Archive for September, 2009

Yay! I made astronomy sketch of the day!

http://www.asod.info/?p=2115

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E.T. really does exist!

On 26th the evening started fine, so I felt obliged to get out with the scope and look straight up; in this case ending up in the constellations of Cassiopeia and Draco. In the former I encountered a familar friend last sighted on Earth in 1984. Read more…

Making hay at last

Cutting the mini-meadow is an annual ritual that I always look forward to. By this time of year it’s looking a bit scruffy, and I had loads of new plants waiting in the wings to go in. Read more…

Watching Ganymede’s shadow

Film4 recently made an excellent documentary on the Apollo space programme called “In the shadow of the moon“, words used in the film by the last man to stand on the moon, Eugene Cernan. In it he describes the sensation of going into orbit around the moon, and not being able to see the moon through the window but being aware of its overpowering presence, followed by the darkness as the spacecraft entered the moon’s shadow. For us earthbound citizens, the only time we can enter the shadow of the moon is during a total eclipse of the sun, which I was lucky enough to experience in Hungary on 11th August 1999. We can however see solar eclipses occurring on other planets, and the last month or so has been a prime time to see this occurring on Jupiter, with the shadow of Jupiter’s moons passing across the face of the planet. On the evening of 24th, the shadow of Ganymede was predicted to be visible on the face of Jupiter just after sunset, so I invited my friend and fellow space fan Neil over to view it. Read more…

Reflections in Cepheus

The constellation Cepheus is one of the most northerly and is well positioned at this time of year. It is easily recognized as the “house” shape of bright stars next to the “W” of Cassiopeia. We, in the northern hemisphere, miss out on a lot of wondrous objects that are only visible from the far south, but constellations like Cepheus and Cassiopeia make up for it somewhat. Last night I intended to do a grand tour of the best sights in both constellations  Read more…

Last days of summer: take two.

OK, I’m not complaining about another sunny weekend in September: who would? It’s not as if we’ve had a drought.  Coming up: spiders, dragonflies and butterflies. Read more…

Spotting the Great Red Spot

I was out on the night of the 15th, which was our last clear night here, and had a terrific time. I observed some great open and globular clusters, and also the Andromeda galaxy and its satellites, but the highlight was (narrowly), spotting Jupiter’s Great Red spot for the first time.

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