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Author Topic: Night Sightings  (Read 5034 times)
sailingskier
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« on: November 13, 2019, 02:43:34 AM »

Another interest on mine is stargazing.  Been away from it for a while; but last winter I found an older Nikon D40X on eBay.  I've been wanting to get back at backyard astronomy, but the light pollution tends to kill the hobby. My last efforts to capture images through the telescope were on film. That seems like a long time ago. At that time you had to process your own film because the labs looked for land based images, dogs & cats and people & flowers;  and all too often and star pictures were sliced through the star field than the line separating the frames.  Anyway, me and digital photography especially through a telescope or heavy duty telephoto lens, are not well known to each other yet.  Yesterday was my chance to come back.  The last transit visible from North America for 30 years happened yesterday.  I managed to catch this image of Mercury at the near end on the transit.  Years ago one of my pictures of Saturn occulted by the moon was printed in Sky and Telescope magazine.  That was fun.  I may try to send them a transit shot and see what happens.

The tiny dot between 2 and 3 o'clock is Mercury.



Mike
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jdbrot
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2019, 01:34:36 PM »

Wish I could have seen this, thanks for your photo. Very cool.
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redeye
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2019, 01:38:39 PM »

Generally interested in such events, I read about the transit but didn't observe it. Having your photo published in the magazine must have felt great.
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Maggie
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2019, 02:11:02 PM »

That's awesome, Mike.

Pete and I are huge stargazers.  We even watch the International Space Station every time we can catch it overhead.  For some reason it never gets old.
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sailingskier
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2019, 05:25:03 PM »

Ahh the space station ..... yes, I catch it as often as the weather permits too. Judy often comes out when I tell her I see it coming and then we wave at the crew.   Think there are 6 up there right now.

Maggie, are you "connected" to Heavens-Above.com?  https://www.heavens-above.com/main.aspx?lat=38.627&lng=-90.1994&loc=St.+Louis&alt=0&tz=CST   Bookmark this page if not yet a frequent user of this informative site.  I have selected St Louis for this link.  Maybe fine tuning with lat and long will give better results for the finer predictions, like for the Iridium satellites.  .... and the 60 new ones for internet connections just launched by SpaceX the other day.

Anyone wanting specific stellar info for their home, go to the "select location" area of the web site home page.  I think it may even bring up a map so you can be sure you have the exact Lat & Long.  There is all manner of astronomical predictions listed on this site.  The ISS is just one of the many.  I have always found the predictions very exact.

Until recently, when the life cycle of the NASA HDEV project met with problems, you could see the ground from the Space Station cameras.  These pictures are a couple I caught when they passed over NS during a day with very clear skies.  Greg will be able to pick out Halifax, Peggy's Cove and probably Bedford Basin in these pictures ...and Prince Edward Island for certain ... because he was here !!

In the second picture Bedford Basin is the spot that looks like a small crater.  Look along the bottom edge of the picture to about the center, and about 1/4 up from the bottom. Looking farther up is Halifax Harbor (like a funnel ... wide part to the top).  Peggy's Cove is found by following the bulge up and around to the right.  Simple .. right ?   PEI is pretty obvious in the first.






There is a little story that goes with the Saturn picture. There was a prediction by renown sources that there would be no occultation visible in NS.  Two pictures I took proved, when superimposed upon each other, that Saturn did vanish from sight momentarily behind Lunar mountains. There was an interesting discussion at the time about "when nature and science disagreed ... nature was not the loser".  Orbital elements had to be altered for future calculations.Yes the publication had me giddy at the time. Fun stuff! This was in the early 1970's.  Must dig out the magazine and check my recall of the time.

The fireball over St Louis last night has been shown on the local news this morning.  Hope you saw this Maggie!

Mike

Oh ... meant to add... we have one of the stars of US politics visiting Halifax this evening for a talk ... which is sold out.
Pres. Obama is coming to town !   When Pres. George Bush,Jr visited.  He commented to the media that it was great to see all the people waving to him .... with all 5 fingers.
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Maggie
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2019, 01:26:00 PM »

Jupiter & Venus in conjunction, last night.   We had the perfect evening sky for viewing.

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sailingskier
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 02:11:50 PM »

Really nice Maggie !!  Thanks.

Nasty rain and wind here last night. Might be clear tonight but they won't be quite as close as what you captured.
Thursday night shows Jupiter, Venus and the thin crescent Moon pretty tight. That should be nice. Need a clear horizon for this one. Moon set here will be roughly 6pm AST. But right now the forecast call for another big rain storm turning to snow on Friday.     N.Africa, most of Europe, Middle East and W Asia should see an occultation. 
This one is for Don !!

Mike
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 04:18:02 PM »

Really nice Maggie !!  Thanks.

Nasty rain and wind here last night. Might be clear tonight but they won't be quite as close as what you captured.
Thursday night shows Jupiter, Venus and the thin crescent Moon pretty tight. That should be nice. Need a clear horizon for this one. Moon set here will be roughly 6pm AST. But right now the forecast call for another big rain storm turning to snow on Friday.     N.Africa, most of Europe, Middle East and W Asia should see an occultation. 
This one is for Don !!

Mike

Nope! Don goes to bed with the chickens & gets his views of heavenly bodies from ah..... ahem.... well, to be frank.... NASA images.
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Maggie
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2019, 01:40:02 AM »

Thanks, Mike. I forgot to mention the picture was taken with our drone.  I sent it up above the tree line to capture without interference.

Tonight the ISS is much to low on the horizon to capture even with the drone. 

Jupiter was out tonight over the tree on the left.  I never saw Venus.



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sailingskier
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2019, 01:50:48 AM »

Maggie that's way cool ... astrophotography by drone .... aaaa... super cooled photography !!!!

Thanks ... good to know trees can't block your view.  Hope your Thursday weather is clear and you catch the moon, Jupiter and Venus.  Don and his chickens will have retired for the night.

It was a little challenging to see Jupiter but I found it.  Venus must have been in the tree.

Mike
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2019, 06:33:36 AM »

No stars or planets, here, but I did get the auroras.  Great New Year’s Eve catch, just north of Palmer.







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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2019, 02:11:27 PM »

Love all of your photos.
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Yellow Jacket
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2019, 06:04:41 PM »

Jupiter & Venus in conjunction, last night.   We had the perfect evening sky for viewing.



So if you are viewing Venus in the evening you are looking to the west?  I would like to see that but where I live I can't see anything to the west unless I leave the house.
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2019, 06:52:06 PM »

Now I'm looking at the early evening sky. Hopefully, these images are showing Venus and Jupiter, just above the horizon.



Also wondering if Saturn appears near the top, left of center. Seems to agree with an on-line description I read.
Photo location is north Georgia, looking west, est. 6:30 PM, and planets set below the horizon very quickly after.
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2019, 05:50:36 AM »

Nothing here but clouds tonight.
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sailingskier
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2019, 05:04:26 PM »

Clouds weren't too bad here last night.  But heavy rain and a little snow expected for Thursday night/ Friday morning. 

Here's my Venus/Jupiter effort from last night near 5pm.  Missed an ISS fly over near 6 pm.     Hoping for clear skies tonight as it passes over at 5:18 and at 78° from the horizon.




Mike
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2019, 01:32:40 AM »

Thanks to Sailingskier  for this thread. I wasn't aware of what was in our night sky. Here's my shot of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th brightest lights in the sky. Venus on the left with Jupiter near the center and a crescent moon down in the trees to the right.  Things cleared tonight so I took a short drive to get this shot.

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sailingskier
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2019, 03:17:37 AM »

Now I'm looking at the early evening sky. Hopefully, these images are showing Venus and Jupiter, just above the horizon.



Also wondering if Saturn appears near the top, left of center. Seems to agree with an on-line description I read.
Photo location is north Georgia, looking west, est. 6:30 PM, and planets set below the horizon very quickly after.

Yup, Saturn.  We each captured 4 planets with one shot .... Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and also Earth !  Corney but true.  You have you click on the + that come up after clicking on my picture in the post to see Saturn... to the left from Venus by about 3 times the separation of Venus and Jupiter ... but it is there ...LOL

Mike
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sailingskier
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2019, 03:27:03 AM »

Yellow Jacket,

That is an impressive shot.  WOW being a descriptor  for sure.  Glad you caught the thin crescent moon.  I had thought that wouldn't be visible until tomorrow. Really new moon ! Nice !!!  

The Observer's Handbook of the RASC, lists this for the 28th and says Venus is to be 1.9° south of the Moon.

Mike
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2019, 04:51:52 AM »

Wish I had looked for Saturn but didn't read your post in time to know it was out there. Probably too far away from the rest to get it into the shot anyway. Is Saturn the 5th brightest object in the sky? Long time ago a bought a Walmart telescope. I remember how surprised I was to see 4 moons around Jupiter, the rings around Saturn, and seeing a very bright Venus as a crescent. Didn't know what I was doing, just looking at anything bright.   
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Maggie
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« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2019, 08:08:39 PM »

Beautiful shot, Vic!
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Yellow Jacket
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« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2019, 04:32:26 AM »

Can we stand one more picture? This is tonight's version. Shows how much the moon moves from night to night. Thanks again to sailingskier I was able to include Saturn tonight. Just below the moon is Venus, Jupiter lower and further to the right. Directly in line with Jupiter and the moon in the upper left is Saturn.  Not as nice a shot as last nights, I had a street light right in front of me to deal with.

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sailingskier
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« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2019, 01:50:44 PM »

Another great shot, Yellow Jacket !  Glad you posted it.  Those street lights can be annoying at times.  They have gone crazy here with LED street-lighting.  Effective for bright light, but they kill the stargazing. 
Stormy here last night  ..... the Halifax airport closed the runways last night due to the storm which broke a 1971 snowfall record for Nov 28th. So, no planet / moon shots for me last night.  

Mike
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« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2019, 02:51:14 PM »

Mike with your permission, I would like to change the topic title of this post and make it thread we can discuss night sightings.
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sailingskier
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« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2019, 07:15:48 PM »

Maggie, you are "da Boss" !

I feel a bit responsible we have gone so far off topic and I apologize for that.  Nice to see a motorcycle site with people of different interests ... and so tolerable of going off topic.  Maybe the off season does this.    

Night Sightings should cover it all.  Nice choice.

Mike
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« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2019, 09:48:08 PM »

Cool... it's a fun subject!
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« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2019, 11:27:47 PM »

Love the northern lights shots Greg.  I've seen them up close(r) but Karin never has and that's definitely on her bucket list.
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« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2019, 11:44:51 PM »

"Night Sightings", that sounds good to me. So I'll just post a picture I took a couple years ago. My camera is a Canon point and shoot pocket model with a 40X zoom. I don't have a tripod but did steady the camera against a post on my front porch.


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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2019, 01:36:13 AM »

Wow, very nice!!
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2019, 04:02:06 AM »

So bummed with all the cloud cover tonight!

In the western skies of this November eve, all around World, the thinnest of crescent moons graces early twilight, where Venus & Jupiter have been for days. But now Saturn’s there too, closest of the three to the Moon, for what Astro-folk call a quadruple conjunction.
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