Dec 282011

3 Dec 2011 Watched Io move around Jupiter and watched the Red Spot appear and transit. The moon was waning gibbous after first quarter so the orion nebula was washed out a bit observed M42 and M43

10 Dec 2011 Watched Io move around Jupiter and watched the Red spot transit. Full Moon in the way of observing anything else. John Callahan got some stills of Jupiter and the Red Spot.

17 Dec 2011 Watched M42 and M43 with deep sky filter and 40mm wide angle eye piece. Watched Io move around Jupiter and Frank Schenck took pictures of the Red Spot.

Summary of Observing with the C16 for December 2011.

Stellar Skies,

Doug Horacek
Resident Astronomer
Von Braun Astronomical Society

Nov 262011

25 November 2011, 23:00-1:00 U.T.

Watched Jupiter’s Moon Europa approach the planet for a transit and later casting a shadow on the face of the planet.

Earlier saw Venus in its gibbous phase and Venus rises in the sky as our evening star.

Last, I showed the Pleiades under low power with my 3.5 inch Orion Refractor and low power wide angle eyepiece to a neighbor, capture most of the bright stars in the cluster.

Although there were a few clouds and there was much light pollution to deal with, it was a moonless night with fairly stable viewing conditions and moderate temperatures.

Observations were made from my condo on Water’s Edge Lane in Madison Town Center.

Doug Horacek
Resident Astronomer
Von Braun Astronomical Society

Aug 282011

The night of August 27 proved to be one of the better Saturday nights of the summer for observing. The temperature was pretty warm during the day, but a strong northerly breeze helped keep the humidity and haze low. Earlier in the week I had made plans to set up my telescope and support the observing effort after the Saturday night planetarium show since it looked like the weather was going to be decent. I also hoped to get the chance to use the Society’s MallinCam with my scope. In order to facilitate connecting the MallinCam to my Meade 8 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain, I asked Richard Norman to bring his focal reducer if he intended to be there on Saturday evening. (My Schmidt-Cassegrain is an f/10, so its focal length is pretty long and why a focal reducer was needed.) Luckliy for me, Richard was there on Saturday night with his case of adapters, extension tubes and a couple focal reducers.

After setting up and balancing my scope we waited for the end of “civil twilight”, which Doug Horacek announced was going to be at 7:46 pm. I made the comment that at that point “uncivil twilight” would begin, to which there was a mild response of laughter from those within earshot. Once darkness fell, I was able to polar align my Orion Atlas EQ-G mount and make a three-star alignment. It was time to hook up the MallinCam and set our sights on M101 in Ursa Major in hopes of spotting the Type Ia supernova PTF11kly that had only been discovered in the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) a few days earlier. Continue reading »