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Posts Tagged ‘waning crescent Moon’

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Above: Waning Crescent Moon at 5:53 AM CDT August 2, 2013 (10:53 UT), 8″ reflector telescope with 25mm eyepiece.

Below: Jupiter and its four largest Moons offer an ever-changing space-scape, though in the photo below you can’t see Io, which was transiting Jupiter’s face at the time.
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From left to right: Ganymede, Europa, Jupiter, Callisto, 5:29 AM CDT (10:29 UT).

Below: 29 minutes later, the lightening sky helps me photograph Jupiter’s atmospheric cloud belts. 5:58 AM (10:59 UT):
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When the sky is darker, the photometer on my cell phone camera tries to take in as much light as possible, resulting in loss of planetary detail due to overexposure. But the lightening sky floods the camera with light, causing the photometer to kick down the light level, revealing more detail. Just something I’ve learned as a low-budget astrophotographer. :O)

Jupiter photos with 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece and 2x Barlow. All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera.

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Above: My extremely humble, unedited photo of the Sun with a dramatically large sunspot group currently visible. I could even see the largest spot using the eclipse shades we used for observing the May 20, 2012 solar eclipse. Read all about it and see some very sharp photos at Spaceweather.com. Solar projection method with 60mm refractor telescope and 17mm eyepiece.

Below: Waning Crescent Moon at 5:37 AM CDT July 3, 2013 (10:37 UT). 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece.
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At the neighborhood park, at dawn on July 3:
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Above: A mother Mallard and half-grown ducklings heading towards the water.
Below: I was very pleased to see a mother Wood Duck with eight ducklings!
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Photos above with 7×35 Bushnell binoculars.

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Above: It’s amazing how much wildlife one can see so close to the city, and you see more by coming out at a quiet time such as the early morning.

Below: A very calm dragonfly, no doubt looking forward to a fine day of mosquito hunting.
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It’s good to get down to the neighborhood park again. Once I was there once or twice a day, but not very often for almost a year. The park is full of memory for me, the memory of two thousand walks with Pluto during the last two and a half years of his long life. But life goes on, new ducklings and all!

All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

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7:09 AM CDT April 3, 2013 (12:09 UT). 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

Don’t forget to look for Comet Pan-STARRS while it’s close in our sky to the Andromeda Galaxy!

Comet Pan-STARRS Offers M31 Photo Op (Sky and Telescope)

Spaceweather.com Realtime Image Gallery of Comet Pan-STARRS

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6:41 AM CDT April 3, 2013 (11:41 UT), 8″ reflector telescope with 25mm eyepiece.

The splendid crater Copernicus is Number 5 in Charles A. Woods’ Lunar 100 and can be easily seen in the photo above, and even more prominently in the upper center of this closeup from October 19, 2011, at 7:49 AM CDT (12:49 UT):
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8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, 2x Barlow.

It is a favorable time to view Saturn, as it is approaching opposition on April 28, at which time it will make its closest approach to Earth for this year. Here’s an update:

0403030556saturn17mm2xb 5:56 AM CDT April 3, 2013 (10:56 UT)
Angular diameter 18.57 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 828,198,000 miles (1,332,855,000 km)
0221030645asaturn17mm2xb200 6:45 AM CST February 21, 2013 (12:45 UT)
Angular diameter 17.60 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 873,809,000 miles (1,406,259,000 km)
7:01 AM CST November 20, 2012 (13:01 UT)
Angular diameter 15.49 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 992,918,000 miles (1,598,000,000 km)
11:42 PM CDT June 7, 2012 (04:42 UT June 8, 2012)
Angular diameter 18.15 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 847,415,000 miles (1,363,782,000 km)
4:38 AM CDT April 12, 2012 (09:38 UT)
Angular diameter 18.97 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 810,707,000 miles (1,304,706,000 km)
6:13 AM CST January 8, 2012 (12:13 UT)
Angular diameter 16.82 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 913,348,000 miles (1,471,501,000 km)
25mm eyepiece with 2x Barlow, scaled to match the others
3:23 AM CDT April 14, 2011 (08:23 UT)
Angular diameter 18.97 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 810,570,000 miles (1,304,487,000 km)

Last but not least, I’m happy to report that on Sunday evening I made a clear sighting of Comet Pan-STARRS, which this week is passing right by the Andromeda Galaxy, so don’t miss it, because it’s one of the best times available to use a major astronomical “landmark” to find the comet! I don’t expect to post any pictures, as the comet is too faint for my modest photo equipment. but Nathan P. Hoffman succeeded in capturing it here, and a great place to watch for the latest amateur photos is www.spaceweather.com/.

Almost forgot – my photos are taken with an LG VX8360 cell phone camera, as usual. Gotta love the internet … a guy with no money can aim his pocket camera into a weathered old telescope and turn it into an astronomy site …

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7:35 AM CST November 8, 2012 (13:35 UT), 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece.

Meanwhile, at 7:52 AM this morning, the daisies are still in bloom. A few other blossoms seem to be just sitting there without the courage (or something) to open, but the “big three” continue to bloom boldly. Don’t you think they’re a nice shade of purple?

LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

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Venus and Jupiter continue to linger brilliantly in the predawn sky. Here they are at 5:27 this morning. Jupiter is fainter to the upper right of Venus, towards the tree:

I never tire of watching Jupiter’s four Galilean Moons as they orbit. It’s the easiest way to see “live” what a planetary system looks like from the outside:

Above: 5:17 AM CDT July 23, 2012 (10:17 UT). L-R: Callisto, Ganymede, Io, Jupiter, Europa.
Below: 5:33 AM CDT August 1, 2012 (10:33 UT). L-R: Ganymede, Io, Europa, Jupiter, Callisto.
Both with 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, and 2x Barlow.

My lunar photography has been a bit sparse as of late, but here are three from the last half of July:

Above: Waning crescent Moon at 5:32 AM CDT July 16, 2012 (10:32 UT).
Below: Waxing crescent Moon at 9:25 PM CDT July 21, 2012 (02:25 UT 7-22-12). Both with 8″ reflector telescope and 25mm eyepiece.


Waxing gibbous Moon at 2:17 AM CDT July 30, 2012 (07:17 UT), 60mm refractor telescope with 17mm eyepiece.

Venus is now just over twice as far away from Earth as it was at the time of the transit:

8:52 AM CDT July 30, 2012 (13:52 UT)
Angular diameter 28.56 arc seconds
40.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 54,298,771 miles (87,385,401 km)
5:49 AM CDT July 22, 2012 (10:49 UT)
Angular diameter 31.96 arc seconds
34.9% illumination
Distance from Earth 48,512,519 miles (78,073,332 km)
9:18 AM CDT July 13, 2012 (14:18 UT)
Angular diameter 36.52 arc seconds
27.9% illumination
Distance from Earth 42,450,876 miles (68,318,063 km)
11:56 AM CDT July 3, 2012 (16:56 UT)
Angular diameter 42.79 arc seconds
19.0% illumination
Distance from Earth 36,238,688 miles (58,320,514 km)
11:21 AM CDT June 27, 2012 (16:21 UT)
Angular diameter 47.07 arc seconds
13.4% illumination
Distance from Earth 32,940,927 miles (53,013,283 km)
8:38 AM CDT June 21, 2012 (13:38 UT)
Angular diameter 51.42 arc seconds
7.8% illumination
Distance from Earth 30,154,150 miles (48,528,401 km)
8:57 AM CDT June 12, 2012 (13:57 UT)
Angular diameter 56.46 arc seconds
1.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 27,463,558 miles (44,198,313 km)
7:33 PM CDT June 5, 2012 (00:33 UT June 6, 2012)
Angular diameter 57.78 arc seconds
0.0% illumination, transiting the Sun
Distance from Earth 26,836,379 miles (43,188,966 km)
Projection method with 60mm refractor telescope and 17mm eyepiece

Unless otherwise noted, 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece with 2x Barlow, LG VX8360 cell phone camera.

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The Moon, Jupiter, and Venus form a graceful arc before dawn at 5:05 AM CDT July 14, 2012. On the morning of July 15th, the Moon will be close in between Jupiter and Venus. IMPORTANT: If you’re viewing from parts of Asia, Europe, or North Africa, you may witness an occultation of Jupiter by the Moon on the morning of the 15th. Details and map here:

15 July 2012 Occultation of Jupiter


Above, from left to right: Callisto, Ganymede, Jupiter, Europa. Io was transiting Jupiter at the time. 5:06 AM CDT July 14, 2012 (10:06 UT).


Above: Waning crescent Moon at 5:28 AM CDT July 14, 2012 (10:28 UT). 8″ reflector telescope with 25mm eyepiece.
Below: Closeups with added 2x Barlow:

5:17 AM.

5:24 AM.

5:16 AM.

All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

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