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Old 16-12-2010, 07:16 AM
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orestis
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Obs Report 15/12/10 + Sketch

Hi everyone,

Wow finally some sort of clear sky.There was still a lot of high cloud and the moon looked quite hazy at moments, otherwise clear patches were good and after such a long time not observing the stars, a little bit of clear sky is better than nothing.

With lots of high cloud about i decided to have a look at the moon,being very bright and able to pierce the high clouds.Though there was high cloud it was still quite clear,As always it was quite enjoyable looking at all the features on the moon but one feature caught my eye a huge crater to the south,it was Clavius.It was amazing with loads amounts of craters and craterlets and I just couldn't resist making a sketch(attached) after seeing Alex's(mental4astro) sketches which inspired me so much (Thanks Alex).

After completing the sketch of Clavius i decided to have a look at-

M42- One of my favorite nebulae ever being my first nebula to ever sketch and view.I could clearly see the wings, m43 and clear dark lanes below the trapezium.Overall it had a blue-green colour to it. I wanted to make a sketch so bad but thought i best save it for a darker night without the moon around.

For my birthday I got early present,a book called "Atlas of the southern night sky" and it had some interesting double stars in it and seeing it was a quite a bright night I decided to view a few.

Lamda Orionis-This was a fairly bright pair of blue-white stars with uneven brightnesses,With one being a little bit brighter.

Gamma Arietis-A beautiful pair of white bright stars.

Theta Eridani-Another beautiful pair of blue-white stars,one slightly brighter than the other.This pair had the same separation as Gamma Arietis.

Upsilon Carinae-2 stars of yellow appearance one double the brightness of the other.It was a nice view with beautiful contrast of luminance.

After viewing these double stars i then had a quick glance at the pleides after decided to pack up the scope and sit down and watch the geminids.
After sitting there for about an hour and seeing no meteors i decided to call it quits at 11-30 pm.I guess a combination of clouds and the moon didn't allow me to see any geminids.It was still quite nice just taking the beautiful night sky with nothing but my eyes.

Cheers Orestis
PS- I also took a photo of the moon(attached)
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Clavius.JPG)
135.7 KB25 views
Click for full-size image (Gibbous  moon.JPG)
190.2 KB16 views

Last edited by orestis; 16-12-2010 at 07:17 AM. Reason: emoticons came as urls
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  #2  
Old 16-12-2010, 09:26 AM
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The Mekon (John Briggs)
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Good report Orestis.

Glad to see you have an interest in double stars

The trouble with living in the Highlands in summer is that the day can be crystal clear promising a good night's observing. Then, about an hour after sunset the cloud comes rolling in up the mountains from the east. Most frustrating!
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Old 16-12-2010, 09:48 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Nice report, mate, and a good sketch.

I glad you insisted on observing some deep sky objects, even with the moon around. With some thought given to the phase and its position, a lot can still be seen.

You might be interested in tracking down the star Mira (one of the current Challenge objects). This variable star has a brightness range and period that makes it a good long term project (over many months). It is a good target to track even when the Moon is out.

Tip for the sketch: don't be affraid to work it a little more post-eyepiece. You can darken the blacks, tidy other features, and liven the highlights (most newsagents will have white ink pens - great for these highlights). The picture of the Moon is a good way to help out with reference. The detail is all in the sketch, the picture can't give you that, but it helps as a refresh.
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Old 16-12-2010, 10:06 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Orestis, why don't you tidy it up and make a submission to ASOD (astronomy sketch of the day, http://www.asod.info/ )? I reckon it's got the goods!
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Old 16-12-2010, 12:11 PM
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orestis
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Thanks John and Alex,

Alex,I did tidy it up after the observing session.Yeah i know it looks messy but its a messy crater.I have submitted a sketch once before to asod and i got it but i think I'm better at deep sky sketches than moon sketches, but i enjoy the challenge.I've got much better sketches that i could submit to asod.

Regarding Mira,i was actually thinking of observing it and estimating brightness but didn't get around to it.Maybe next time.

cheers Orestis
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Old 16-12-2010, 02:57 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Good to hear that you finally got some observing in Orestis. Very nice sketch and photo. And a very readable report - a good reminder that double stars are always worth a look when there is some moonlight. I wonder if you might have been a bit early for the Geminids. I had a brief time out on Wednesday morning at about 1.30 and saw a few beauties - very bright. Amazing that you can see colour in M42 with your small scope - I suspect your young eyes are very sensitive. Well done.
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Old 17-12-2010, 09:09 AM
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orestis
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Thanks Patrick,

I had a feeling I was a bit early for the geminids,but I read some reports of people seeing some at 10pm.Still the conditions were not right.

I have only ever seen one meteor from a metoer shower knowingly and that was from orion, a beautiful bright yellow orionid.

I have always been able to see colour in M42 and m57 the ring nebula and a few other bright dsos like m27.But then again PN are the easiest to see colour in seeing that they are reasonably bright.

cheers Orestis
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