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All observing logs for month 2007-05 (earliest log first).

2007-05-01


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-01 13:10 UT
To: 2007-05-01 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Canon EOS 400D
Temperature: 19.1C ...
Dew Point: 6.8C ...
Humidity: 45% ...
Wind Speed: 4.6mph ...
Wind Dir: East North East ...
Pressure: 1014.4hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-05-01 13:10 UT
To: 2007-05-01 13:20 UT

The spot in active area 953 was still visible. Today there appeared to be three spots in total, one large and two much smaller ones, all 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

Active area 954 was still visible but, unlike yesterday I could only see a single small spot.


2007-05-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-02 13:35 UT
To: 2007-05-02 13:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Canon EOS 400D
Temperature: 14.1C ...
Dew Point: 7.8C ...
Humidity: 66% ...
Wind Speed: 5.8mph ...
Wind Dir: East North East ...
Pressure: 1016.5hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-05-02 13:35 UT
To: 2007-05-02 13:45 UT

The spot in active area 953 was still visible. Like yesterday there appeared to be three spots in total, one large and two much smaller ones, all 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

Active area 954 was still visible with 2 small spots.


2007-05-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-03 13:40 UT
To: 2007-05-03 13:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 13.5C ...
Dew Point: 6.5C ...
Humidity: 63% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1015.6hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-05-03 13:40 UT
To: 2007-05-03 13:45 UT

The spot in active area 953 was still visible. Like yesterday there appeared to be three spots in total, one large and two much smaller ones, all sharing a common penumbra.

No sign of active area 954.


2007-05-07


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-07 16:10 UT
To: 2007-05-07 16:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 16.4C ...
Dew Point: 9.1C ...
Humidity: 62% ...
Wind Speed: 3.1mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1002.8hPa ...
Notes:

Away for most of the day, got back late into the afternoon and managed to take the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-05-07 16:10 UT
To: 2007-05-07 16:15 UT

No sunspots or other marks visible on the Sun.


2007-05-11


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-11 14:40 UT
To: 2007-05-11 14:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 16.3C ...
Dew Point: 8.8C ...
Humidity: 61% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 999.4hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-05-11 14:40 UT
To: 2007-05-11 14:45 UT

Active area 955 was visible with 3 small and rather faint spots. I could also see a long "smudge" running through one of them.


2007-05-18


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-18 12:55 UT
To: 2007-05-18 13:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.9C ...
Dew Point: 12.1C ...
Humidity: 61% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1003.8hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy day (had to observe between racing clouds), also quite windy too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-05-18 12:55 UT
To: 2007-05-18 13:00 UT

Active area 956 was visible with 5 spots. Two appeared quite large and dark, the other three were smaller and fainter. No sign of a penumbra.


2007-05-19


Location: Woodland Waters (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-19 20:20 UT
To: 2007-05-19 23:41 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Canon EOS 400D
Notes:

Joined John and Kevin at Woodland Waters for an observing session. The sky was still very light when we arrived, Venus and a crescent Moon hung over the western horizon. Some cloud scattered around but appearing to clear.

Giving Guests a Tour

From: 2007-05-19 20:40 UT
To: 2007-05-19 21:00 UT

A short while after we'd set the 'scopes up and left them to cool down we were joined by a young couple asking what we were looking at. We explained that we weren't looking at anything specific and asked them if they wanted to have a look through the 'scopes.

Over the next 20 minutes or so we gave them a tour of Venus, the Moon and Saturn. As usually happens Saturn seemed to go down a treat.

While showing them Saturn I noticed that the image wasn't too good this evening. It was possible to make out the planet's shadow on the rings but that was about all that could be seen. I couldn't make out the Cassini Division.

Venus was also a bit of a problem too. While it was possible to make out the phase (it was apparent that the phase was smaller than the last time I observed it) there was a lot of false colour (the contrast booster helped a little but not as much as it has in the past) and the image was very unsteady.

Another guest

From: 2007-05-19 21:01 UT
To: 2007-05-19 21:05 UT

Just after the first guests left we had another visit. This person didn't stay very long, just long enough to have a quick look at Saturn through Kevin's ETX125. That sight got a very obvious "wow!" (as it does with most people).

Photographing Venus and the Moon

From: 2007-05-19 21:10 UT
To: 2007-05-19 21:30 UT

I got the Canon EOS 400D out of the car, set it on the tripod, and took some wide angle views of Venus and the Moon together:

Venus and the Moon

Venus and the Moon

Venus, the Moon and Me

Stopping for Coffee

From: 2007-05-19 21:37 UT
To: 2007-05-19 21:47 UT

By 21:37 UT it was obvious that it was going to be a very damp observing session. I noticed that lots of dew was forming on everything. I covered up the log book and anything else that might suffer from getting wet and decided to stop for a short coffee break.

M51

From: 2007-05-19 21:47 UT
To: 2007-05-19 21:57 UT

John had got M51 in his 80mm 'scope and I had a look at it (I would have got it in the 905 too but it was in a position that I can't get that 'scope in to — it's not very good at pointing almost overhead). At first it was difficult to see but, slowly, a very faint ghostly patch came into view using averted vision. I was impressed that I could see anything given that the sky still wasn't anywhere near fully dark.

M57

From: 2007-05-19 22:00 UT
To: 2007-05-19 22:15 UT

Given that Lyra was at a reasonable hight I decided to see how M57 looked in the 905. I found it without too much trouble using the 25mm eyepiece (in that it simply looked like a slightly out-of-focus star) and I then switched to the 6mm eyepiece

With the 6mm it simply looked like a faint disc. There was no hint of the ring structure that I've seen before in the 130M.

Given that the sky still wasn't fully dark I decided to compare the view I had with the view using the Neodymium filter. It did appear to improve things slightly although I wouldn't have said that it brought out any more detail. While I wasn't really comparing like-for-like in terms of observing conditions I'm of the impression that this is an object better left to the 130M.

Antares 905 Fogging Up

Time: 2007-05-19 22:16 UT

By 22:16 UT I noticed that the 905 was starting to fog up. Because of this I decided to cover it up and see if it would clear.

M3

From: 2007-05-19 22:20 UT
To: 2007-05-19 22:30 UT

While the 905 was recovering I had a look at M3 thought Kevin's ETX125. For some reason I've never observed this cluster globular cluster before. I was surprised at how striking the view was.

Observing with a 15mm eyepiece, at first all I could see was a diffuse patch in the sky. As my eye adjusted, and especially when using averted vision, I started to see a mottled effect in the cluster and I soon had the first distinct impression that I was making out individual stars.

Jupiter via EXT125

From: 2007-05-19 23:10 UT
To: 2007-05-19 23:20 UT

After a short coffee break we noticed that Jupiter was visible between trees, low on the horizon. Kevin turned his ETX125 onto it and I spent a short while having a look. All four moons were visible, one to one side of the planet and three to the other side. The view, however, was terrible. It was impossible to make out any detail whatsoever on Jupiter. This wasn't really that surprising given that the planet was so low down and also given that we were observing it thought some thin (and apparently growing) cloud.

Jupiter via 905

From: 2007-05-19 23:23 UT
To: 2007-05-19 23:30 UT

I uncovered the 905 and turned that towards Jupiter. Using the 6mm eyepiece and the contrast booster the view was no better than it had been via the ETX125. I spent a short while just observing but the view never improved and I never saw any detail at all on the planet. At no point could I even make out the two main bands.

End of Session

Time: 2007-05-19 23:41 UT

Over the past hour or so more and more thin cloud had been forming over is and was starting to spread out more. By around 23:41 UT it was obvious that it wasn't going to get any better so we decided to call an end to the session.


2007-05-22


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-22 16:00 UT
To: 2007-05-22 16:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.4C ...
Dew Point: 10.2C ...
Humidity: 52% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: North North West ...
Pressure: 1018.4hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy afternoon. Finally started to break up late on so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-05-22 16:00 UT
To: 2007-05-22 16:05 UT

Active area 956 was visible with 2 spots. Both appeared to be very small and faint.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-22 18:47 UT
To: 2007-05-22 20:29 UT
Equipment: Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M
Temperature: 18.8C ...
Dew Point: 9.8C ...
Humidity: 57% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.5hPa ...
Notes:

The evening got more and more clear (slightly milky sky with a few bits of cirrus about) so I decided to set up the 130M and attempt to observe the daylight occultation of Saturn by the Moon.

Disappearance of Saturn

From: 2007-05-22 18:51 UT
To: 2007-05-22 19:07 UT

After letting the 'scope cool down a little (I was rushed getting set up) I used the 25mm eyepiece in the 130M to try and locate Saturn. With the "dark side" of the Moon in the field of view I moved around a little to try and find it and, initially, failed. Thinking that a higher power might help I switched to the 15mm eyepiece and scanned some more. After a short while (at 18:56 UT) I could finally make out the planet. It was very faint and, initially, kept popping in and out of view.

Having got it in the middle of the field of view I switched to the 10mm eyepiece. It was still hard to see most of the time. As an experiment I added the Neodymium filter and that appeared to improve things a bit. Now and again the view of the planet's shadow on the rings would pop into view.

I stayed glued to the eyepiece and then, between around 19:05 UT and 19:06 UT (I had no method of keeping accurate timing and, even if I had, it would have meant looking away from the eyepiece) I noticed that a bit of the rings was missing. Very quickly more and more of the planet disappeared until, some time around 19:06 UT, it had totally gone.

I was quite surprised at how quickly it happened. It felt like it took no more than 30 seconds although I've got no way of knowing how long it actually took. The "effort" of watching it probably made it feel faster than it actually was.

Waiting

From: 2007-05-22 19:08 UT
To: 2007-05-22 20:12 UT

I spent most of the next hour talking on the phone to a couple of fellow observers while also watching some cloud roll in from the west. By 20:00 UT the Moon had been totally lost behind cloud. Although I could see a gap off in the distance it didn't look as if it would make it over me in time.

By 20:12 UT the gap had got very close and, for a few seconds, the Moon reappeared but disappeared just as quickly. It looked as if I was going to miss the reappearance of Saturn.

Reappearance of Saturn

From: 2007-05-22 20:13 UT
To: 2007-05-22 20:29 UT

At 20:13 UT the Moon finally became visible again and I acquired it in the 'scope as quickly as possible. Most of Saturn was already visible, just part of the rings was still occulted. Very quickly the whole of the planet and the rings was free of the Moon, I timed last contact to be 20:14 UT.

I carried on observing, watching the gap widen, until the Moon was lost to cloud again at 20:19 UT. I had a few extra fleeting glimpses over the next couple of minutes and then the Moon totally lost again. By 20:29 UT the cloud was heavier and I decided to call an end to the session.


2007-05-24


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-05-24 14:20 UT
To: 2007-05-24 14:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 23.2C ...
Dew Point: 15.2C ...
Humidity: 61% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1011.2hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day, also quite hazy too. During a clear moment took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-05-24 14:20 UT
To: 2007-05-24 14:25 UT

No sunspots or other marks visible on the Sun.


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