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Archive for April, 2012

As of April 22, 2012, the upcoming Venus Transit of June 5/6, 2012 is T-Minus 43 days away, and counting. I’m leading a community education class on the occasion, so if you’re going to be anywhere near Alexandria, Minnesota, USA that day, please join us! But if not, I hope the view is clear wherever you are!

7:14 PM CDT April 22, 2012 (00:14 UT 4-23-12)
Angular diameter 33.12 arc seconds
33.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 46,812,338 miles (75,337,236 km)
25mm eyepiece with 2x Barlow

6:28 PM CDT March 24, 2012 (23:28 UT)
Angular diameter 22.95 arc seconds
52.4% illumination
Distance from Earth 67,571,683 miles (108,746,083 km)

4:10 PM CST February 12, 2012 (22:10 UT)
Angular diameter 16.24 arc seconds
70.2% illumination
Distance from Earth 95,450,953 miles (153,613,419 km)
18mm eyepiece

1:48 PM CST February 8, 2012 (19:48 UT)
Angular diameter 15.82 arc seconds
71.7% illumination
Distance from Earth 98,020,580 miles (157,748,833 km)
18mm eyepiece

2:37 PM CST January 5, 2012 (20:37 UT)
Angular diameter 13.19 arc seconds
81.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 117,572,894 miles (189,215,232 km)
2:21 PM CST November 29, 2011 (20:21 UT)
Angular diameter 11.46 arc seconds
89.5% illumination
Distance from Earth 135,265,885 miles (217,689,541 km)
4:18 PM CST November 20, 2011 (22:18 UT)
Angular diameter 11.13 arc seconds
91.2% illumination
Distance from Earth 139,346,992 miles (227,254,246 km)
12:03 PM CST January 5, 2011 (18:03 UTC)
Angular diameter 25.58 arc seconds
48.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 60,611,164 miles (97,544,214 km)
10:02 AM CST November 27, 2010 (16:02 UTC)
Angular diameter 44.72 arc seconds
20.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 34,669,885 miles (55,795,771 km)
12:40 PM CDT (17:40 UTC), November 5, 2010
Angular diameter 59.94 arc seconds
2.4% illumination
Distance from Earth 25,866,740 miles (41,628,483 km)

Unless otherwise noted, 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, LG VX8360 cell phone camera.

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Above: Saturn at 4:38 AM CDT April 12, 2012 (9:38 UT), 17mm eyepiece and 2x Barlow (191x magnification). Saturn is three days away from opposition, and as of this photo is 810,707,000 miles from Earth (1,304,706,000 km) with an angular diameter of 18.97 arc seconds. Compare with these previous Saturn photos below:


Above: 6:13 AM CST 1-8-12 (12:13 UT), 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, 2x Barlow (130x magnification, but I resized the photo to make it appear on the same scale as the photo below). At the time of this photo Saturn was 948,348,000 miles distant from Earth (1,471,500,000 km), with an angular diameter of 16.82 arc seconds. You can see how much more the rings have “opened up” during the last nine months, and I’m pleased that I was now able to capture a bit of Saturn’s shadow on the rings, as well as a hint of Cassini’s Division.

Below: For comparison, a rerun of my photo from 3:23 AM CDT 4-14-11 (8:23 UT), 8″ reflector telescope, 17mm eyepiece, 2x Barlow (191x magnification). At that time Saturn had just passed opposition and was a “mere” 810,570,000 miles from Earth (1,304,487,000 km), with an angular diameter of 18.97 arc seconds.

Here’s the Moon at 6:34 AM CDT April 12, 2012 (11:34 UT), with 25mm eyepiece (65x magnification). Click to enlarge:

All with 8″ reflector telescope and LG VX8360 cell phone camera.

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