

Leo, Saturn and the ISS

From: 2007-04-18 20:15 UT
To: 2007-04-18 20:40 UT

I went outside at around 20:15 UT and set the Canon EOS 400D on a tripod. I decided that the best place to photograph would be Leo. I took a couple of test shots and had a bit of trouble sorting out the focus but I more or less got it right in the end.

At around 20:30 UT (I wasn't making notes of exact times as I was too busy working with the camera) I saw the International Space Station slowly heading in from the west. A short while later, as it got close to Leo, I started the exposure. Annoyingly it's just a 30 second exposure because I'd forgot to put the camera on bulb (while I would have had time to do this I've also not used bulb mode with remote I use and wasn't sure how it works, rather than miss the pass I decided to go with 30 seconds).

As it was, despite the odd problem or two, the image seemed to turn out okay, it shows Leo, Saturn and the ISS:

Leo, Saturn and the ISS


2007-04-19


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-19 14:05 UT
To: 2007-04-19 14:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.2C ...
Dew Point: 3.1C ...
Humidity: 42% ...
Wind Speed: 3.1mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1015.6hPa ...
Notes:

Clear day with some high thin cloud about. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-04-19 14:05 UT
To: 2007-04-19 14:10 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-20


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-20 14:10 UT
To: 2007-04-20 14:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 16.1C ...
Dew Point: 6.2C ...
Humidity: 52% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: East South East ...
Pressure: 1020.1hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-20 14:10 UT
To: 2007-04-20 14:15 UT

No spots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-04-27


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-27 13:15 UT
To: 2007-04-27 13:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Canon EOS 400D
Temperature: 15.1C ...
Dew Point: 9.7C ...
Humidity: 70% ...
Wind Speed: 0.6mph ...
Wind Dir: East ...
Pressure: 1023.4hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy all morning but started to clear into the afternoon. Although it was still a little hazy I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-04-27 13:15 UT
To: 2007-04-27 13:25 UT

New active area 953 visible with a single and reasonably large spot (this is the first sunspot I've seen since 2007-03-03). The umbra appeared quite dark and a large penumbra was visible too.

Given how large the spot was I decided to try and take a photograph with my Canon EOS 400D:

Active Area 953

Location: Woodland Waters (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-27 19:55 UT
To: 2007-04-27 22:48 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Notes:

A clear night had been forecast so John Turner and myself met up at Woodland Waters for a joint observing session. I took my Antares 905.

When we arrived the sky was mostly overcast with a lot of cirrus. It started to look like we'd abandon the session. However, it started to thin out a little so we decided to stick with it and see how it went on — it did look like it would be a shorter session though.

Venus

From: 2007-04-27 19:55 UT
To: 2007-04-27 20:15 UT

Started out with a view of Venus, even though the sky was still quite light. Using the 905 and the 6mm eyepiece the view wasn't too bad. There was some false colour and some unsteadiness at times but it was easy enough to make out the planet's phase (which had obviously changed since the last time I observed it).

I then added the contrast booster and, as I've found before, the image improved some more.

Giving a Tour of the Sky

From: 2007-04-27 20:16 UT
To: 2007-04-27 20:54 UT

Around 20:16 UT we were approached by two blokes who were part of a group of people camping in the field. They asked what was happening (apparently assuming that we were watching an "event" in the sky) and, after telling them that we were simply observing what was available, we asked if they'd like a look through the 'scopes. They said they'd love to.

Neither of them had looked thought a telescope before so between us John and I showed them Venus, Saturn and various views of the Moon. Both were impressed and, as normally happens, Saturn was the real winner with the most "wow" factor.

We also had a good chat about various things astronomical and how we'd got into observing in the first place. I also spent some time trying to explain to them what they'd been seeing when viewing Venus (the significance of Venus' phase wasn't clear to either of them and it took a little explaining).

Since getting into observing this was the first chance I've had to do this sort of thing. While it wasn't exactly sidewalk astronomy it was nice to give people a view though my 'scope and to answer some of their questions.

The Moon

From: 2007-04-27 21:35 UT
To: 2007-04-27 22:48 UT

After our two guests headed back off to their tent I had a sit down and a coffee break. By 21:35 UT it was obvious that the sky wasn't going to improve at all. There was still a fair bit of haze around and the Moon had a pretty impressive halo around it. There was no chance of any deep sky observing.

Trying to make the most of the evening I decided to do some observing of the Moon. With the 6mm eyepiece in the 905 I had a quick scan along the terminator and could see that the view appeared somewhat flat and muted.

Around 21:50 UT I concentrated on a large highlighted "wall" some distance into the Moon's shadow. Using my Moon map I quickly figured out that what I was seeing was the eastern wall of Gassendi.

I spent some more time just wandering up and down the terminator and then, at around 22:19 UT, I noticed a very strange thing right in the terminator near Delisle. What I was seeing was a perfect triangle, bright corners and obvious sides. It looked very artificial. Realising that I must be seeing some sort of optical effect I had a look at my map to try and figure out what I was really looking at.

To the west of Delisle are some mountains (unnamed on my map) which appears (according to my map) to have three peaks in a rough triangular formation. Given that the terminator was running right through these three peaks it would seem that my brain was "filling in the blanks" and joining the dots to make a triangle with actual sides. Even though I now knew what I was looking at I couldn't stop seeing what I'd initially seen.

I got John to also have a look too and he confirmed the effect.

Also, close to Delisle, I could see Mons Delisle as an inverted Y.

By 22:26 UT the sky was getting somewhat worse although the halo around the Moon was becoming more impressive. For a short while it had quite a lot of colour to it. It appeared yellowish in the inside (the part touching the Moon) and appeared to get redder out towards the edge.

Because of the deteriorating conditions I had another short break to see if things might improve again. However, they didn't and at 22:48 UT John and I decided to call it a night.


2007-04-28


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-28 12:20 UT
To: 2007-04-28 12:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Canon EOS 400D
Temperature: 17.5C ...
Dew Point: 9.3C ...
Humidity: 59% ...
Wind Speed: 2.0mph ...
Wind Dir: North East ...
Pressure: 1025.4hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-28 12:20 UT
To: 2007-04-28 12:30 UT

The spot in active area 953 was still visible with a single and reasonably large spot. Like yesterday the umbra appeared quite dark and a large penumbra was visible too. I could also see what appeared to be an area of similar shade to the penumbra but separate from the spot.

Like yesterday I also took a photograph with my Canon EOS 400D:

Active Area 953


2007-04-29


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-29 14:00 UT
To: 2007-04-29 14:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.3C ...
Dew Point: 11.1C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: North North East ...
Pressure: 1018.5hPa ...
Notes:

Very hazy day with lots of high cirrus cloud about. Despite the conditions I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-04-29 14:00 UT
To: 2007-04-29 14:05 UT

The spot in active area 953 was still visible with a single and reasonably large spot. It appeared to be much like it was yesterday.


2007-04-30


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-04-30 13:30 UT
To: 2007-04-30 13:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Canon EOS 400D
Temperature: 15.5C ...
Dew Point: 6.2C ...
Humidity: 54% ...
Wind Speed: 1.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1015.3hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-04-30 13:30 UT
To: 2007-04-30 13:40 UT

The spot in active area 953 was still visible but I could see that, since yesterday, it had spit into two with a large umbra and a small umbra both sharing a common penumbra.

Using a pair of eclipse shades I could also see that the spot was visible to the naked eye.

I took the following photograph of my view of area 953 with my Canon EOS 400D

Active Area 953

I could also see new active area 954 which contained two very small spots.


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