What did you see in the sky tonight?

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Chris Peterson
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:19 am

So much to see last night! I wanted to image the comet, but needed to wait until about 2am for the Moon to set. So while I was waiting, I was just playing around with the little scope (Stellarvue 102A). I got a quick snapshot of the Moon, which I boosted the saturation on in order to emphasize the surface colors. Then I grabbed a few quick images of M42, which is so bright that the Moon didn't matter much. It's just a 30 second exposure. I was actually getting pretty good images of the comet even with the Moon up, simply because the air is so transparent at this altitude. But I did get more contrast after the Moon set. This image is 1° on a side.
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E7_41895p.jpg
E7_41945p.jpg
E7_41991_800.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by geckzilla » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:36 pm

A good Colorado night. I've seen a lot of weeping over endless rain this winter preventing people from observing the comet.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:31 pm

A nice balmy -1°F (-18°C) morning today, with ice crystals just forming out of clear air and drifting down. This produced a nice 22° halo, sundogs, and a circumzenithal arc. Very pretty.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:22 am

It was a clear morning here for once, and brilliant Venus rose in the east with smaller (apparently smaller) Jupiter trailing just behind.

Very pretty.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Fred the Cat » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:53 pm

While hoping for the clouds to lift last night as the moon rose, a light in the nearby parking lot created a shaft of light.
IMG_6164.JPG
It was above freezing so I don’t think it was a light pillar.
IMG_6159.JPG
As timing would have it, it began to clear just as the partial eclipse phase ended.
IMG_6203.JPG
:bang:
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:41 pm

Easy daytime Venus. If you're someplace where you can see the Moon now, you can also see Venus just east of it, even in full daylight. Shot this just a few minutes ago, at about 9:30 am local.
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E7_42147p.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Fred the Cat » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:44 am

Thanks Chris! Early birds catch the worm. I was busy sleeping! I wish I had seen it this morning. :(
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:19 am

Beautiful, Chris!

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by THX1138 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:01 pm

Hi everybody, I've not signed in at the Asterisk for quite awhile but i do stop by here all the time to see what's going on, Just moved from LA to San Luis Obispo where you can actually see the stars at night, in fact i saw them last night for the first time in quite awhile (years) Does that count for mentioning on this thread? LOL.
Also It would seem that Vandenberg is very close by so i look forward to seeing some night launches.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by BDanielMayfield » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:16 am

THX1138 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:01 pm
Hi everybody, I've not signed in at the Asterisk for quite awhile but i do stop by here all the time to see what's going on, Just moved from LA to San Luis Obispo where you can actually see the stars at night, in fact i saw them last night for the first time in quite awhile (years) Does that count for mentioning on this thread? LOL.
Also It would seem that Vandenberg is very close by so i look forward to seeing some night launches.
Good day all
You escaped from LA, and saw real stars for the first time in years, sure that's worth mentioning. Good to hear your still around too.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:26 am

My first time out with camera(s) on the 6" scope for almost two years. I was eventually happy with the result, but really struggled to remember how to do it all.
SSO_LD_West_060_20190217.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:02 pm

Striking a balance between my enthusiasm for lunar photography and my opinion that supermoons are overly hyped, here is a cropped, hand-held snapshot of last night's supermoon, through a 300 mm lens, taken just before bed.
hand_held_supermoon_20190219.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by BDanielMayfield » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:07 pm

Nitpicker wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:02 pm
Striking a balance between my enthusiasm for lunar photography and my opinion that supermoons are overly hyped, here is a cropped, hand-held snapshot of last night's supermoon, through a 300 mm lens, taken just before bed.

hand_held_supermoon_20190219.jpg
This photo looks exactly like a magnified photo of a mini-moon. Mini-moons should demand equal press.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:18 pm

Part of my bias against supermoons is because they are the only ones that don't fully fit on the sensor of my DSLR when attached to my telescope.

And the best thing about micromoons is that they are only ever a fortnight away from a super new moon.

My favourite full moon is a few hours from perfectly full and with favourable libration. Any size will do.

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Re: What am I seeing in the sky this morning?

Post by Ann » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:54 am

It has been terribly cloudy in Sweden for a long time, and we have not had 24-hour stretches with clear weather. I haven't seen a really clear early morning sky for a long time. Today, when I looked outside at 6 a.m., there was a brilliant Moon in the west but also an extremely bright little light in south-south-west, and my first instinct was that it had to be Venus.

But the brilliant little light is slightly to the west? That would be Venus? In the morning? I don't think so.

So I'm trying to figure out what it is. Jupiter would do. It really ought to be Jupiter since it can't be Venus, because no other steadily shining light in the sky (apart from the Sun and the Moon) could be so bright. All right, Mars gets that bright on rare occasions, but the object that I saw this object was warm white and not reddish. Anyway, even I know that Mars is nowhere near as bright as Jupiter at the moment.

I checked, and Jupiter is currently in Ophiuchus. I know I can see Antares in April, weather permitting, and in April the sky is much brighter than it is now, so in April I can see no stars at all (except for the Sun) at six o'clock in the morning. And since Ophiuchus is not far from upper Scorpius and Antares, I guess that Jupiter is not too far south in the sky for me to see it now.

By the way, didn't I see Antares? No, it wasn't obvious, and I got too interested in the planet I saw to even remember to look for Antares.

So I guess I saw Jupiter. What a lamp it was.

But here is a question I want to ask you. My software Guide says about Jupiter that it rises at 7:21 UTC on February 22, 2019. I shouldn't be able to see an object that rises at 7.21 when I looked out the window at 6 a.m.

Yes, I know. We have that daylight saving business. The time was really 7 a.m., not 6, when I looked out the window. But the brilliant planet was not skirting the horizon when I saw it, not at all. It was not high in the sky, but from my fourth floor apartment, it was easily clearing the (probably) 20 meter high trees in the park on the other side of the street from where I live.

So what does this UTC mean? It has something to do with "universal time", okay. But for a moment I thought that the object that I saw simply couldn't be Jupiter, because it shouldn't even have risen when I saw it. Obviously it was Jupiter, however, and obviously it had risen quite some time before I saw it.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:07 am

Hi Ann,

This is what was in your sky view at 06:00 local time (05:00 UT) today (about 1 hour 20 minutes before sunrise):
malmo.PNG
Jupiter and Antares were both well and truly up, but low in the sky. They both rose between 03:30 and 04:00 local time.

Does this help?
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:09 am

Thanks, Nit! :D Yes, it helps.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:14 am

Getting the itch to take more lunar images, but only seeing clouds right now ... so I've been sharpening up my processing skills on some old moon videos I recorded in 2014. Two of these were recorded with my Nikon D5100 DSLR, which yields an (unimpressively large) effective pixel size of 12 microns in video mode, and only ever at 25 fps. To achieve a more suitable pixel scale for my 6" f/10 SCT, I opted for eyepiece projection, using 17 or 13 mm eyepieces in between the SCT and the DSLR sensor. This yielded pixel scales of 0.36"/pixel at f/42 and 0.25"/pixel at f/60, respectively. This is probably not the ideal way to photograph the moon, but with recently acquired skillz in the use of Registax 6 (much better than Registax 5, once you learn the difference), I've finally managed to get some images from these data, that have pleased me.

The first is of Copernicus (projected through 17 mm eyepiece) which is probably the lunar equivalent of an ubiquitous deep sky image of M42:
SSO_LD_Copernicus_028_20140311_2030+10.jpg

The second is of the beautiful mountains between Mare Imbrium and Mare Serenitatis (projected through 13 mm eyepiece). But as I was admiring my new lunar image, I started to ponder the overall scale of it. From top to bottom it spans about 1000 km on the Moon, which is about the distance from Sydney to Hobart in Oz. So I turned my photo into a diptych, by adding a cropped and similarly scaled Earth image on the right (sourced somewhere on the interwebs that I cannot remember) from Sydney, down past our comparatively wimpy Snowy Mountains and across Bass Strait, to Hobart:
SSO_LD_Cassini_000_20141129_2109+10_Oz_compare.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:42 am

Very good seeing conditions this morning ... apart from the clouds. I squeezed in 200 sub-exposures of the last quarter moon, before the clouds won. I picked 50 of the least cloudy subs to stack into this image, which is a bit noisier than I was hoping for, but still the best I've ever managed of a last quarter moon:
SSO_LD_Q3_Moon_175_20190227_0402+10_reduced.jpg
I also saw Jupiter, Saturn and Venus between the Moon and the rising Sun, but sadly never when I had a camera pointed at them.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:03 am

Nitpicker wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:07 am
Hi Ann,

This is what was in your sky view at 06:00 local time (05:00 UT) today (about 1 hour 20 minutes before sunrise):

malmo.PNG

Jupiter and Antares were both well and truly up, but low in the sky. They both rose between 03:30 and 04:00 local time.

Does this help?
I finally had another clear morning when I was both up and at home (because when I go to work, I leave at 5 a.m. and have no time to look for stars), and this time I saw both Jupiter and Antares, thanks to you, Nit.

I found Delta Scorpius strikingly bright compared with the other stars of the "outstretched claws" of the scorpion. It honestly didn't look much fainter than Antares.

The big stellar lamp in the western morning sky at this time of year and these latitudes is Arcturus, though. I know, but I had forgotten, how it completely dominates the morning sky during spring. When Jupiter doesn't pay us a visit, of course.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:58 am

Ann, here is what my sky looked like a few hours later, 1 hour 20 minutes before my sunrise:
brisvegas_predawn_20190223.PNG
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:13 am

Thanks, Nit! That is certainly a morning sky that I never get to see!

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Fred the Cat » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:47 pm

Nitpicker wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:14 am
Getting the itch to take more lunar images, but only seeing clouds right now ... so I've been sharpening up my processing skills on some old moon videos I recorded in 2014. Two of these were recorded with my Nikon D5100 DSLR, which yields an (unimpressively large) effective pixel size of 12 microns in video mode, and only ever at 25 fps. To achieve a more suitable pixel scale for my 6" f/10 SCT, I opted for eyepiece projection, using 17 or 13 mm eyepieces in between the SCT and the DSLR sensor. This yielded pixel scales of 0.36"/pixel at f/42 and 0.25"/pixel at f/60, respectively. This is probably not the ideal way to photograph the moon, but with recently acquired skillz in the use of Registax 6 (much better than Registax 5, once you learn the difference), I've finally managed to get some images from these data, that have pleased me.

The first is of Copernicus (projected through 17 mm eyepiece) which is probably the lunar equivalent of an ubiquitous deep sky image of M42:
SSO_LD_Copernicus_028_20140311_2030+10.jpg

The second is of the beautiful mountains between Mare Imbrium and Mare Serenitatis (projected through 13 mm eyepiece). But as I was admiring my new lunar image, I started to ponder the overall scale of it. From top to bottom it spans about 1000 km on the Moon, which is about the distance from Sydney to Hobart in Oz. So I turned my photo into a diptych, by adding a cropped and similarly scaled Earth image on the right (sourced somewhere on the interwebs that I cannot remember) from Sydney, down past our comparatively wimpy Snowy Mountains and across Bass Strait, to Hobart:
Very nice images Nit!
Heart.jpg
Did you notice you captured a heart?
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:28 pm

No, but now that you mention it, it looks like the moon was mooning me.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Fred the Cat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:24 am

Branches of the moon :?:
IMG_6483 (2).jpg
Or are those outer rille :wink:
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