Yearly archives: 2015

2015 Wildlife Log

This is not the most ideal way to show what’s been going here throughout the year, but I haven’t had much time this year to create individual posts of the various events. November  1A Stoat – and it was definitely was a Stoat with its black dipped tail – seen running from Stonehenge towards the Conservatory and passed the garage.14First Chaffinch seen in ages22Six Redwing seen perching on trees at end of garden. Identification…


A New Toy: 4, November

While my Altair Astro Sabre Mount is great for star hopping, the stiction in the bearings starts to become a problem when you add a heavier scope. The TMB80 wasn’t a problem, but with the long focal length 150mm RC, I was beginning to find that precisely centring the object would cause you to overshoot the target sometimes. The other problem is with this scope and the Van Slyke turret fitted, it was impossible to balance…


Observing Session: 31, October

This evening was the first real test of my new SkyTee mount. Fitted with the turret, most of the star hopping done was made through the 14mm Delos – each hop being no more than a few FOV diameters from one object to the next. I also had another bash and trying to draw what I observe through the eyepiece,  using the iPad and a stylus.  The purpose is not to produce a work…


Observing Session: 14, October

Well I guess the recent run of clear nights has probably come to an end. The high pressure that has been sitting over us for the last few weeks, has now made way for Low pressure, which is bringing in high winds and all the cloud from the North. Looking at the logs, I’ve had 12 observing sessions in a little under two months – a record number, which has included 50 unique objects…


Observing Session: 13, October

…and the clear nights continue to roll 🙂 Session Stats Date: 13/10/2015 Time: 19:19 – 22:25 UTSeeing: II Mostly Stable, Transparency: I Extremely Clear, Temp:10.0c, Pressure: 1011mb, Humidity: 79%, Dew Point: 3.0 , Wind: 6.0mph, SQM: 18.3 NELM: 5.0 Collinder 401 In the Altair 250mm f/8 RC, 40mm Plossl, 51 X, 52′ West is to the 9 O’Clock. I planted the scope on target and was expecting to see something that looked like an open cluster. NOTHING. So I checked the star field on…


Observing Session: 11, October

A little bit of low cloud around, but the clear gaps in between them are large enough for a little keyhole astronomy. Session Stats Date: 11/10/2015 Time: 20:29 – 21:28 UTSeeing: II Mostly Stable, Transparency: III Mostly Clear, Temp:9.6c, Pressure: 1004mb, Humidity: 91%, Dew Point: 8.0 , Wind: 6.0mph, SQM: 18.4 NELM: 5.3 Collinder 349, IC4665 In the TMB 80 f/6, 26mm Plossl, 18 X, 2.8° West is to the 6 O’Clock. There is a…


Observing Session: 1, October

…and the clear nights keep coming.  The Moon is back but these small cluster observations aren’t particularly affected by its presence. Session Stats Date:  1/10/2015  Time:  19:54 – 00:29 UTSeeing: II Mostly Stable,Transparency: II Clear,Temp:10.5c, Pressure: 1013mb,Humidity: 81%, Dew Point: 8.0 , Wind: 8.0mph, SQM: 17.8 NELM: 4.9 Collinder 420, NGC6910 In the Altair 250mm f/8 RC, 14mm Delos, 145 X, 29.8′ West is to the 7 O’Clock. At the centre of the cluster are two bright stars of 7.2…


Observing Session : 30, September.

I’m quite gobsmacked at the number of clear nights I’ve had this month. At least the four night gap since the last session has enabled me to catch up on some sleep 🙂 Despite a little bit of Moon, tonight’s sky was pretty much perfect. I’ve just noticed the humidity was down to 72%, a figure I’ve not seen since earlier in the year in April. Session Stats Date:  30/09/2015  Time:  19:54 – 22:33 UTSeeing: I…


Lunar Eclipse: 28, September

I’ve finally managed to get round to processing all of the images that I took of the Lunar Eclipse last Monday. This is the second full eclipse that I’ve seen, but the first of which I intended to take lots of images. Nothing much to say about these, but I decided to use my Nikon D80 fitted to the TMB80. The big RC would have been nice, but with the D80’s chip, I would…


Observing Session: 26, September

Bloody typical. More clear skies than I know what to do with, and what do we now have now – A full on Moon! Having decided that anything galactic or nebulous was going to be a waste of time, I set Skytools 3 the task of finding me some open clusters up near the Zenith that would be suitable for observation. As my Collinder observing programme has been quiet of late, I set the…