Monday, March 5, 2018

March 2018

March 19th 1300 GMT

I had a rare clear patch of sky. The Sun was very quiet, even in hydrogen alpha light and I took some full disc shots with my DSLR (afocal) and PST.

March 16th 2010 GMT

I had a rare bit of clear sky, so left a camera out aimed at the Pleaides. I used 70mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 7 seconds’ exposure. I left the camera out, with the faint hope of capturing a meteor.

March 16th 1730 GMT

I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light. It was too low down for clear observation and I did not see any features.

March 10th 2120 GMT

Conditions were not as good as when I checked a few minutes before and there was lots of light cloud. I had a go at the Hyades, M35 and Pleaides, more in hope than expectancy.
I caught a meteor in the Hyades shot.

March 10th 1845 GMT

I saw Venus low in the west when I was out and about. I checked with my binoculars but could not tell the phase from a 100% full disc. After a bit of hunting, I found Mercury about 4 degrees from it, slightly to the right is straight up. I could not detect a phase either but it was clearly a disc and not a point source, like a star. Unfortunately, I did not have a suitable camera with me but it was the first time I had seen Mercury for yonks, where a yonk is Pi (3.14159,,,) years!

March 7th 0800 GMT

 I snapped the Moon with my DSLR, trying out various settings. The result was some detail in the daylight conditions but not one of my best shots.

March 5th 0845 GMT

Finally, I started March off. I had a clearish patch of sky surrounding the Sun and checked it out in hydrogen alpha light (knowing that there were no sunspots on the Big Bear images). The solar disc seemed bland and uninteresting, so I just took some full disc shots.

Friday, February 2, 2018

February 2018

February 28th 1600 GMT

It was well below zero outside, so I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light from inside the house. The Sun was very quiet but I took some shots, just in case I could capture anything unusual.


February 26th 0840 GMT

I checked the Sun in my PST and saw a single flare that I had seen on the professional observatory images. The big question was whether I could capture it on camera. Using my DSLR for afocal photography was quite new to me. I tried using a longer focal length eyepiece of 32mm.
Yes, it just shows up a little lower than the centre of the disc and some smaller ones and faint filaments.

February 25th 1810 GMT

I wasn’t happy with my Moon photo in daylight, so decided to have another go. I used 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/500 second exposure. I then found Venus low in the west and took some widefield shots at a variety of exposure times at ISO 6400.

February 25th 1420 GMT

I bin scanned the Moon with my DSLR.

February 25th 1405 GMT

The Sun was quiet in hydrogen alpha light. I attempted to photograph it using my DSLR afocally.

February 24th 2320 GMT

I snapped the Moon with my DSLR.

February 24th 1800 GMT

The Sun had set a few minutes before and the Moon was riding high in the south and I bin scanned it at 8 days past full. The southern craters were gaining prominence, with Clavius straddling the terminator.
I also bin scanned for Venus low in the west but did not see it.

February 23rd 1700 GMT

The Moon was half full, so I took another set of shots with my DSLR.

Feb 22nd 1815 GMT

I took a few snaps of the Moon with my DSLR. I processed the best shot.

February 12th 1020 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun through moving thin cloud and saw that the sunspots from the day before had rotated. The Big Bear images showed some smaller sunspots in the same region that I did not pick up in my bins.

February 11th 0910 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun in a clear sky and saw two sunspots.

February 9th 0820 GMT

I tried to photograph the Sun from indoors, still not being 100% fit. It was too low and shining through trees but I thought it would make an interesting shot anyway.


A few minutes later, it had cleared the trees, so I carried out the planned shot. It didn't work, probably as it was indoors, so I did a drawing from visual observations.


February 9th 0750 GMT

The Moon was a waning crescent and I took some shots with my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure.

February 6th 1305 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun in a clear sky and saw a single, large sunspot.

February 4th 1040 GMT

I finally had some clear sky, so checked out the Sun from indoors with my PST, as I was still ill. I could see some granulation and tried to photograph afocally using my DSLR at 70mm and auto-exposure, with a lens hood. Initial indication were that I’d captured some parts of the solar disc. One shot caught part of the disc quite well but I could not extract any detail from the others. At least, there was something in the concept.

February 1st 0640 GMT

The Moon was low and bright in the west. I still had a cold, so I photographed it from the house with my DSLR.
Unfortunately, focussing a DSLR at 300mm on the Moon is a bit hit and miss and this time it was a miss.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Non-Astronomy Photos 2018

March 19th

I snapped our dogs, Ollie (Cavachon) and Andy (Cavestie) in the snow.

March 16th

There were some nice daffodils about.

March 15th

I visited Alfred's Tower in Stourton.

I caught a spider on a wall.

I headed into Glastonbury and saw St John the Baptist Church.


The head of this sculpture reminded me of the Moai of Easter Island.

This other sculpture was in the town centre.

The abbey is in ruins.


I cannot resist a few flowers.

I drove to Glastonbury Tor.

I found a nice Catholic Church: Mary Magdalene.

A lovely white cat came to see me.

March 14th

While out and about, I saw a strange unidentified plant that we also have growing in our garden.

Farleigh Castle was closed but I still took some sneaky shots.

March 10th

I was out and about and passed Seven Springs near Cheltenham. It really does have seven individual springs and is the source of the River Churn, which joins the River Thames at Cricklade. Many consider that the Churn is the true source of the Thames, as its source is further from the confluence than the source of the Thames at Kemble. In truth, many rivers and streams join together to form the Thames.

To start with, I saw some snowdrops.

Springs One and Two.

Spring Three

All springs

Spring Seven

Springs Three and Four

Spring Six

Spring Five:

Pond where the water from the springs collects before flowing out into the river.

March 9th

I took a couple of snaps in our garden.

February 24th

I passed by Ashwick Church.


I snapped some flowers there, too.

I then passed St Bartholemew's Church in Rode.

February 23rd

I snapped these snowdrops while walking our dogs.

February 20th

I snapped a daffodil in our garden.

February 15th

I dove through Tonypandy (Wales) and took some shots.

February 2nd

I found some old photos on my camera, so processed them. The first was some flowers in Victoria Park, Bath,

The acers in our garden were bare but this old photo showed a full set of leaves, also from Victoria Park.

February 1st

I was between things in Radstock, so took a few photos.

I cannot remember the name of this flower and (shame on me!) we have them in our garden. It's nice to see flowers in winter.

Well at least I can recognise pansies!

I rather like the Methodist Holy Trinity Church.

Radstock Wheel:

More flowers, this time the daffodiloid, dwarf narcissi.


January 26th

Yet another church - St John the Baptist Chipping Sodbury.

Here's the clock tower from the same town.

January 20th

I found a rather nice church in Swindon Old Town, named Christ Church and St Mary's.

January 19th

I took some snaps of the River Thames near its source in Kemble. Many days it shows as a puddle and I've even seen it dry at this point. After heavy rain, it was flowing quite nicely and there was even some water in the original source, although there was nowhere to photograph it from the road.

January 18th

I took some hill photos near Treorchy but not all photos came out.

January 10th

I caught a cat on a roof but it was cold felt, rather than hot tin.

January 7th

I took some pigeon shots from my back door. However, they were slightly out of focus.