Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

camping report

Well that was fun. I had forgotten just how *dark* skies can get! Thankfully the moon didn’t rise until late in the evening, which left plenty of visual opportunities before bed.

Some of the objects I saw:

  • Saturn and Titan with my 30×100 binos – it was easy to make out the rings (though not separate rings), and Titan was there in all its miniscule glory 😆
  • It was dark enough to see the Coal Stack
  • I reckon I actually saw Eta Carinae without the need of the binos, and of course seeing it through the binos was great fun
  • A satellite. I shall need to check stellarium to try to figure out which one it was
  • some meteors

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

going camping. What’s to see?

So I’m going camping up at Poona for this easter long weekend. Should be fun; fishing, relaxing, reading, relaxing, playing board games, swimming… oh and relaxing.
The skies shouldn’t be too bad except for the moon still being between about 83% and 64% luminous over the 3 nights we’re there.

My star gazing goals for the trip are:

  • Obtaining data (and even submitting a report if possible) at the location for the globeatnight.org project
  • Trying to pick out Saturn’s rings with my 30×100 binoculars.
  • Maybe having a look at Eta Carinae or some of the other bright DSOs visible at this time of year.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

ISS sighting – saw it!

I saw the ISS for about 3 minutes on Sunday April 10th. huzzah! I know it’s been there for years, and will be there for many more, but hey: this is what amateur astronomy is all about! 😀
I’m surprised it was so bright. I saw it with the naked eye and also trained my 30×100 binos on it. It seemed to just be a bright blob; not sure whether i was out of focus, or whether my eyes were failing me (I had been inside all day staring at a computer, and for a good 5-10 mins before the sighting time everything at a distance was doubled)

Unfortunately the long April 11 sighting opportunity was a no-go due to clouds.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

ISS sighting for my region

So it would appear there is a good 5-minute opporunity to view the ISS from Brisbane / Gold Coast region next week. Hopefully my Arnold Schwarzenegger arms (a pre-requisite for owning 30×100 binoculars without a tripod) will be up to the challenge of tracking it! I don’t think I’d be able to track it with the telescope very easily; that would involve leaning over on a weird angle, trying to find the sat through the finder scope, getting the focus right, using an appropriate eyepiece, and guiding it by hand.

SATELLITE LOCAL DURATION MAX ELEV APPROACH DEPARTURE
DATE/TIME (MIN) (DEG) (DEG-DIR) (DEG-DIR)
ISS Fri Apr 08/06:45 PM 1 14 10 above S 14 above SSE
ISS Sat Apr 09/07:10 PM 1 27 11 above SW 27 above SW
ISS Sun Apr 10/06:01 PM 4 18 10 above S 11 above E
ISS Mon Apr 11/06:26 PM 5 88 11 above SW 16 above NE
ISS Tue Apr 12/06:53 PM 2 16 16 above WNW 11 above NNW
ISS Thu Apr 14/06:09 PM 1 14 14 above NW 11 above NNW
ISS Tue Apr 19/05:47 AM < 1 13 10 above NNE 13 above NNE

We shall see.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

more star gazing

A great night to be viewing the heavens: the temperature has dropped off, not a cloud in the sky, not too much of a breeze. Visual magnitude is about a 6, and earth hour was on lol.

Tonight I saw with my 1200mm 8″ dob (with 25 and 10mm eyepieces):

  1. Saturn and four of its moons! Titan, Tethys, Dione and Rhea.  :O
  2. Eta Carinae
  3. Tarantula nebula
  4. the Alpha Centauri double star
  5. tracked a satellite for a bit across the sky with my 25mm ep from southwest to south! Thankfully I have Stellarium and there just happened to be a sat passing over the right spot at the right time – Radio-Sputnik 15!

Awesomesauce!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

nasa, observational astronomy

STS-129 Ascent Video Highlights

I love it when NASA does this sort of thing… have a watch, it’s really good.
Here’s a direct download of the 400mb 640×480 mpeg file.

On another note it is probably worth mentioning that I saw Neptune for the first time with my 25×100 binoculars a couple of weeks ago (well, a few months ago)… and yes, it is blue!
I also saw the Galilean moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.  They were just dots, but still it was amazing. The binoculars were strong enough, though, to show Jupiter quite clearly as a small disc rather than a dot too.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Search
Categories
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the Equipment category.