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My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

My new Paramount MyT and 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien Telescope

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My Meade 12 inch SCT on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

My 4 inch Meade Refractor with Sky Watcher Guidescope and ZWO camera on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mount with Canon 40D


My Solar setup using a DSLR and Mylar Filter on my ETX90

DSLR attached to ETX90. LiveView image of 2015 partial eclipse on Canon 40D

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 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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The Sky this morning - 17th November 2014

6 a.m. and going out with my 8 X 30 binoculars another glittering sky dominated by Orion to the South West with Jupiter very bright at magnitude -2.2. After a minute or so I realise that in fact there is a glow to the sky and spot the Moon at altitude 35 degrees towards the East. I automatically look at the Great Nebula in Orion through my binoculars first - a sort of ritual now - and particularly notice the pairs of stars sitting in a line at different angles to that line.

I didn't see this - I used a remote telescope to take this image

 or this - taken with my Sony camera and telephoto lens at 400mm

but that's getting closer to the visual impression - without the colour of course.

It certainly wasn't like this - taken with the Sony Alpha at 500mm.


I used the same camera and lens to quickly snap the Moon this morning

The Moon this morningThe Moon data for 6 a.m. this morning corresponding to my image above from the SkyX follows - it tells that the Moon is in Leo at 35 degrees with a phase of about 27 percent and is waning.

Object Name: Moon

Altitude: +35° 25' 51"

Constellation: Leo

RA (Topocentric): 11h 31m 37s
Dec (Topocentric): +00° 14' 19"
RA (2000.0): 11h 30m 51s
Dec (2000.0): +00° 19' 13"
Azimuth: 122° 08' 23"
Phase (%):  26.69% (waning)
Rise Time: 02:44
Transit Time: 08:57
Set Time: 15:06
Air Mass: 1.72
RA Rate (arcsecs/sec): 0.337273
Dec Rate (arcsecs/sec): -0.162214
Date: 17/11/2014
Time: 06:00:00 STD
Constellation (Abbrev.): Leo
Moon Ecliptic Longitude: 172° 42' 46"
Moon Ecliptic Latitude: -02° 17' 44"
Moon Parallax: 0.9103
Moon Angular Diameter:   0° 29' 46"
Moon Distance (km): 401,477.53
Moon True RA: 11.4934
Moon True Dec: 0.7828
Moon Topocentric Ang. Diameter: 0.5007
Moon Alt w/Refraction: 35.8905
Moon Total Libration l: -2.2287
Moon Total Libration b: 2.9845
Moon Optical Libration l: -2.2363
Moon Optical Libration b: 2.9367
Moon Physical Libration l: 0.0076
Moon Physical Libration b: 0.0477
Moon Position Angle: 24.6372
Phase Angle: 117.7887
Moon Pos. Angle of Bright Limb: 112.0213
Moon's Age (Days Past New): 24.22
Sidereal Time: 08:37
Julian Date: 2456978.70833579
Click Distance: 0.0000
Frame Size (arcmins): 30.0423
Celestial Type: 35
Index: 10
Constellation Number: 45