Hands up, keen skywatchers..

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Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby chrLz » Sat May 14, 2011 8:49 am

OK, who has got up early to see the planetary alignment currently underway (late April, early May 2011)? I was up yesterday, and it's quite a lovely sight. Especially when you think about what it is you are actually looking at, namely Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury all close to a straight line.

They are drifting apart now (sorry, shoulda told you earlier..), so get a look while you can! Us southerners have a slight advantage, as the ecliptic (ie the line along which the planets and Sun travel upon) is tilted up more vertically for us at this time of year near dawn, so we get a better view for longer.

Firstly there was Comet McNaught that we got better views of, now this alignment. Nyer nyer.

BTW, anyone experiencing apocalyptic times due to the humungous tidal forces caused by the alignment? (I'm being a bit tongue in cheek... hmm, if we do have a big quake or something now, I'll have some 'splaining to do..)
"To wear the mantle of Galileo, it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment. You must also be right." - Robert L. Park (..almost)
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby Access Denied » Sat May 14, 2011 9:21 pm

Pics or it didn't happen... :)
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby chrLz » Sat May 14, 2011 9:53 pm

Dang. As I may have mentioned, I'm between good cameras at the moment (deciding on which type to go for, DSLR or EVIL), and could only give you a video.. Although I was out there looking again this am (it's 6:50am here now) I didn't take my camcorder out - and they are getting wider apart now - it was more impressive 2 nights back.

But I might drag it out tomorrow am, if I wake up early enough, and whack it onto Youtube.

In the meantime, here's a nice link with a pretty good video:
http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/ns_life/2011-05-13/rare-planetary-alignment-seen-over-australia.html
"To wear the mantle of Galileo, it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment. You must also be right." - Robert L. Park (..almost)
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby RICH-ENGLAND » Sat May 14, 2011 10:15 pm

it formed a triangle of lights in the sky....

well if we are to go by current believer logic then triangle of lights = alien spaceships so surely there must be a fair few (sightings) doing the rounds on various sites...

thanks

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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby Access Denied » Sat May 14, 2011 10:31 pm

Thanks for the vid, pretty cool!

They do kind of look like alien spaceships... :)

(well OK, with really bright lights on)


ETA: And top of the mornin' to ya' there :D
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby chrLz » Sun May 15, 2011 1:19 am

RICH-ENGLAND wrote:it formed a triangle of lights in the sky...


It's unexplainable! I trust youse have all noticed that whenever there are three lights in the sky, they always form a triangle??? (Unless, of course, they are in a straight line...)

I think that is ample proof of ET visitation.
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby Illudium Q-36 » Wed May 18, 2011 9:44 am

This is something I didn't get around to seeing, unfortunately my property doesn't allow me good views to the East and to be honest I really like my morning time for sleep, I'm not really up for lugging the camera around at sparrows fart before my morning coffee's.
There have been some cool pics though.

I remember McNaught, that was an amazing sight that will be hard to be topped.
Luckily though I got to see the partial solar eclipse this year so I can't complain too much.
It obstructs my view of Venus
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby chrLz » Wed May 18, 2011 12:21 pm

I have to embarrasedly admit that I didn't video the sight.. Why? Because I've managed to lose my camcorder's flamin charger, and it's a weird non-standard thing (thanks, Samsung..). Oh well, I need the motivation to upgrade..

Anyway, to compensate slightly...
Illudium Q-36 wrote:I remember McNaught, that was an amazing sight that will be hard to be topped.

Was it *ever*! When I first saw it, I was just stunned - I had begun to think I'd never see a decent comet in my lifetime, and then McNaught gave its amazing show!

Slightly funny story - on one of the nights I was comet watching, I took a whole pile of images, all very serious.. and then a rather rude group of folks went and parked themselves and their telescope in front of my prime position, and then, displaying their knowledge of how to behave when observing an astronomical event #-o , starting firing off flashes and using their mobiles and LED light focusing... I silently cursed and went to relocate, but I first got this rather crazy looking shot... And now it's my absolute favorite! (Hope this works, webshots sucks a bit as an image host..)

Image
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby Illudium Q-36 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:22 pm

That's a great shot :)

I wish I had my camera back then, it is going to be very hard for another astronomical event to top that comet. I was lucky that we lived in a rural setting so we had good views of it.
We used to sit outside at the pub and watch it in the evenings.

Funny thing about your pic is there really isn't much use in viewing a comet of that size in a telescope at all, but it does make a good foreground to the picture.
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby chrLz » Wed May 18, 2011 10:25 pm

Illudium Q-36 wrote:That's a great shot :)

thanks!

Funny thing about your pic is there really isn't much use in viewing a comet of that size in a telescope at all, but it does make a good foreground to the picture.

Indeed. Even low power binoc's weren't of any real use, given the huge amount of sky it covered. I was internally chuckling at the time, imagining the conversation..

i dunno, it's not working..
have ya got the highest mag eyepiece in?
yeah, naturally!
well, try that barlow 2x thingy.
nuh, still not working. it's just all fuzzy.
flamin ebay telescopes, i'm gunna sell it off and get me one with *more* magnification.
take some more flash pics tho', we can post them on facebook and we'll look like profeshunal astrologers...
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby Illudium Q-36 » Thu May 26, 2011 12:26 am

Lol, It's rather amusing. I'm all for more people to take an interest in the skies above but you would think if they are going to make an investment that they could take the time to learn a bit about it.

At the moment I am awaiting delivery on a dedicated Ha solar scope, by no means is it the best on the market but it will allow me good views of proms and surface activity. I think most of my skywatching will be done during daylight for the next few months.
It obstructs my view of Venus
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby Illudium Q-36 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:08 pm

Just an update I guess, this is the first picture I have taken with my solar scope.
It's still a long way from where I wanted it to be but it's still nice. I really wanted to capture the prom's more and get all the surface proms too but my tuning was out a touch. When the rain stops I'll have another go.

Image
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby chrLz » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:20 pm

Wow. For a first try, that rocks! - look forward to more!
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby Illudium Q-36 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:29 pm

Thanks, I had a couple of unsuccesful attempts first but this one is the first one that has shown any promise.
Hopefully can get another try in soon.
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Re: Hands up, keen skywatchers..

Postby Illudium Q-36 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:20 pm

I thought I'd post a heads up for a couple of things you can see right now that you may not normally see. At the moment there is a bright supernova in M101 that is easily visible in small scopes and binoculars, providing you can find M101 first that is. It should hang around for a couple of weeks still.
And there is also Comet Garradd which is going to continue brightening until about Februrary and is visible in the southern/SW sky(for me at least) in binoculars and smallish scopes. This is a bit harder to find but if you add the comet in stellarium it is pretty much bang on and you should see it.
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