One year later

I do think of this blog from time to time.  I just don’t think of anything to put on it that wouldn’t go on my Facebook page, or one of the other interest pages.

But after all this time leading up to the total eclipse trip to Longyearbyen, the countdown on the right has ended, and it’s time for me to post some photos and get rid of the widget.

Photos copyright (c) J M Pett 2015.  Please  link to this blog if using, not that I expect anyone would as there are far better ones out there!

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A dirty smudge and some dirt

I’ve seen Panstarrs!  Well, it seemed to be a dirty smudge in the right place, towards the northwest close to the Andromeda Galaxy.  I had to find it from Cassiopeia since the trees are too low to see Pegasus at this time of year.  I had to dodge around to get a gap in the trees, too, and to avoid the street lights, but I succeeded. It will get closer to Cassiopeia up to early June, but also fainter.  Maybe I’ll see it again, but if not, so long, buddy, and good luck! Continue reading

So far no Panstarrs

It was supposed to be best placed for viewing around 45-60 mins after sunset with a clear sky. I drove up to the top of a hill about a mile or so away, with a clear view to the west.  I had a clear sky but an annoying bank of cloud on the horizon.  If Panstarrs was there, I reckon it was behind the cloud, although others have said it is faint and not likely to be picked up without binoculars.  I did scan with my binoculars.  Picked up quite a lot of planes a long way in the distance, but no comet.  Ah well, better luck next time we have a clear sky.

PANSTARRS and Wildflowers

Look up, look down.  It’s an exciting week if only the weather was better.  Excitement mounts as PANSTARRS, the first naked-eye coment to be seen in our skies since Hale-Bopp, arrives in the northern hemisphere in the west just after sundown (it is there earlier, but heading towards the sun, so can’t be seen).  Tuesday 12th should be its best chance of a good view for UK observers as it is close to the crescent moon, then still visible till until after Easter.  The current forecast for 12th March is poor. Continue reading

February on the ground and in the sky

I’ve been out gardening.  That might sound a little strange, but it’s not something I’ve had the time or inclination to do recently.  It’s been very snowy in January – up to six inches on the ground for a week or two.  It’s been gone a week but I’ve been busy with work, yet I made sure I took some time off this weekend.  Continue reading

Mercury, Venus, the Moon – and Moore

I caught The Sky at Night this month on one of its first runs – I am terrible at missing it.  Another interesting programme, with plenty to see in the sky this month.  Venus, Mercury and a crescent moon all making some alignments just before dawn – a time I should be up and about at this time of year! The Geminid meteor shower mid-month.  The Moore winter marathon with things to see through binoculars.  I failed miserably in the spring and vowed to try harder this time. Continue reading

Venus and Diamonds

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend has been really enjoyable, if frustrating with the ‘typical’ English weather.  It’s unseasonably cold and I’ve had fires lit to get over the chill.  I’m never quite sure whether it’s too cold to put the tomatoes and corn out on the patio bench to harden off, or whether it’s too cold for that.  I hope they survive and I expect they will. Continue reading

Jupiter meets Venus

I’ve been watching Jupiter and Venus getting closer and closer together in the skies all winter.  This week they had a conjunction – the closest apparent distance between them.  I wasn’t sure when it was, and we’ve had a lot of cloud recently.  But when I saw them last night I thought they looked pretty close.  And tonight they seemed to have got further away again.  Those in the know tell me the big event was on Tuesday.  Ah well.  I was fairly pleased with this picture though, taken on Wed 14th March at 19.27 GMT.  Pretty much due west.  Not bad for a little digital camera resting on the top of a post in the garden!

Moonrise 10th December

The moon rose 30% eclipsed this afternoon (or should that be evening at 16.00?).  It was quite difficult to find since it is very far north in its wanderings (I forget the technical term for it) and rose well north of east from where I am,  But I had seen it rising over there the other day so I was lying in wait for it.  Or standing in front of my neighbour’s house to get a view through the trees, as the case may be. Continue reading