What did you see in the sky tonight?

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geckzilla
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by geckzilla » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Would you say those are Jupiter's moons in that last close-up, Chris?
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Chris Peterson
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:58 pm

geckzilla wrote:Would you say those are Jupiter's moons in that last close-up, Chris?
Definitely.
c0530.gif
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by geckzilla » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:39 pm

Great, you got all four Galilean moons, then!
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:25 pm

geckzilla wrote:Great, you got all four Galilean moons, then!
And again this morning. From the top down, that's Ganymede, Io, Europa, and Callisto. Below Jupiter is delta CAN, and above it is the Beehive Cluster.
E7_24683p.jpg
The Jupiter image is cropped from an unscaled image taken during this morning's conjunction. Here's a scaled image of the entire scene, with Venus just rising above Castle Mountain, 6 km away. Pikes Peak, 38 km away, is just off the frame to the right.
E7_24690p.jpg
I also posted a couple of more photogenic images over here.

Painful for me to get up that early (and a bit nippy at 43°F), but worth the view.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:41 pm

Beautiful pictures, Chris.

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

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:21 am

Mars, the Moon, Saturn. A pretty little grouping.
E7_24829b.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by WannaB » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:20 pm

Can anyone explain the unusual moon over Ohio last night? It wasn't a crescent; nor did it resemble an eclipse. I am a 79 yr. old neophyte about the cosmos, but after I watched an aurora borealis with my father I have been looking up every night. Guess you're never too old to learn!

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:31 pm

WannaB wrote:Can anyone explain the unusual moon over Ohio last night? It wasn't a crescent; nor did it resemble an eclipse. I am a 79 yr. old neophyte about the cosmos, but after I watched an aurora borealis with my father I have been looking up every night. Guess you're never too old to learn!
It should have looked almost identical to my image above. If not, it can only mean that your view was obscured in some way by clouds, or some optical illusion was involved.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:33 am

As I looked out my kitchen window to the northeast very early this morning, the sky was dark, with the merest hint of blue to it. Taht is what a clear night sky usually looks like, but I could see no stars. Perhaps there was a faint mist that, along with the general light pollution over a city like Malmö, blotted out the stars.

As I left my apartment two hours later and started cycling towards the central station, the mist had turned into fog. All the streetlights had halos around them. So imagine my surprise when I glanced to the right, just where the tall trees of the nearby park open up to reveal a deep but narrow opening, and saw Jupiter blaze down at me like a beacon in the sky.

I quickly cycled to where I had a better view to the south and southeast. Here, indeed, the sky was clear. I saw all of Orion, Procyon, Castor and Pollux, the Hyades, the Pleiades and Perseus. Sirius was missing, even though I should have seen it. It had been swallowed by the approaching fog. But wait... what's that bright light in Perseus? Oh. Just an airplane. But wait... what is that bright light in Perseus? Algol?

Yes, I think it was Algol. I can't remember ever seeing Algol look so bright.

Or maybe the sky was just unusually clear along the sight to Algol. Anyway, it was a slightly magical experience, seeing the stars and the fog fighting for dominion over the sky.

When I arrived at the place where I work an hour later, the fog was so thick I could have cut it with a knife.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:59 am

Might it have been Capella in Auriga rather than Algol in Perseus? Algol is two magnitudes dimmer than Capella and both are currently close to your zenith before your dawn. I'm looking forward to Summer here and admiring the wide expanse of the (Southern) Summer Hexagon in the warm evenings, with Capella just above my northern horizon forming the lowest point of the six. (We have ridiculously early dawns in Brisbane over Summer, due to a lack of daylight saving, which makes it even harder than normal for me to get out of bed before dawn.)

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:40 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, Nitpicker, but it definitely wasn't Capella. It was Algol. And it wasn't ridiculously bright or anything, just a tad brighter than Mirfak, Alpha Persei.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:53 pm

Nice eclipse this morning. Not as red as sometimes, but still pretty. Note the very blue Uranus just a lunar diameter to the left.
E7_24850p.jpg
Also put together a 50-minute timelapse starting at totality. Caught a meteor, satellite flare, some airplanes, and a nice lunar halo and moondogs, as well.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:55 pm

Looks like most of the populated areas of eastern Australia were under thick, low clouds for the eclipse last night, which was a pity because we were otherwise ideally placed to observe the whole thing. I only got a few short glimpses towards the end and no images.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by geckzilla » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:10 pm

I saw the clouds before collapsing into bed at 4AM figuring it wouldn't clear up in 3 hours. Kind of a shame since it might have after all. By the time I awoke the clouds had all dissipated and a fall breeze was gusting through the window. Oh well.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by rstevenson » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:22 am

I saw a lovely Moon through the scudding clouds -- tonight, about 15 hours too late for the eclipse. Which is about as expected in this area, stuck out into the Atlantic as we are.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:07 pm

In perhaps one of the ugliest pictures I've created this year, I just managed to record the near-collison courses of Mars and Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) this evening, tracking the stars of Ophiuchus behind them for more than two hours before they set, and about seven hours prior to their closest approach. North is up (almost) and they are separated by about 20 arcmin in the image. I wasn't expecting the comet to be quite so difficult to capture.
Mars_C2013A1_20141019_1901-2123+10_reduced.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:01 pm

Well done, Nitpicker.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:08 pm

Nitpicker wrote:In perhaps one of the ugliest pictures I've created this year, I just managed to record the near-collison courses of Mars and Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) this evening, tracking the stars of Ophiuchus behind them for more than two hours before they set, and about seven hours prior to their closest approach. North is up (almost) and they are separated by about 20 arcmin in the image. I wasn't expecting the comet to be quite so difficult to capture.
I set up for a try last night, but it's almost impossible from my latitude, and we had some very thin clouds that made the effort pointless. If it's clear, I might try again tonight, but I'll be shooting in twilight with the telescope aperture partly blocked by my observatory wall. Mars will image, of course, but I'm doubtful that the comet will show up... especially seeing how hard it was for you under much better conditions.

Glad you were able to get something. Capturing things like this isn't about aesthetics!
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by geckzilla » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:43 pm

There are a lot of people posting pictures of the event already and they are showing the comet a lot more clearly. I'm guessing they are doing the composite method of tracking the comet for one shot and another shot tracking the stars and then combining the two with the stars dropped out of the comet picture. Maybe I'm wrong, though.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:49 pm

Mine was just a stretched stack of 30 subs (with a DSLR connected to a 6" SCT) each of 30 seconds exposure. The subs had somewhat uneven intervals between them over the two hour time period (just the ones with minimal tracking errors with my alt-az mount, about a quarter of all of the subs I took in interval timer mode, whilst I was making and having dinner, doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, putting kids to bed, etc). In each raw sub, the comet only appeared as an unimpressive smudge with no tail, fading as it set. An animated blink comparison might have been less ugly, but really, my mount and lack of processing knowledge were my real constraints.

Edit: I suppose if I'd aligned and rotated my subs relative to the comet and not the stars, the comet would have looked more like a comet rather than a fluffy streak roughly perpendicular to the tail, but I was more interested in the paths of the comet and Mars relative to the stars, and I knew as soon as I'd realised that the comet was a magnitude or two dimmer than what I was expecting, that I didn't really have the right gear to bother with imaging the comet nicely, avec tail. (And it is much harder for me to process my images that way, anyway.)

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:16 am

Took me a while, but I eventually realised that all I really needed to do was a maximum stack instead of an average stack of my subs. My improved image (still without any tails) is posted here:
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=33993

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:29 am

E7_25315p.jpg
The almost full Moon rising above the Belt of Venus, and above Pikes Peak.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by geckzilla » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:18 am

Man, after all this time, I've never seen so-called man on the moon. Somehow tonight it kicked in and I think I might see it. Is the face looking slightly to its right?
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:04 am

Yes, to the West on the Moon.

Inevitable link to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_in_the_Moon

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by BMAONE23 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:07 pm

Chris" Moon image reminded me of this little fella