Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Cloud, But it Was Good!

Yesterday's astronomy forecast via email, courtesy of the fine folks at ClearDarkSky:

"Favorable observing conditions at Lynchburg College Observatory
Based on your  subscription.

Opportunities to observe at: (Clouds/Trans/Seeing)
07-28 @ Hour 04 for 2 hours (0%/Above Ave./Excellent)"

I'm about a dozen miles from Lynchburg College, but my location is within the granularity of the forecast.

Good to excellent seeing?  On a weekend?  I'll take it!

It turns out that the forecast was fairly correct.  Good seeing all night long.

No clouds.  Good seeing.  Dark sky.  Milky Way was visible.  A few early Perseids streaked across the sky.  Moonrise was around 2am.  I finished shortly before then.

A Good Cloud

The regular readers of this blog have probably picked up on that I'm not fond of clouds.  Sure, it can be cloudy all day and I'd be fine with that.  On weekend nights?  Shoo, clouds.

There is a cloud, however, that I developed much fondness for last night as I explored Sagittarius with the telescope.  Sagittarius?  It is approaching Sagittarius season!

I was exploring Sagittarius with the help of SkySafari and my handy DIY telescope joystick controller, and I stumbled across the Sagittarius Star Cloud, also known as Messier 24.

Gorgeous, isn't it? (Click on this image and others to make them larger...)

The Sagittarius Star Cloud, 8 frames at 4 seconds stacked
Sagittarius is full of beautiful stars and nebula.  Here are a couple of the others that I imaged this morning:

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Deep Sky Calculus and an Evil Eye?

This screen capture from tells the story of the weekend.

Good to Stargaze?  Nope.
Sure. Seeing and transparency are in the green.  Clouds, humidity, and nearby thunderstorms, however, prevent any astronomy goodness.

It has been this way for a couple of weeks, meaning that the glairing moon is again starting to be a nuisance to anyone interested in enjoying deep sky astronomy.

The last good opportunity was in May.  I revisited some of the images that I captured then and realized that there were a couple that would fun to share.

As usual, click the images to make them bigger.

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