Archive for August 2017

M24 Star Cloud, Open Cluster NGC 6603, Dark Nebula Barnard 92 and 93

August 31, 2017

Observer’s Challenge Report:  AUGUST 2017 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – M-024

 

2017 Total Solar Eclipse from Laurens, South Carolina – A Great and Memorable Day

August 26, 2017

Image of the eclipse, the diamond ring, and Bailey’s beads provided by Barre Spencer and Patrick White using a Canon Rebel with a 200 mm zoom lens.  Location of photo:  Columbia, SC 

(s) Diamond / Baily's Beads 9

A group of folks from various places met outside of an Italian restaurant to enjoy the solar eclipse together.  We were all surprised how few came to this quaint little town to observe this historic event.  The totality duration was ~ 2 mins  34 seconds, and with perfect weather!    

During totality the sky darkened to a surprising level, but not as dark as a clear full moon night.  Venus appeared very bright in the western sky and Jupiter in the southeast.  I could not see any stars….naked eye.  

Both Debbie and I were amazed at the sudden flash of the diamond ring.  (See the image above) 

The temperature drop was very significant.  A weather bureau report from Newberry, SC, not many miles away and also in the line of totality, had a temperature drop of 11º Fahrenheit .  

We can only assume that this temperature drop would have been similar in Laurens.  When the sun began to re-emerge, we noticed a shimmering of light waves on the pavement in front of us, known as shadow bands.  A very interesting phenomenon, that I was hoping we’d see, and we did!  

What an incredible day!  

IMG_8976

Remembering Comet Hale-Bopp – March 1997 – Charcoal/Pencil Sketches, and Photographs

August 14, 2017

Twenty-three years, March 2020!   

Comet Hale-Bopp 
March 1997
10-Inch Reflector
Magnification: 160x
FOV: 0.38º 

White charcoal pencil sketch on black card stock.  The three tails are visible:  The anti-tail, the ion or gas tail and the dust tail are clearly visible.   Roger Ivester  (North Carolina)

 
Image

Unfortunately, the sketch is actually larger than our scanner can copy, so some of the comet is cut off.  The sketch was done on 4/2/1997.  The tail was about 15° long to the naked eye.  To get the tail and the core detail in the same sketch, I used three different instruments: 8×40 binox, a 90mm refractor, and a 6-inch reflector.   Sue French  (New York) 

   

image001

Globular Cluster Messier 14 – July 2017 Observer’s Challenge Report

August 8, 2017

JULY 2017 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – M-014

In 10-inch reflector, M14 is a large cluster, mostly round, but with a slight elongation, oriented northeast-southwest.

At 160x very few stars can be resolved, but only with averted vision. The surface brightness is overall fairly low with a mostly even texture, but with a subtle brightening in the central region. The edges fade very gradually outwards.

M14 at magnitude 7.6 is quite a bit fainter than globulars M10 and M12, also located in Ophiuchus.

In 3.5-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain the cluster is mostly round with a faint brighter concentrated middle. No resolve of stars.

Roger Ivester

Inverted colors via computer:

Rogers M-014 Inverted