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All observing logs tagged with Sunspots

2009-06-24


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2009-06-24 17:15 UT
To: 2009-06-24 17:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.8C ...
Dew Point: 11.3C ...
Humidity: 66% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.8hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2009-06-24 17:15 UT
To: 2009-06-24 17:20 UT

Active area 1023 was still visible but, unlike yesterday, only one spot could be seen. Very small, very faint.


2009-06-23


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2009-06-23 17:20 UT
To: 2009-06-23 17:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.5C ...
Dew Point: 12.0C ...
Humidity: 55% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1024.5hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2009-06-23 17:20 UT
To: 2009-06-23 17:25 UT

New active area 1023 was visible with two spots. Both the spots were very small and very faint and rather far apart. No detail was noticeable.


2009-06-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2009-06-02 17:15 UT
To: 2009-06-02 17:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.4C ...
Dew Point: 10.2C ...
Humidity: 49% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1021.7hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2009-06-02 17:15 UT
To: 2009-06-02 17:20 UT

Active area 1019 still visible with three sunspots. Looked pretty much the same as yesterday with two of the spots looking darker than the third but with none of them being large or having any obvious detail.


2009-06-01


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2009-06-01 13:30 UT
To: 2009-06-01 13:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.5C ...
Dew Point: 8.5C ...
Humidity: 41% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1024.5hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2009-06-01 13:30 UT
To: 2009-06-01 13:35 UT

For the first time since November last year an active area was visible on the Sun. I could see three sunspots in active area 1019. Two of them were very dark while the third was fainter. None of them were very large. No real detail was visible.


2008-11-12


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2008-11-12 13:45 UT
To: 2008-11-12 13:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 10.2C ...
Dew Point: 6.3C ...
Humidity: 77% ...
Wind Speed: 1.5mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1013.7hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2008-11-12 13:45 UT
To: 2008-11-12 13:50 UT

Active area 1008 still visible with 2 sunspots. Compared to yesterday one of the spots appeared to be slightly bigger and darker whereas the other one appeared to be smaller and fainter. No other obvious detail was visible.


2008-11-11


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2008-11-11 14:20 UT
To: 2008-11-11 14:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 9.9C ...
Dew Point: 4.7C ...
Humidity: 70% ...
Wind Speed: 8.1mph ...
Wind Dir: West South West ...
Pressure: 999.8hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2008-11-11 14:20 UT
To: 2008-11-11 14:25 UT

New active area 1008 visible with 2 sunspots. Both spots seemed to be a good size and rather dark. However, because the Solarscope was blowing around so much in the wind it was impossible to observe any detail.


2008-10-13


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2008-10-13 13:25 UT
To: 2008-10-13 13:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 16.3C ...
Dew Point: 12.0C ...
Humidity: 76% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1011.9hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2008-10-13 13:25 UT
To: 2008-10-13 13:30 UT

Active area 1005 was still visible today. However, unlike yesterday I could only see 1 sunspot. The darker spot from yesterday could still be seen but the fainter one wasn't visible in my equipment.


2008-10-12


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2008-10-12 13:45 UT
To: 2008-10-12 13:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.9C ...
Dew Point: 14.0C ...
Humidity: 69% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.6hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2008-10-12 13:45 UT
To: 2008-10-12 13:50 UT

For the first time since 2008-03-31 I could see sunspots on the Sun. New active area 1005 was visible with two small spots. One was dark and immediately obvious in the Solarscope where the other one appeared rather faint and wasn't easy to spot at first.


2008-03-31


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2008-03-31 13:40 UT
To: 2008-03-31 13:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 14.5C ...
Dew Point: 6.8C ...
Humidity: 60% ...
Wind Speed: 10.9mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1012.7hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2008-03-31 13:40 UT
To: 2008-03-31 13:45 UT

The Sun had 2 active areas were visible today:

Area 987 had 2 spots visible. Both with a dark umbra and sharing a common penumbra.

Area 988 had 1 spot visible. Very small and faint.


2008-03-27


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2008-03-27 14:40 UT
To: 2008-03-27 14:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 9.3C ...
Dew Point: 3.4C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 998.6hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2008-03-27 14:40 UT
To: 2008-03-27 14:45 UT

The Sun had 3 active areas were visible today:

Area 987 had 5 spots visible. Two of them had a visible penumbra.

Area 988 had 3 spots visible. Two of them were sharing a common penumbra.

New area 989 had 2 small spots visible.


2008-03-24


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2008-03-24 15:55 UT
To: 2008-03-24 16:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 4.4C ...
Dew Point: -1.3C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: 0.6mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 996.9hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2008-03-24 15:55 UT
To: 2008-03-24 16:00 UT

After another long period of seeing no activity on the Sun I finally had some sunspots visible. Two new active areas were visible: 987 and 988.

Area 987 had three small spots with no real detail visible.

Area 988 had two spots. One was quite small but the other appeared to be of a reasonable size and had an obvious penumbra.


2007-12-15


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-12-15 14:30 UT
To: 2007-12-15 14:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 3.2C ...
Dew Point: 0.4C ...
Humidity: 82% ...
Wind Speed: 0.4mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1033.7hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day, cleared somewhat into the afternoon. Misty too with pretty bad seeing. Despite the conditions I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-12-15 14:30 UT
To: 2007-12-15 14:35 UT

Active area 978 was still visible with 6 spots although they were all rather difficult to see due to the terrible viewing conditions.


2007-12-13


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-12-13 13:15 UT
To: 2007-12-13 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 1.6C ...
Dew Point: 0.1C ...
Humidity: 90% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1038.0hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-12-13 13:15 UT
To: 2007-12-13 13:20 UT

Active area 978 was still visible with 6 spots. The dark marks seen yesterday were less obvious but the spots I could see appeared more distinct than yesterday.


2007-12-12


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-12-12 13:30 UT
To: 2007-12-12 13:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 3.8C ...
Dew Point: 1.5C ...
Humidity: 85% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1034.6hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

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

For the first time since 2007-09-01 an active area was visible on the Sun. Active area 978 appeared quite large near the middle of the face of the sun and appeared to contain 6 spots. Two very distinct spots could be seen with a hint of penumbra around them. As well as a few smaller spots lots dark patches could be seen too. The whole area appeared to be a "loop" of dark marks.


2007-09-01


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-09-01 12:45 UT
To: 2007-09-01 12:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.1C ...
Dew Point: 12.8C ...
Humidity: 55% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1017.0hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy day, quite hazy too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-09-01 12:45 UT
To: 2007-09-01 12:50 UT

Active area 969 still visible with one spot. Now looking very small and very faint. Took a short while to even spot it.

New active area 970 visible with two very small faint spots. Didn't notice this at first and had almost got ready to bring the Solarscope back in when I noticed it.


2007-08-31


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-31 15:00 UT
To: 2007-08-31 15:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.6C ...
Dew Point: 13.3C ...
Humidity: 63% ...
Wind Speed: 2.9mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1016.4hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy day, quite hazy too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-08-31 15:00 UT
To: 2007-08-31 15:05 UT

Active area 969 still visible with one spot. Probably down to the haze more than anything but noticed that it was much fainter than it had been during the last few observations.


2007-08-29


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-29 13:20 UT
To: 2007-08-29 13:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.3C ...
Dew Point: 11.0C ...
Humidity: 49% ...
Wind Speed: 1.7mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1018.1hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day, quite hazy too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-08-29 13:20 UT
To: 2007-08-29 13:25 UT

Active area 969 still visible with two spots. Both small and circular looking and both sharing a common penumbra.


2007-08-26


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-26 15:30 UT
To: 2007-08-26 15:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.3C ...
Dew Point: 9.7C ...
Humidity: 45% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1025.9hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly clear day, just some scattered cloud. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-08-26 15:30 UT
To: 2007-08-26 15:35 UT

Active area 969 still visible with a single spot. Looked more or less the same as yesterday.


2007-08-25


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-25 15:30 UT
To: 2007-08-25 15:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 25.8C ...
Dew Point: 16.0C ...
Humidity: 56% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1023.2hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear and hot day so I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-08-25 15:30 UT
To: 2007-08-25 15:35 UT

Active area 969 still visible but, unlike yesterday, I could only see a single umbra. I guess this either means that the two spots I saw yesterday had merged or that today's seeing wasn't so good. The umbra did appear to be somewhat elongated.


2007-08-24


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-24 13:00 UT
To: 2007-08-24 13:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.3C ...
Dew Point: 14.6C ...
Humidity: 66% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1022.7hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day so I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-08-24 13:00 UT
To: 2007-08-24 13:05 UT

New active area 969 visible with 2 spots. Both appeared round and both appeared to be sharing a common penumbra. One umbra was obviously bigger than the other.


2007-08-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-09 14:15 UT
To: 2007-08-09 14:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.5C ...
Dew Point: 10.6C ...
Humidity: 50% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.4hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-08-09 14:15 UT
To: 2007-08-09 14:20 UT

Active area 966 still visible with 2 spots. Both looked more or less the same as they did yesterday (although both appeared crisper and easier to see, probably down to less haze today).


2007-08-08


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-08 14:00 UT
To: 2007-08-08 14:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.5C ...
Dew Point: 8.5C ...
Humidity: 50% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1017.0hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-08-08 14:00 UT
To: 2007-08-08 14:05 UT

Active area 966 still visible but now with 2 spots. One looking more or less the same as yesterday while the other appeared to be slightly smaller and obviously fainter.


2007-08-07


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-07 13:20 UT
To: 2007-08-07 13:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.1C ...
Dew Point: 11.1C ...
Humidity: 50% ...
Wind Speed: 2.4mph ...
Wind Dir: North North West ...
Pressure: 1014.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-08-07 13:20 UT
To: 2007-08-07 13:25 UT

Active area 966 still visible with a single spot. Appeared more or less the same as yesterday while being a little easier to see. Still not as crisp looking as a couple of days ago (probably down to the hazy sky).


2007-08-06


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-06 16:05 UT
To: 2007-08-06 16:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.3C ...
Dew Point: 10.3C ...
Humidity: 47% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1006.5hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-08-06 16:05 UT
To: 2007-08-06 16:10 UT

Active area 966 still visible with a single spot. Appeared more or less the same as yesterday although didn't appear quite as crisp (probably down to the hazy sky).


2007-08-05


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-08-05 13:40 UT
To: 2007-08-05 13:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.8C ...
Dew Point: 14.3C ...
Humidity: 39% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1004.4hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-08-05 13:40 UT
To: 2007-08-05 13:45 UT

New active area 966 visible with a single spot. Appear to be small, round, crisp in definition and with just a hint of penumbra.


2007-07-19


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-07-19 15:10 UT
To: 2007-07-19 15:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 16.8C ...
Dew Point: 14.6C ...
Humidity: 87% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1016.1hPa ...
Notes:

Very stormy and wet day. Between a couple of storms I managed to get the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-07-19 15:10 UT
To: 2007-07-19 15:15 UT

Active area 963 still visible, very close to the limb of the Sun. Like yesterday I could only see 1 spot but, this time, I couldn't make out any detail (this probably wasn't helped by the fact that the sky was quite hazy too).


2007-07-18


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-07-18 17:10 UT
To: 2007-07-18 17:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.8C ...
Dew Point: 13.7C ...
Humidity: 80% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1013.8hPa ...
Notes:

Very cloudy day. Cleared quite late into the afternoon so I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-07-18 17:10 UT
To: 2007-07-18 17:15 UT

Active area 963 still visible but only a single spot could be seen (the biggest of the spots I'd been observing over previous sessions). Despite being very close to the limb of the Sun the penumbra was still visible.


2007-07-17


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-07-17 15:00 UT
To: 2007-07-17 15:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 16.9C ...
Dew Point: 13.4C ...
Humidity: 80% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1007.5hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-07-17 15:00 UT
To: 2007-07-17 15:05 UT

Active area 963 still visible with 3 spots. Looked more or less the same as it did yesterday.


2007-07-16


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-07-16 16:00 UT
To: 2007-07-16 16:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 23.6C ...
Dew Point: 13.7C ...
Humidity: 52% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1005.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-07-16 16:00 UT
To: 2007-07-16 16:05 UT

Active area 963 still visible with 3 spots. Still one large one with a visible penumbra, one of the smaller ones very close to the large one and one much further away.

Could no longer see any sign of active area 964 which could be seen in the previous observation.


2007-07-14


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-07-14 12:20 UT
To: 2007-07-14 12:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.5C ...
Dew Point: 12.1C ...
Humidity: 52% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1007.3hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-07-14 12:20 UT
To: 2007-07-14 12:25 UT

Active area 963 still visible with 5 spots. Still one large one with a visible penumbra and 4 much smaller ones.

New active area 964 visible with four small spots arranged in two pairs.


2007-07-10


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-07-10 14:50 UT
To: 2007-07-10 14:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.3C ...
Dew Point: 10.7C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1008.9hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-07-10 14:50 UT
To: 2007-07-10 14:55 UT

Active area 963 still visible, looking similar to yesterday's observation. The main difference was that I could count 7 spots instead of six, the "tail" of smaller spots appeared to have acquired an extra spot.

I also noted that the main spot looked as if it was going to split into 2 at some point.


2007-07-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-07-09 14:40 UT
To: 2007-07-09 14:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.0C ...
Dew Point: 10.4C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: 2.9mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1008.9hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-07-09 14:40 UT
To: 2007-07-09 14:45 UT

New active area 963 visible with 6 spots in total. One large round spot with a visible penumbra. Three smaller spots and two very small spots in a "tail" behind the biggest one.


2007-07-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-07-03 15:25 UT
To: 2007-07-03 15:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.3C ...
Dew Point: 12.2C ...
Humidity: 72% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 993.7hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-07-03 15:25 UT
To: 2007-07-03 15:30 UT

Active area 961 was still visible with 2 spots and appeared more or less the same as it did yesterday.


2007-07-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-07-02 15:15 UT
To: 2007-07-02 15:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.8C ...
Dew Point: 15.7C ...
Humidity: 73% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 996.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-07-02 15:15 UT
To: 2007-07-02 15:20 UT

Active area 961 was still visible with 2 spots. The two faint spots seen previously were no longer visible but the umbra of the main spot had split in two giving two spots with a common penumbra.


2007-06-29


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-06-29 15:55 UT
To: 2007-06-29 16:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.1C ...
Dew Point: 9.3C ...
Humidity: 53% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1003.4hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day. During a brief clear spell late on into the afternoon I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-06-29 15:55 UT
To: 2007-06-29 16:00 UT

Active area 961 was still visible with just 3 spots. The biggest spot looked much the same as it did yesterday with a round umbra and a visible penumbra. Either side of it I could see two small, faint spots.


2007-06-28


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-06-28 14:05 UT
To: 2007-06-28 14:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.9C ...
Dew Point: 8.2C ...
Humidity: 47% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: South South West ...
Pressure: 1004.8hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-06-28 14:05 UT
To: 2007-06-28 14:10 UT

New active area 961 visible with just 1 spot. Dark round umbra with visible penumbra.


2007-06-11


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-06-11 14:40 UT
To: 2007-06-11 14:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.2C ...
Dew Point: 14.8C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: 2.6mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1012.3hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-06-11 14:40 UT
To: 2007-06-11 14:45 UT

Active area 960 was still visible with two spots. Compared to yesterday one of the spots, the "leading" spot, had faded quite a bit and was only just visible. The other spot was still very obvious and was still showing a hint of a penumbra.


2007-06-10


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-06-10 15:50 UT
To: 2007-06-10 15:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.6C ...
Dew Point: 14.7C ...
Humidity: 70% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1014.6hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-06-10 15:50 UT
To: 2007-06-10 15:55 UT

Active area 960 was still visible and, just like yesterday, only the two spots could be seen. Both had a hint of a penumbra.


2007-06-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-06-09 15:50 UT
To: 2007-06-09 15:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.0C ...
Dew Point: 14.8C ...
Humidity: 68% ...
Wind Speed: 2.9mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1015.3hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-06-09 15:50 UT
To: 2007-06-09 15:55 UT

Active area 960 was still visible but, unlike the previous observation, only the two "main" spots could be seen. Both had a hint of a penumbra.


2007-06-05


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-06-05 14:40 UT
To: 2007-06-05 14:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.1C ...
Dew Point: 11.4C ...
Humidity: 61% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1022.0hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-06-05 14:40 UT
To: 2007-06-05 14:45 UT

Active area 960 was still visible with 9 spots. In the Solarscope it looked more or less the same as it did yesterday. The two biggest spots appeared very circular and had very obvious penumbra.


2007-06-04


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-06-04 13:40 UT
To: 2007-06-04 13:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.6C ...
Dew Point: 12.0C ...
Humidity: 56% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: South South East ...
Pressure: 1020.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-06-04 13:40 UT
To: 2007-06-04 13:45 UT

Active area 960 was still visible but now with 9 spots. Other than the additional visible spots it looked more or less the same as it did yesterday. The "chain" I mentioned yesterday was also still visible.


2007-06-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-06-03 12:00 UT
To: 2007-06-03 12:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 25.5C ...
Dew Point: 12.9C ...
Humidity: 46% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1020.2hPa ...
Notes:

Clear but hazy day, warm too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-06-03 12:00 UT
To: 2007-06-03 12:05 UT

Active area 960 was still visible with 7 spots. It looked more or less the same as it did yesterday. I did notice a dark "chain" of marks, hard to really make out in the Solarscope, running amongst the spots.


2007-06-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-06-02 14:20 UT
To: 2007-06-02 14:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.9C ...
Dew Point: 12.7C ...
Humidity: 52% ...
Wind Speed: 1.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1022.0hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-06-02 14:20 UT
To: 2007-06-02 14:25 UT

New active area 960 visible close to the limb of the Sun. Two dark circular spots visible with obvious penumbra and five other smaller spots also visible.


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.


2007-05-18


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.


2007-05-11


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.


2007-05-03


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.


2007-05-02


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.


2007-05-01


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.


2007-04-30


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.


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.


2007-04-28


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


2007-04-27


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.


2007-03-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-03-03 13:00 UT
To: 2007-03-03 13:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 11.1C ...
Dew Point: 5.8C ...
Humidity: 71% ...
Wind Speed: 3.3mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1003.9hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-03-03 13:00 UT
To: 2007-03-03 13:05 UT

Active area 944 was still visible and looked more or less the same as it did yesterday.

Location: Woodland Waters (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-03-03 20:10 UT
To: 2007-03-04 01:12 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Antares 905
Meade 10x50 Binoculars
Notes:

Very clear and pretty cold night. Arranged to meet up with John Turner at Woodland Waters to observe the total lunar eclipse. I took along my Antares 905 and a pair of 10x50 binoculars and John brought his Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M mounted on an EQ5 mount.

Saturn

From: 2007-03-03 20:10 UT
To: 2007-03-03 20:50 UT

After setting up I started out with a brief look at Saturn (given that the umbral phase of the eclipse wouldn't be starting for a short while). The first thing I noticed was that seeing seemed to be very steady. The view of Saturn in the 905 with the 6mm eyepiece was nice and sharp.

The shadow of the rings on the planet seemed obvious and I kept getting a good hint of the Cassini Division. Titan was easily visible and, off to the other side of Saturn, closer than Titan, there appeared to be another moon visible. Checking with Starry Night I suspect it was Rhea.

Total Lunar Eclipse

From: 2007-03-03 21:00 UT
To: 2007-03-04 01:12 UT

Having observed Saturn for a while I turned to observing the lunar eclipse.

At 21:04 UT I had the impression that there was less visible contrast between the highland and lowland regions of the Moon. This was especially noticeable on the side of the Moon that was heading towards the Earth's umbra. By 21:24 UT this loss of contrast had become much more noticeable and there was obvious darkening of the part of the lunar surface that was deepest in the Earth's penumbra.

At 21:30 UT the umbral phase started and, very quickly, it was obvious where the umbra was. To the naked eye it looked like part of the Moon had gone missing. Via the 905 detail was still visible in the umbra, it looked like a very dark gray shadow.

I noticed that Tycho had been fully consumed by the shadow at around 21:48 UT. I noted at this point that the umbra seemed very dark (much darker than I remember it looking during last year's partial eclipse), dark gray to almost back looking in places. I also noted at this point that the sky was obviously getting darker and that my shadow was starting to fade.

Around this time I started to take a few afocal images, via the 905, with my mobile phone. Few turned out that well but the following is an example of one of the better ones:

Total Lunar Eclipse

By 22:05 UT we were about way towards totality and I was starting to notice a slight red/brown hint to the umbra. In the 905 the umbra showed no colour, still just a dark gray.

At 22:16 UT, via the 905 and with the 10mm eyepiece, I could see a star quite close to the Moon. This star hadn't been visible before so it seemed pretty clear that a lot of the Moon's glare had gone now. Checking with Starry Night it appears that it was 56Y Leonis (HIP53449, TYC261-384-1).

By 22:32 UT I was starting to see a hint of red/brown colour in the deepest part of the umbra when viewing via the 'scope. The redness was now very obvious to the naked eye. By this point it was looking like it was going to be a reasonably dark eclipse.

At 22:44 UT it was obvious that totality had begun. Although there was an obvious hint of redness to the Moon with the naked eye it wasn't that red. There was an obvious difference in brightness between the part of the Moon that was towards the edge of the umbra and the part that was deepest in the umbra. By now the sky was a lot darker — many more stars were visible, as were the more obvious deep sky objects such as the Double Cluster and M44. I could no longer see my own shadow and, unlike earlier in the evening, I now needed a light to be able to move around safely.

Mid totality was around 23:20 UT. On the Danjon scale I would estimate that the brightness of the eclipse was L2.

At 23:32 UT I observed a short and bright meteor head south of Auriga in the direction of Orion.

By 23:35 UT it was obvious that the brighter part of the shadow had "swung" around to the edge of the Moon that would exit the umbra.

By 23:58 UT the first bright patch was visible to the naked eye, totality had ended.

Around 00:09 UT I took a few more afocal shots of the Moon, via the 905, with my mobile phone. The best of the bunch is this one:

Total Lunar Eclipse

Around 00:17 UT it was obvious that the sky was starting to brighten again. M44 was still visible but much harder to see than it had been during totality. I could also see my own shadow again.

At 00:24 UT, with the Moon about way out of the umbra, some thin cloud started to move in front of the Moon. While it didn't put a stop to observing it was a cause for concern given that thicker could cloud be seen towards the west.

Around 00:36 UT I watched Tycho emerge from the umbra. Also, around this time, I noticed a star pretty close to the lit limb of the Moon (the limb that had already emerged from the umbra). By the looks of things it seemed like it might actually be occulted by the Moon before the Moon was clear of the umbra. I decided to stay at the eyepiece and see how long I could follow the star.

Later checking suggests that I was watching 59 Leonis (HIP53824, TYC268-1064-1). From my location this star would not be occulted by the Moon but would come very close. Western parts of the UK would see an occultation.

At 00:39 UT I noticed that the objective lens of the 905 was starting to badly mist up (this might have started happening some time ago but it was now very obvious due to the glare from the brightening Moon).

The star was still just visible at 00:49 UT, although I now struggling to see it in the glare of the Moon. I carried on watching it for as long as I could and I lost it, very close to the Moon's limb, at 01:01 UT. It appeared to have been occulted (but see the note above).

By 01:04 UT the sky was now very bright again, only the brightest of stars were visible and I could no longer see the naked-eye deep-sky objects I'd been able to see earlier. I could also now walk around without the aid of a torch without any danger of bumping into anything.

I started to pack up during the final moments of the Moon exiting umbra and, at 01:12 UT, I watched the Moon finally move out of the umbra. Now cold and tired we finished packing up and called it a night.


2007-03-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-03-02 13:20 UT
To: 2007-03-02 13:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 10.7C ...
Dew Point: 3.2C ...
Humidity: 60% ...
Wind Speed: 5.5mph ...
Wind Dir: South South West ...
Pressure: 1001.4hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-03-02 13:20 UT
To: 2007-03-02 13:25 UT

Active area 944 was still visible and looked more or less the same as it did during the last observation.


2007-02-26


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-02-26 14:10 UT
To: 2007-02-26 14:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 9.4C ...
Dew Point: 2.7C ...
Humidity: 63% ...
Wind Speed: 4.2mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1010.7hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-02-26 14:10 UT
To: 2007-02-26 14:15 UT

New active area 944 was visible. Just 1 small round spot with a hint of a penumbra around it.


2007-02-07


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-02-07 13:20 UT
To: 2007-02-07 13:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 3.8C ...
Dew Point: -0.1C ...
Humidity: 76% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 998.4hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-02-07 13:20 UT
To: 2007-02-07 13:25 UT

Active area 940 was still visible with a single spot. Now very close to the limb of the Sun.

Active area 941 was still visible with 1 spot and it looked pretty much the same as yesterday.


2007-02-06


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-02-06 13:10 UT
To: 2007-02-06 13:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 4.3C ...
Dew Point: -1.4C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1003.6hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-02-06 13:10 UT
To: 2007-02-06 13:15 UT

Active areas 940 and 941 were both still visible with a single dark circular spot each. Both had a visible penumbra and looked more or less the same as yesterday.

Area 940 was starting to get close to the limb of the Sun.


2007-02-05


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-02-05 13:30 UT
To: 2007-02-05 13:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 6.0C ...
Dew Point: 1.9C ...
Humidity: 75% ...
Wind Speed: 2.2mph ...
Wind Dir: North North West ...
Pressure: 1015.0hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-02-05 13:30 UT
To: 2007-02-05 13:35 UT

Active areas 940 and 941 were both still visible with a single dark circular spot each. Both had a visible penumbra.


2007-02-04


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-02-04 12:55 UT
To: 2007-02-04 13:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 6.6C ...
Dew Point: 3.0C ...
Humidity: 78% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1028.5hPa ...
Notes:

Lots of very thin cloud about but, despite this, I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count through the cloud.

Sun

From: 2007-02-04 12:55 UT
To: 2007-02-04 13:00 UT

Active area 940 was still visible although, unlike yesterday, only the single main spot was visible (this may have been down to the fact that I was observing via thin cloud).

Active 941 was also still visible with 1 dark spot and also looked pretty much the same as it did yesterday.


2007-02-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-02-03 12:50 UT
To: 2007-02-03 12:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 8.9C ...
Dew Point: 2.4C ...
Humidity: 65% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1036.8hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-02-03 12:50 UT
To: 2007-02-03 12:55 UT

Active area 940 was still visible with 3 small spots and looked pretty much the same as it did yesterday.

Active 941 was also still visible with 1 dark spot and also looked pretty much the same as it did yesterday.


2007-02-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-02-02 13:00 UT
To: 2007-02-02 13:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 10.9C ...
Dew Point: 5.7C ...
Humidity: 70% ...
Wind Speed: 2.6mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1030.7hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2007-02-02 13:00 UT
To: 2007-02-02 13:05 UT

Active area 940 was still visible with 2 small spots and a 1 relatively big circular spot that had a visible penumbra.

Active 941 was still visible with 1 dark spot that also had a visible penumbra.


2007-02-01


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-02-01 14:00 UT
To: 2007-02-01 15:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Canon EOS 400D
Temperature: 11.6C ...
Dew Point: 8.8C ...
Humidity: 83% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1025.6hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly clear and still day but with some cirrus cloud about. I was about to take the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count when I noticed that a faint circumzenithal arc was visible.

Circumzenithal Arc and Sundog

From: 2007-02-01 14:00 UT
To: 2007-02-01 14:30 UT

The circumzenithal arc was rather faint, nowhere near as good or as obvious as the last one I saw. However, I went indoors and got my Canon EOS 400D and tried to take some images. The following image is the best of that bunch. The arc is hard to see, it's in the bottom half of the picture.

Circumzenithal Arc

I then noticed that there was a sundog to the right of the Sun. This was quite bright and had some colour to it.

Sundog to right of Sun

I watched the sundog for a short while as it started to fade. I also noticed that the arc had faded to the point that it was almost impossible to see.

Sun

From: 2007-02-01 14:35 UT
To: 2007-02-01 14:40 UT

Now that the display of the circumzenithal arc and sundog had faded I got the solarscope out and did a sunspot count.

Active area 940 was still visible. It still had 1 large spot (that now had an obvious penumbra) but I could also now count 6 small faint spots in a chain close to it.

New active area 941 was visible with 1 dark spot.

Circumzenithal Arc and Sundog Again

From: 2007-02-01 14:43 UT
To: 2007-02-01 15:00 UT

The circumzenithal arc was visible again, still faint, but noticeable. I had a go at taking some more photographs. Again, it's rather hard to see in the image:

Circumzenithal Arc

The following image is the previous one, heavily processed in an attempt to better bring out the arc:

Circumzenithal Arc

I then noticed that a sundog had formed to the left of the Sun. This one was also bright and had a fair bit of colour to it too:

Sundog to the left of Sun

I watched for a short while longer as the arc and the sundog came and went as the clouds moved and then finally returned to my office at around 15:00 UT.


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.


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.


2007-01-24


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.


2007-01-23


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.


2007-01-22


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.


2007-01-21


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.


2007-01-20


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.


2007-01-12


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.


2007-01-10


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.


2007-01-09


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.


2007-01-04


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.


2007-01-01


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.


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.


2006-12-14


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).


2006-12-12


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).


2006-12-09


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).


2006-12-04


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.


2006-12-03


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).


2006-12-02


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.


2006-11-29


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.


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.


2006-11-27


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.


2006-11-26


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.


2006-11-20


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.


2006-11-19


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.


2006-11-18


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.


2006-11-13


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.


2006-11-12


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.


2006-11-06


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.


2006-11-03


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.


2006-11-02


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.


2006-11-01


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.


2006-10-31


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-31 15:30 UT
To: 2006-10-31 15:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 11.1C ...
Dew Point: 6.2C ...
Humidity: 72% ...
Wind Speed: 2.9mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1005.5hPa ...
Notes:

Overcast and stormy for most of the day but started to clear a little into the late afternoon. While I had the chance I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-10-31 15:30 UT
To: 2006-10-31 15:35 UT

Active area 921 had developed quite a bit and looked a lot stronger than yesterday. I counted 5 sunspots, all quite small.

Close by I could also see another single spot but I wasn't sure if this was in a separate active area or was part of 921. Checking later it turned out that it was part of new active area 922.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-31 19:15 UT
To: 2006-10-31 19:20 UT
Equipment: 7x50 Binoculars
Temperature: 7.6C ...
Dew Point: 1.6C ...
Humidity: 66% ...
Wind Speed: 6.5mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1012.5hPa ...
Notes:

Reasonably clear evening, if a little hazy. The view of the sky was made worse by a 61% waxing Moon.

Comet M4 Swan

From: 2006-10-31 19:15 UT
To: 2006-10-31 19:20 UT

Annoyingly I didn't have the available time to do a proper observation of comet Swan so I quickly grabbed by 7x50 binoculars and went outside for a few minutes to see if I could still find it.

I found it almost right away, a small fuzzy patch just off the bottom left hand corner of the Keystone in Her. I compared it with M13 and I would say that the comet still looks brighter.


2006-10-30


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-30 14:30 UT
To: 2006-10-30 14:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 16.2C ...
Dew Point: 13.6C ...
Humidity: 85% ...
Wind Speed: 1.7mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1010.0hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly clear day, some cloud around. Quite breezy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-10-30 14:30 UT
To: 2006-10-30 14:35 UT

Today I could see two small faint sunspots in new active area 921. The area was quite close to the limb and, because conditions were very unsteady, it was hard to make it out from time to time.


2006-10-24


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-24 14:15 UT
To: 2006-10-24 14:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 14.6C ...
Dew Point: 7.6C ...
Humidity: 63% ...
Wind Speed: 2.9mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 996.8hPa ...
Notes:

Partly clear afternoon, quite cool and breezy too. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-10-24 14:15 UT
To: 2006-10-24 14:20 UT

Active area 917 was still visible, now quite close to the limb of the Sun. I could see three small faint spots.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-24 20:30 UT
To: 2006-10-24 22:15 UT
Equipment: Meade 10x50 Binoculars
Antares 905
Temperature: 9.1C ...
Dew Point: 5.8C ...
Humidity: 80% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1002.1hPa ...
Notes:

Reasonably clear night but appearing a little unsteady at times. I was caught out by it, I wasn't expecting it to be clear. Having noticed in Starry Night that Uranus would be well placed for viewing from my garden I decided to pop out and see if I could view it.

Uranus

From: 2006-10-24 20:30 UT
To: 2006-10-24 21:20 UT

First off I used Starry Night to figure out exactly where Uranus was in relation to easily spotted star patterns. After I was happy that I'd be able to find it I went outside with the 10x50 binoculars and tried to track it down. I was surprised to find that I could see it with no problems whatsoever.

Uranus was near to, and down and to the right from, Lambda Aquarii. Lambda Aquarii was quite a fascinating object to see in itself given its vivid red colour. In relation to the surrounding stars Uranus, while obvious given that I knew where it should be, didn't stand out as being a planet. If I hadn't known what I was looking for and where I was looking for it I would simply have thought it was just another star.

Having seen it with the 10x50s I decided to get the Antares 905 out and have a look at it through that. After setting up the 905 I started out with the 25mm eyepiece and got Lambda Aquarii in the field and then centered on Uranus. I then worked my way up to the 6mm eyepiece, keeping Uranus in the center of the field of view as I went.

By about 20:50 UT I had Uranus and TYC5813-273-1 in the field of the 6mm. Even at this magnification I would have thought that I was looking at 2 stars if I hadn't already known one of them was a planet. Initially there was no hint of any kind of disc and I could detect no obvious colour.

The observation probably wasn't helped by the fact that, at the elevation of Uranus, the sky was a little murky and sometimes quite unsteady.

After some more viewing, especially when comparing it with TYC5813-273-1, I began to detect that Uranus wasn't a point-source but was actually a very small disc (at least I think I could see that, I don't think it was wishful thinking).

Around 21:08 UT, after scanning the area around Uranus and memorising some of the closer stars, I went back into the office to double-check what I'd seen with Starry Night. The main feature that stood out was two starts, sort of close together, just south of Uranus. I could see them in Starry Night (they were TYC5813-519-1 and TYC5813-814-1) and this confirmed that, without a doubt, I was looking at Uranus.

I also noticed in Starry Night that TYC5813-789-1 was very close to Uranus but I never did manage to see it through the 'scope.

After doing the above checking and after memorising the general pattern of starts around Uranus, at around 21:15 UT, I went back out and put the 10mm eyepiece in the 905 and checked everything again. Everything matched and there was no doubt that I'd found Uranus.

Random viewing

From: 2006-10-24 21:25 UT
To: 2006-10-24 22:15 UT

Given that I was out with the 905 and given that the sky wasn't too awful I decided to stay out a bit longer even though I managed to achieve my aim for this session. Because I didn't really have any other sort of plan I decided to just randomly sweep around the sky looking at whatever turned up or took my fancy.

First off I tried to have a look at M31 with the 905. Annoyingly, because it was so far overhead, I couldn't get the 905 in a position where I could view it, the mount kept getting in the way. So, instead, I turned it on the Double Cluster in Perseus (also known as Caldwell 14 or NGC 869 and NGC 884).

In the 32mm eyepiece it was a nice rich star field, just the sort of thing I'd purchased the 905 for. Both clusters stood out very well against the very starry background and the line of starts that runs away from the area of the cluster stood out really well.

At around 21:43 UT I noticed that the sky was looking quite nice now. Still a little hazy but it looked quite impressive. The Milky Way stood out really well — I think this is probably the best I've seen it for most of this year.

Given that I couldn't get the 905 trained on M31 I decided to have a quick look with the 10x50 binoculars instead. Even though I was only holding them with my hands it was a very impressive sight. The more I looked the wider it appeared to get. I think this was probably the best view I've had of that galaxy since I started observing again.

While I had the 10x50s to hand I next had a look at M45. It looked very clear, very bright and the "mini cascade" in it stood out really well. I think this was probably the best view I've had for a long time.

At around 21:55 UT, while sweeping around Cassiopeia with the 10x50s, I saw a pretty obvious cluster of stars about way between Epsilon Cassiopeiae and Delta Cassiopeiae. Checking with my maps it turned out to be NGC 654 (also known as Caldwell 10). Checking back I have observed this before. It looked like a slightly fuzzy but loose collection of stars. Last time I observed I remember thinking that it looked more like a globular cluster but this time around it was obvious that it was an open cluster.

Starting around 22:05 UT I did a bit of aimless sweeping around with the binoculars, just taking in the beauty of the sky. However, it was starting to get colder and damper (dew was forming on everything) and given that I wasn't really dressed for the conditions (I had, after all, intended to just pop out for a quick look for Uranus) and that I really needed to get off to bed I decided to call an end to the session at 22:15 UT.


2006-10-21


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-21 13:45 UT
To: 2006-10-21 13:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.4C ...
Dew Point: 11.4C ...
Humidity: 68% ...
Wind Speed: 8.6mph ...
Wind Dir: South ...
Pressure: 990.3hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2006-10-21 13:45 UT
To: 2006-10-21 13:50 UT

Active area 917 was still visible but had change somewhat from yesterday's observation. Today five small sunspots were visible. A faint hint of a penumbra was visible around the biggest of the group and it also appeared to have a "tail" to it as well.


2006-10-20


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-20 13:45 UT
To: 2006-10-20 13:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 16.5C ...
Dew Point: 11.4C ...
Humidity: 72% ...
Wind Speed: 0.6mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 985.6hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear afternoon, hardly a cloud in the sky. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-10-20 13:45 UT
To: 2006-10-20 13:50 UT

Two new small spots were visible in active area 917.


2006-10-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-09 14:10 UT
To: 2006-10-09 14:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.9C ...
Dew Point: 13.4C ...
Humidity: 75% ...
Wind Speed: 3.3mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1011.9hPa ...
Notes:

Very wet and overcast day. Cleared later into the afternoon so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-10-09 14:10 UT
To: 2006-10-09 14:15 UT

Two small spots were visible in new active area 916.


2006-10-06


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-06 14:10 UT
To: 2006-10-06 14:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.9C ...
Dew Point: 12.6C ...
Humidity: 71% ...
Wind Speed: 5.3mph ...
Wind Dir: North North West ...
Pressure: 992.3hPa ...
Notes:

Wet and windy day. Had a brief bright spell in the afternoon so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-10-06 14:10 UT
To: 2006-10-06 14:15 UT

Active areas 913 and 914 were both still visible. Both contained a single small spot each.


2006-10-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-10-02 13:10 UT
To: 2006-10-02 13:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.5C ...
Dew Point: 11.5C ...
Humidity: 60% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 997.0hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy day, also slightly breezy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-10-02 13:10 UT
To: 2006-10-02 13:15 UT

Active areas 913 and 914 were both still visible. 913 now contained 2 small spots while 914 still contained a single small spot.

Active area 915 was no longer visible.


2006-09-29


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-29 13:15 UT
To: 2006-09-29 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.4C ...
Dew Point: 15.6C ...
Humidity: 79% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 998.6hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2006-09-29 13:15 UT
To: 2006-09-29 13:20 UT

Three active areas were visible today: 913, 914 and 915. 913 and 914 both had a single small spot each and both appear to have come around the limb of the Sun since my last observation.

Active area 915 also had a single small spot which, given its location, appeared to have formed part way across the Sun's disc.


2006-09-23


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-23 15:35 UT
To: 2006-09-23 15:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.2C ...
Dew Point: 15.7C ...
Humidity: 71% ...
Wind Speed: 2.0mph ...
Wind Dir: East South East ...
Pressure: 1006.1hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy day, also quite hazy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-23 15:35 UT
To: 2006-09-23 15:40 UT

As with two days ago all that was visible was a, small, single spot in active area 910.


2006-09-21


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-21 14:35 UT
To: 2006-09-21 14:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 27.4C ...
Dew Point: 13.0C ...
Humidity: 41% ...
Wind Speed: 4.9mph ...
Wind Dir: South ...
Pressure: 998.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2006-09-21 14:35 UT
To: 2006-09-21 14:40 UT

As with two days ago all that was visible was a, small, single spot in active area 910.


2006-09-19


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-19 14:30 UT
To: 2006-09-19 14:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.5C ...
Dew Point: 7.4C ...
Humidity: 43% ...
Wind Speed: 6.5mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1008.9hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy day, slightly hazy in the gaps and quite breezy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-19 14:30 UT
To: 2006-09-19 14:35 UT

As with yesterday all that was visible was a, small, single spot in active area 910.


2006-09-18


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-18 14:45 UT
To: 2006-09-18 14:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.1C ...
Dew Point: 9.6C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: 2.4mph ...
Wind Dir: South South West ...
Pressure: 1006.5hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy day and reasonably hazy in the gaps. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-18 14:45 UT
To: 2006-09-18 14:50 UT

All I could also was a, small, single spot in active area 910.


2006-09-17


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-17 12:40 UT
To: 2006-09-17 12:45 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 23.3C ...
Dew Point: 12.5C ...
Humidity: 51% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: South South West ...
Pressure: 1008.3hPa ...
Notes:

Very sunny day, not too much in the way of haze either. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-17 12:40 UT
To: 2006-09-17 12:45 UT

Active area 908 (the return of active area 904) was still visible, getting quite close to the limb of the Sun. The spot I've been following for a while now appeared to be just a single spot, a single umbra, that still had a penumbra visible. It's possible that it was still two spots and that I was unable to resolve them due to it being foreshortened.

I could also see a new, small, single spot that was part of active area 910.


2006-09-15


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-15 13:45 UT
To: 2006-09-15 13:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.4C ...
Dew Point: 15.2C ...
Humidity: 68% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1008.7hPa ...
Notes:

Quite a cloudy day and also quite hazy. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-15 13:45 UT
To: 2006-09-15 13:50 UT

Only active area 908 (the return of active area 904) was visible today. Unlike previous observations I could only make out a single umbra within the penumbra. While it's possible that the spots might have merged I suspect this was more down to me being unable to see the separation due to viewing conditions and the fact that the spot was quite foreshortened (it's getting quite close to the limb of the Sun now).


2006-09-13


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-13 14:30 UT
To: 2006-09-13 14:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 24.5C ...
Dew Point: 15.6C ...
Humidity: 58% ...
Wind Speed: 4.4mph ...
Wind Dir: South ...
Pressure: 1004.8hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloud day but with plenty of clear gaps. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-13 14:30 UT
To: 2006-09-13 14:35 UT

A single, small spot was visible in active area 909.

Active area 908 (the return of active area 904) looked more or less the same as it did two days ago. It still appeared to have one large and one small umbra sharing a common penumbra.


2006-09-11


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-11 13:45 UT
To: 2006-09-11 13:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 27.2C ...
Dew Point: 13.1C ...
Humidity: 42% ...
Wind Speed: 1.7mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1013.6hPa ...
Notes:

Very hazy day with some cloud about. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-11 13:45 UT
To: 2006-09-11 13:50 UT

Only active area 908 (the return of active area 904) was visible today. It still appeared to have one large and one small umbra sharing a common penumbra.


2006-09-10


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-10 12:50 UT
To: 2006-09-10 12:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 23.8C ...
Dew Point: 13.3C ...
Humidity: 51% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.2hPa ...
Notes:

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

Sun

From: 2006-09-10 12:50 UT
To: 2006-09-10 12:55 UT

Active areas 907 and 909 were both still visible although both now seem to be fading. AA907 had 3 small, faint spots, AA909 had 2.

Active area 908 (the return of active area 904) still looked strong and appeared more or less the same as it did yesterday with one large and one small umbra sharing a common penumbra.


2006-09-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-09 14:20 UT
To: 2006-09-09 14:25 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.6C ...
Dew Point: 10.7C ...
Humidity: 50% ...
Wind Speed: 5.2mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1022.2hPa ...
Notes:

Pretty clear day, although a fair bit of thin cirrus cloud about. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-09 14:20 UT
To: 2006-09-09 14:25 UT

Active areas 907 and 909 were both still visible with two small, faint spots each.

Active area 908 (the return of active area 904) was also still visible and appeared to look much the same as yesterday with a large umbra and a smaller umbra both sharing a common penumbra.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-09 16:25 UT
To: 2006-09-09 16:50 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Temperature: 20.9C ...
Dew Point: 13.3C ...
Humidity: 51% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.2hPa ...
Notes:

Late on into the afternoon I noticed that a circumzenithal arc and a pair of sundogs had formed.

Circumzenithal Arc and Sundogs

From: 2006-09-09 16:25 UT
To: 2006-09-09 16:50 UT

While sat in the garden and admiring some cirrus cloud that was going over I noticed that a circumzenithal arc and a pair of sundogs had formed. I grabbed my small digital camera and took some images.

The circumzenithal arc:

Circumzenithal Arc

The circumzenithal arc, close up, and heavily processed in an attempt to bring the colours out more:

Circumzenithal Arc

The sundog to the left of the Sun:

Sundog

The sundog to the right of the Sun:

Sundog

I watched the display for almost half an hour, it was constantly changing as the cloud moved on.


2006-09-08


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-08 13:15 UT
To: 2006-09-08 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.9C ...
Dew Point: 9.2C ...
Humidity: 49% ...
Wind Speed: 1.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1028.9hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudless afternoon although seeing was a little unsteady. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-08 13:15 UT
To: 2006-09-08 13:20 UT

Active areas 907 and 909 were both still visible with three small, faint spots each.

Active area 908 (the return of active area 904) was also still visible. The "tail" I saw yesterday was now obviously a second spot sharing a penumbra with the main spot.


2006-09-07


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-07 15:30 UT
To: 2006-09-07 15:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.3C ...
Dew Point: 8.3C ...
Humidity: 49% ...
Wind Speed: 4.9mph ...
Wind Dir: North East ...
Pressure: 1022.5hPa ...
Notes:

Quite a breezy and cloudy afternoon but during an extended gap I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-07 15:30 UT
To: 2006-09-07 15:35 UT

I could see three active areas (actually, I thought it was just two but later checked showed it to be three — two being rather close to each other). Active area 907 had two faint spots and, close by, active area 909 had three faint spots.

The spot in active area 908 (which is the return of active area 904) still looked pretty large, a penumbra was still visible. Also, the umbra appear to have a slight "tail" coming off one side of it.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-07 18:56 UT
To: 2006-09-07 19:44 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Meade 10x50 Binoculars
Temperature: 15.8C ...
Dew Point: 7.8C ...
Humidity: 59% ...
Wind Speed: 3.8mph ...
Wind Dir: North East ...
Pressure: 1025.1hPa ...
Notes:

A nice clear evening so a perfect chance to observe this evening's partial lunar eclipse. Given that the Moon wouldn't be visible from my garden so soon after it had risen I headed out to the east side of the village to get a clear eastern horizon.

Partial Lunar Eclipse

From: 2006-09-07 18:56 UT
To: 2006-09-07 19:44 UT

I got to my observing spot at just before 18:56 UT which meant that I managed to catch a view of the maximum phase. At this point I estimated that the Moon was around 1 above the horizon. The Moon had a nice visible "chunk" missing due to the umbra of the Earth's shadow. The umbra seemed very dark when compared to the rest of the surface of the Moon.

After a short while just viewing the eclipse I used a small digital camera to try and capture some shots. This was never going to work out that well as I hand-holding the camera and it's just a little "snapshot" device. Using full optical and digital zoom I did manage to get one image that more or less gives the impression of what the Moon looked like at the time (I finished taking these around 19:02 UT).

Partial Lunar Eclipse

Around 19:07 UT I used the 10x50 binoculars to have a better look, it was a very impressive view. The umbra still looked very dark when compared to the rest of the Moon and the features within the umbra were difficult, but not impossible, to make out. The rest of the Moon appeared to have a reddish colour although I assumed at the time that this was down to it still being quite low on the horizon.

By 19:22 UT I estimated that the Moon was about 2 above the horizon. In the 10x50 it was obvious that the area covered by the umbra, when compared to the previous view, was smaller.

Around 19:28 UT I finished taking a few more pictures. Again, they didn't turn out very well but one of them gives a reasonable hint of the phase of the eclipse around this time:

Partial Lunar Eclipse

I then had another look with the 10x50s and noticed that the earlier reddish colour had pretty much gone so I think this confirms that it was down to the Moon's distance above the horizon.

By 19:36 UT the eclipse wasn't that obvious to the naked eye any more and it was difficult to see in the 10x50s. If I hadn't known that an eclipse was still happening I probably wouldn't have noticed anything unusual.

At 19:41 UT I couldn't see anything of it with the naked eye any more and, even with the 10x50s, there was just a vague hint of a shadow visible.

At 19:44 UT I couldn't see anything in the 10x50s either so I packed up and headed home.


2006-09-05


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-09-05 13:15 UT
To: 2006-09-05 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 27.3C ...
Dew Point: 16.5C ...
Humidity: 54% ...
Wind Speed: 0.4mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1005.6hPa ...
Notes:

Quite a cloudy afternoon but during an extended gap I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-09-05 13:15 UT
To: 2006-09-05 13:20 UT

I would see a single large spot that appeared to have recently come around the limb of the Sun. Even though it was highly foreshortened I could see a good hint of penumbra.

The spot I could see was part of active area 908 (which, if I'm reading things correctly, is actually the return of active area 904).


2006-08-25


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-08-25 13:50 UT
To: 2006-08-25 13:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Naked Eye
Temperature: 24.1C ...
Dew Point: 9.2C ...
Humidity: 40% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1005.6hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly clear day but with gathering cloud in the afternoon. Before it got too cloudy I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-08-25 13:50 UT
To: 2006-08-25 13:55 UT

Active area 905 was still visible with no problems. I could see two reasonably large spots very close together, sharing a common penumbra. I could also see a third spot close by, smaller than the other two with no obvious penumbra.

Using a pair of eclipse shades I checked the Sun with the naked eye and could, just, make out a small dark spot which would have been the two bigger spots I mention above.


2006-08-22


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-08-22 15:35 UT
To: 2006-08-22 15:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 21.5C ...
Dew Point: 11.4C ...
Humidity: 52% ...
Wind Speed: 1.7mph ...
Wind Dir: North West ...
Pressure: 1014.2hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day. During a short break in the cloud later on in the afternoon I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-08-22 15:35 UT
To: 2006-08-22 15:40 UT

Active area 904 was no longer visible, it having gone around the limb of the Sun.

Active area 905 was very easy to see. Today I could see two spots in the area. One reasonably large one with an obvious penumbra and a smaller one with no obvious penumbra.


2006-08-21


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-08-21 13:50 UT
To: 2006-08-21 13:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.3C ...
Dew Point: 13.2C ...
Humidity: 63% ...
Wind Speed: 3.5mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1012.3hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly cloudy day with a fair bit of wind. During a reasonable break in the clouds I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-08-21 13:50 UT
To: 2006-08-21 13:55 UT

The count was quite tricky today due to the wind blowing the Solarscope about. However, despite this, I could see a single large spot in active area 904. No detail could be seen, possibly due to the conditions but mostly down to it being very close to the limb (I expect that it won't be visible tomorrow).

A short while later I noticed what appeared to be another spot on the opposite limb. Because it looked like there was a small, shallow "bite" out of the limb I first took it to be an obstruction in the Solarscope somewhere. I rotated the tube and moved things about a little but it stayed in the same place suggesting that it really was a new spot, right on the limb.

I then checked online and a couple of space weather sites had evidence of it but no ID was noted (in fact, SpaceWeather.com were showing it with a question mark against it).

Some time later I found out that it had been given the ID 905.


2006-08-16


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-08-16 13:10 UT
To: 2006-08-16 13:25 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 24.9C ...
Dew Point: 11.7C ...
Humidity: 44% ...
Wind Speed: 2.2mph ...
Wind Dir: South South East ...
Pressure: 999.9hPa ...
Notes:

Quite a cloudy afternoon but with some gaps. During one gap I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count and, more to the point, to observe active area 904.

Sun

From: 2006-08-16 13:10 UT
To: 2006-08-16 13:25 UT

I started by having a look at the Sun with the naked eye and a pair of eclipse shades. I could see the largest spot in active area 904 with no trouble at all.

Next I pointed the Solarscope at the Sun. At first glance the area didn't look too different from yesterday. The biggest spot still had an impressively dark umbra and a nicely defined penumbra. Close by I could see a single, very faint spot-like mark — I didn't count this as a spot.

The smaller pair of spots that I noted yesterday appeared to be a pair of pairs today (perhaps they were yesterday but the viewing conditions made it impossible for me to tell?). Each pair appeared to have a common penumbra and the penumbras of those pairs appeared to be joined.

I quickly made the following sketch of the Sun in general:

The Sun

I then attempted to sketch AA904 in a little more detail:

Active Area 904


2006-08-15


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-08-15 16:10 UT
To: 2006-08-15 16:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.3C ...
Dew Point: 11.6C ...
Humidity: 61% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1001.2hPa ...
Notes:

Another very cloudy day, overcast for most of it. Late on in the afternoon there was a brief break in the cloud so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-08-15 16:10 UT
To: 2006-08-15 16:15 UT

Conditions were pretty bad (although not quite as bad as yesterday) but briefly clear enough that a view with the Solarscope was possible. Right away I could see active area 904. The main feature of the area was a very large spot that had a very dark umbra. Its penumbra was also very impressive with some detail in it visible — its outer edge also seemed to be quite dark and very well defined.

Close by was a pair of very dark spots which appeared to be sharing a common penumbra. Both of them also had a very dark looking umbra.

As well as the three big spots I could also make out three smaller spots close by.

Because the area was so impressive I went inside to get a pencil and some paper so that I could make a sketch but, by the time I got back outside, the gap in the clouds had passed and there was no sign of another gap coming up. Also, because of this, I never got to try another naked-eye view.


2006-08-14


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-08-14 16:05 UT
To: 2006-08-14 16:10 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Temperature: 17.3C ...
Dew Point: 12.0C ...
Humidity: 71% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1009.0hPa ...
Notes:

Very cloudy day, overcast for most of it. Late on in the afternoon there was a brief break in the cloud so I headed out with a pair of eclipse shades to see if I could see the large sunspots that are currently part of active area 904.

Sun

From: 2006-08-14 16:05 UT
To: 2006-08-14 16:10 UT

Conditions were pretty terrible (hence the reason I didn't get the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count). Although I did have a short break in the clouds the sky that was clear was still very hazy. Despite this, using a pair of eclipse shades, I could just make out the biggest sunspot associated with active area 904. This is the first naked-eye sunspot I've seen for some time.


2006-07-28


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-28 14:45 UT
To: 2006-07-28 14:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 30.1C ...
Dew Point: 15.7C ...
Humidity: 43% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1009.7hPa ...
Notes:

Hot, cloudy, hazy and muggy day. While there was a reasonable gap in the clouds I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-28 14:45 UT
To: 2006-07-28 14:50 UT

Active area 901 was still visible with a single dark spot (no penumbra visible) and some vague colour differences in the general area.


2006-07-25


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-25 14:00 UT
To: 2006-07-25 14:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.5C ...
Dew Point: 17.3C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: 1.5mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1015.4hPa ...
Notes:

Hot, hazy and breezy day — no cloud to be seen. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-25 14:00 UT
To: 2006-07-25 14:05 UT

Active area 901 was still visible and looked more or less the same as yesterday (although a little more spread out due to it having rotated more into view).


2006-07-24


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-24 14:05 UT
To: 2006-07-24 14:10 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.4C ...
Dew Point: 13.5C ...
Humidity: 38% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.2hPa ...
Notes:

Very hot, calm and mostly clear day — some haze. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-24 14:05 UT
To: 2006-07-24 14:10 UT

The image of the Sun was very unsteady, probably the worst I've ever seen it. Despite this I could easily make out new active area 901. The area contained three spots. The biggest appeared elongated with a hint of a penumbra, the second appeared as dark as the biggest but was much smaller, the third appeared a little smaller than the second and somewhat fainter.


2006-07-19


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-19 12:50 UT
To: 2006-07-19 12:55 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.4C ...
Dew Point: 14.0C ...
Humidity: 39% ...
Wind Speed: 4.0mph ...
Wind Dir: East South East ...
Pressure: 1014.5hPa ...
Notes:

Hot clear and very breezy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-19 12:50 UT
To: 2006-07-19 12:55 UT

It took me quite a while to find active area 900 today — at first I thought it had totally disappeared. However, after a short while I managed to find it but all of the spots appeared to have faded a lot. I could just about count 5 spots in the area.


2006-07-18


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-18 12:25 UT
To: 2006-07-18 12:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.8C ...
Dew Point: 12.1C ...
Humidity: 34% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1019.7hPa ...
Notes:

Hot, calm and clear day. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-18 12:25 UT
To: 2006-07-18 12:30 UT

Active area 900 was still visible I could only count 4 spots today (down 1 from yesterday. The whole group also seems to appear like it's faded a little when compared to yesterday.


2006-07-17


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-17 12:35 UT
To: 2006-07-17 12:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.9C ...
Dew Point: 13.1C ...
Humidity: 36% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: East North East ...
Pressure: 1023.2hPa ...
Notes:

Very warm and clear day, pretty much no cloud around at all. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-17 12:35 UT
To: 2006-07-17 12:40 UT

Active area 900 was still visible and, just like yesterday, I could count 5 spots in the area. Two of the spots appeared slightly darker than yesterday's observation.


2006-07-16


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-16 09:00 UT
To: 2006-07-16 10:30 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Notes:

Sunny morning with quite a bit of cirrus cloud about. Managed to observe a partial halo around the Sun for the second time during the weekend.

Partial solar halo

From: 2006-07-16 09:00 UT
To: 2006-07-16 10:30 UT

At around 09:00 UT I initially noticed a bright and colourful partial halo around the Sun. I grabbed my mobile phone and, with the camera in it, took this image:

Partial solar halo

Over the course of the next 90 minutes or so the cirrus cloud seemed to get thicker and spread out more. During this time the halo appeared to lose colour but also to grow in size:

Partial solar halo

Partial solar halo

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-16 12:00 UT
To: 2006-07-16 12:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 25.8C ...
Dew Point: 13.9C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1026.2hPa ...
Notes:

The cloud from earlier had cleared so I took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-16 12:00 UT
To: 2006-07-16 12:05 UT

After a little bit of effort I noticed that active area 900 was visible. Within it I managed to count 5 spots. All were very small.


2006-07-11


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-11 13:30 UT
To: 2006-07-11 13:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 25.9C ...
Dew Point: 9.5C ...
Humidity: 36% ...
Wind Speed: 2.0mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1021.4hPa ...
Notes:

Warm and mostly clear day with some high-level cloud about. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-11 13:30 UT
To: 2006-07-11 13:35 UT

Active area 898 was no longer visible. Presumably it has now gone around the limb of the Sun.

Active area 899 was still visible with just one small and faint spot visible.


2006-07-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-09 12:45 UT
To: 2006-07-09 12:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 23.5C ...
Dew Point: 13.6C ...
Humidity: 54% ...
Wind Speed: 1.5mph ...
Wind Dir: West South West ...
Pressure: 1003.7hPa ...
Notes:

Very cloudy and windy day — very few opportunities to observe the Sun. Finally had a short break in the clouds so too the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count while I had the chance.

Sun

From: 2006-07-09 12:45 UT
To: 2006-07-09 12:50 UT

Active area 898 was very close to the limb of the Sun, almost out of view. I could only count a single spot.

Active area 899 was still visible. I could only count 1 small spot.


2006-07-07


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-07 15:55 UT
To: 2006-07-07 16:02 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 20.6C ...
Dew Point: 14.4C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: 3.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South ...
Pressure: 1013.5hPa ...
Notes:

After a mostly overcast day the sky finally cleared so I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count while I had the chance.

Sun

From: 2006-07-07 15:55 UT
To: 2006-07-07 16:02 UT

Active area 898 was still visible with a count of 4 spots. I could see three very dark spots all sharing the same penumbra and one isolated spot adjacent to them.

Active area 899 was still visible. Within it I could count 2 small, faint spots.


2006-07-05


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-05 12:50 UT
To: 2006-07-05 12:58 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.5C ...
Dew Point: 18.0C ...
Humidity: 75% ...
Wind Speed: 3.3mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1011.3hPa ...
Notes:

After a stormy morning the sky cleared so I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count while I had the chance.

Sun

From: 2006-07-05 12:50 UT
To: 2006-07-05 12:58 UT

Further to yesterday's observation about active area 898's appearance I could see that the umbra had broken up into 4 different spots — all surrounded by a common penumbra. The adjacent spot that I saw yesterday wasn't visible.

I could also see a new active area — 899 — coming around the limb of the Sun. Within it I could count 2 small, faint spots.


2006-07-04


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-04 13:20 UT
To: 2006-07-04 13:30 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 26.8C ...
Dew Point: 14.5C ...
Humidity: 47% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1013.1hPa ...
Notes:

A very warm, calm and hazy afternoon — not the most ideal conditions. However, given that I could see the Sun I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count anyway.

Sun

From: 2006-07-04 13:20 UT
To: 2006-07-04 13:30 UT

Active area 898 had three visible spots. The main spot looked as strong as ever although its overall shape seems to have become elongated — it almost looked like it was starting to split into three different spots. The two other spots I could see were very small and faint.


2006-07-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-03 14:45 UT
To: 2006-07-03 14:50 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.2C ...
Dew Point: 12.9C ...
Humidity: 37% ...
Wind Speed: 2.4mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1014.8hPa ...
Notes:

A very hot, clear but breezy day. A hint of haze about but nothing terrible. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-03 14:45 UT
To: 2006-07-03 14:50 UT

There was no evidence of active area 897 today. I couldn't see any spots and there wasn't even any evidence of any other kind of markings. It would appear that it's now totally faded from my view.

Active area 898 had just the main spot visible. It still looked very crisp and clear with the umbra still looking very dark and the penumbra still looking very well defined and quite broad.


2006-07-02


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-07-02 13:00 UT
To: 2006-07-02 13:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 29.9C ...
Dew Point: 16.3C ...
Humidity: 43% ...
Wind Speed: 1.3mph ...
Wind Dir: South East ...
Pressure: 1017.3hPa ...
Notes:

Very hot day with some thin cloud about. Very slight breeze with the occasional short gust. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-07-02 13:00 UT
To: 2006-07-02 13:05 UT

Active area 897 was just visible but appears to have faded even more. I could just make out 4 very faint spots. By the looks of things I won't be able to see any evidence of it in the Solarscope within the next day or so.

Active area 898 still looked very strong. The main spot still looked very crisp and well defined. The umbra still looked very dark and the penumbra was well defined and appeared at least as "wide" as the diameter of the umbra.


2006-06-30


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-30 13:15 UT
To: 2006-06-30 13:20 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 28.4C ...
Dew Point: 12.2C ...
Humidity: 37% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1021.5hPa ...
Notes:

Very warm, clear, calm day. Some thin cloud around but nothing to get in the way. Took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-30 13:15 UT
To: 2006-06-30 13:20 UT

Active area 897 was still visible but each of the spots in it seem to have faded a little when compared to yesterday. I could count 5 spots in the area (which is actually 1 up on yesterday — probably helped by better conditions today).

The main spot in area 898 still looked crisp and strong with a very dark umbra and quite a thick penumbra. I could still see a second spot in the area which was still much smaller and fainter than the main one.


2006-06-29


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-29 13:30 UT
To: 2006-06-29 13:39 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 25.4C ...
Dew Point: 10.8C ...
Humidity: 40% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1019.9hPa ...
Notes:

The day started off very clear but, by the time I got out with the Solarscope to do a sunspot count, plenty of cloud had started to gather. The count had to be done in fleeting clear moments.

Sun

From: 2006-06-29 13:30 UT
To: 2006-06-29 13:39 UT

Active areas 897 and 898 were both nicely visible without any trouble. I could count 4 spots in 897 (down 1 from yesterday), I got the impression that the whole area had faded a little too.

Area 898 still had a the large spot I could see yesterday, the umbra appeared very dark, the edges look quite sharp. It is still surrounded by a very obvious penumbra. I could also see a second spot in the area, much smaller than the main one.


2006-06-28


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-28 14:55 UT
To: 2006-06-28 15:00 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 22.9C ...
Dew Point: 10.5C ...
Humidity: 47% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1018.7hPa ...
Notes:

Today has been similar to yesterday in that the day has mostly been overcast except for a brief spell of broken cloud in the afternoon. During this brief spell of sunshine I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-28 14:55 UT
To: 2006-06-28 15:00 UT

Area 897 was more spread out when compared to yesterday (hardly surprising given that it has rotated further into view) and I could count 5 spots in the region. The darkening I noted yesterday wasn't evident today.

New area 898 has come over the limb and comprises of a single, large, circular spot with quite a pronounced penumbra.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-28 21:35 UT
To: 2006-06-28 23:34 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M
Temperature: 16.8C ...
Dew Point: 9.0C ...
Humidity: 60% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1019.1hPa ...
Notes:

Calm, clear evening with some thin cloud about. The sky wasn't very dark yet but given that I could see Jupiter from my usual observing spot I decided to get the 905 out and have a look.

Jupiter, including a transit event

From: 2006-06-28 21:35 UT
To: 2006-06-28 22:59 UT

Started out with the 905 and 6mm eyepiece. The image was awful. I could only just see the two main bands. The reason for this was probably down to the quality of the sky and also down to the fact that the 'scope hadn't had much time to cool down yet.

I could see all 4 Jovian moons (one of them was very close to the planet) and I could also see a reasonably bright background star that could have been mistaken for a 5th moon (later checking with Starry Night showed that it was HIP70714 ).

I then added the #80A Medium Blue filter to the 'scope and had another look. While this dulled the image a little it did also appear to improve the contrast. The two main bands stood out a little better, darkening towards the poles became obvious and in moments when the image was steady there was obvious mottling in the bands.

I'd say that tonight's view of Jupiter is the worst one I've had this apparition.

I've never compared the view of Jupiter in the 130M with that in the 905 so, at around 21:53 UT, I brought the 130M out and left it to cool off. A short while later (probably with too little cooling-off time) I lined Jupiter up in the 130M and used the 6mm eyepiece to have a look. The imagine was really terrible — much worse then the image in the 905. While the view was much brighter there was hardly any detail to speak of, almost as if it was impossible to get sharp focus.

I switched from the 6mm to the 10mm eyepiece and things looked a little better. This time the quality compared more favourably with that as seen in the 905+6mm but, even then, I'd say that the 905 won out in terms of detail that could be seen. It would appear that I need to give the 130M a good check-up at some point. While I did give the collimation a quick check when I brought the 130M out I guess I need to have it a really fine tweak some time soon.

I'm also seeing why planetary observers tend to prefer a refractor rather than a reflecting telescope.

Back at the 905 (with the 6mm), at around 22:19 UT, I noticed that the moon closest to Jupiter had apparently got even closer. Compared to when I started observing this evening it was harder to see it, the gap between it and the planet being obviously narrower. I stepped into the office to check what was going on and I confirmed that the moon was Europa and that it was due to start a transit of the planet at around 22:38 UT. My first ever transit of a Jovian moon! Annoyingly, when I came back out of the office, I noticed that some thin cloud had moved in the way and was dulling the view of Jupiter.

By 22:31 UT the image had improved again. I could just see Europa but it was impossible to see a gap between it and the planet — it looked more like a bump on the limb.

By 22:36 UT I had lost sight of Europa. From then until 22:59 UT I kept observing to see if I could detect Europa in front of the planet but I never got a hint of it. This was made harder by the fact that more thin cloud was moving in the way and significantly dulling the view.

Random sweeping of the Milky Way

From: 2006-06-28 23:00 UT
To: 2006-06-28 23:34 UT

To finish off the session I decided to use the 905 for one of the main purposes I intended: just sweeping around the sky and seeing what I can find. Using the 32mm eyepiece I started to have a random sweep and, almost right away, stumbled on The Coathanger (an asterism I first observed almost a year ago).

After spending some more time just sweeping around (mostly around The Milky Way in and around Cygnus) I decided to call it a night at 23:34 UT.


2006-06-27


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-27 14:35 UT
To: 2006-06-27 14:42 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.6C ...
Dew Point: 8.9C ...
Humidity: 50% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1019.1hPa ...
Notes:

As with the past few days (my last chance to observe the Sun was 4 days ago) today has mostly been overcast. For a short while the cloud broke up a little giving some hazy gaps. I took this opportunity to take the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-27 14:35 UT
To: 2006-06-27 14:42 UT

Only one active area was visible (897). I could make out 4 spots, one that was reasonably obvious and three fainter. None of the spots were very distinct. I also observed some faint darkening within the region. Other than that it was quite hard to see any real detail due to the hazy conditions and thin cloud getting in the way.


2006-06-23


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-23 18:10 UT
To: 2006-06-23 18:15 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 19.9C ...
Dew Point: 8.5C ...
Humidity: 48% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1014.7hPa ...
Notes:

The day had been mostly overcast but, late in the afternoon, the cloud started to break so, during a brief spell of sunshine (and despite the low altitude of the Sun) I took the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-23 18:10 UT
To: 2006-06-23 18:15 UT

No sunspots or other markings were visible on the Sun.


2006-06-20


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-20 13:20 UT
To: 2006-06-20 13:27 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 24.2C ...
Dew Point: 11.1C ...
Humidity: 45% ...
Wind Speed: 2.0mph ...
Wind Dir: West South West ...
Pressure: 1007.9hPa ...
Notes:

Warm and mostly cloudy day with a few sunny but hazy spells. Also breezy with occasional gusts. Used a short gap in the clouds to get the Solarscope out to do a sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-20 13:20 UT
To: 2006-06-20 13:27 UT

Only one active area was visible (896) and I could only make out a single, faint spot in it. I could see what appeared to be an even fainter "tail" coming from the spot. This "tail" might well have been some more spots but, due to the conditions (the haze and the fact that the odd gust kept buffeting the Solarscope), it was hard to be sure.


2006-06-14


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-14 15:30 UT
To: 2006-06-14 15:35 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 17.6C ...
Dew Point: 7.3C ...
Humidity: 51% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1021.4hPa ...
Notes:

Overcast most of the day until later on in the afternoon when the clouds finally cleared. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-14 15:30 UT
To: 2006-06-14 15:35 UT

Area 892 was the only thing visible on the Sun and it only had a single spot in it. Some light mottling was also visible around the spot. 892 is now getting quite close the to the limb.

There was no sign of area 893.


2006-06-12


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-12 13:35 UT
To: 2006-06-12 13:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 30.8C ...
Dew Point: 16.4C ...
Humidity: 42% ...
Wind Speed: 6.5mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1015.4hPa ...
Notes:

Very hazy day, some cloud around. Very hot. Had a short spell of reasonably clear sky that allowed a view of the Sun so took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-12 13:35 UT
To: 2006-06-12 13:40 UT

Areas 892 and 893 were greatly reduced from my last count, both areas contained just a single spot. In both cases the spots appeared to have an obvious penumbra. The spot in 892 was bigger than that in 893.


2006-06-10


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-10 12:36 UT
To: 2006-06-10 12:40 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 28.2C ...
Dew Point: 11.6C ...
Humidity: 36% ...
Wind Speed: 2.4mph ...
Wind Dir: East South East ...
Pressure: 1016.4hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear, warm day. No clouds in the sky at all. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-10 12:36 UT
To: 2006-06-10 12:40 UT

Areas 892 and 893 both looked less "complex" than on previous days (even when compared to yesterday). In both areas I could only count 3 spots (giving a total of 6).


2006-06-09


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-09 13:35 UT
To: 2006-06-09 13:42 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 27.3C ...
Dew Point: 12.5C ...
Humidity: 40% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1020.8hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, hardly a cloud about. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-09 13:35 UT
To: 2006-06-09 13:42 UT

Area 892 is more or less in the middle of the Sun now. Despite this I could only count 5 spots (down 3 from the 8 I saw yesterday). There was a slight hint of some mottling near by (about way to 893).

Area 893 appeared more or less the same as yesterday with 2 spots visible.


2006-06-08


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-08 14:05 UT
To: 2006-06-08 14:13 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Temperature: 23.2C ...
Dew Point: 14.1C ...
Humidity: 57% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1024.4hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear and calm day. Just the odd bit of very high-level cloud around, also a slight haze in the sky.Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2006-06-08 14:05 UT
To: 2006-06-08 14:13 UT

Area 892 looked a little less detailed when compared to yesterday with only 8 spots visible.

Area 893 also looked a little less complex too with just 2 spots visible (compared to yesterday's 3).

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-06-08 21:45 UT
To: 2006-06-08 22:55 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Temperature: 16.5C ...
Dew Point: 11.2C ...
Humidity: 71% ...
Wind Speed: Calm ...
Pressure: 1024.1hPa ...
Notes:

Mostly clear night with some thin cloud around (I could, for example, see a pretty nice halo around the Moon). The sky was still very light but given that Jupiter was in a position where I could see it from my back garden I decided to have a quick session looking at it with the 905.

Jupiter, including a shadow transit

From: 2006-06-08 21:45 UT
To: 2006-06-08 22:55 UT

I got Jupiter lined up in the 905 using a low-power eyepiece and then I dropped in the 6mm eyepiece. Initially the image was pretty poor, moving around quite a bit and the visible detail was much less than previous views of the planet with the same equipment. That said, the 'scope hadn't had any chance to cool down.

As usual the two main bands were easily visible and there was obvious variation on the rest of the disc. I could only make out three moons (later checking showed them to be Europa, Ganymede and Callisto). Europa and Callisto were some distance out, either side of the planet while Ganymede was quite close to the planet.

Around 21:58 UT, in very steady moments (the image was rapidly getting better), I started to notice a ve