The weather forecast looks OK for tomorrow’s event on Blackheath. There is likely to be a band of rain moving down from the north-west in the morning, but the evening is forecast to be dry with broken cloud and occasional clear skies.
Obviously, the focus of the event will be the Moon, but there is plenty more to see. Venus and Mars should be easily visible early in the evening, with Jupiter rising later. Uranus is also potentially visible, but may be obscured by brightness from the Moon.
The usual winter constellations will be on display, with Orion perfectly placed.
Comet Lovejoy is now up in Triangulum and should be easy to view in the south-west through a telescope or binoculars.
Finally, of course, we’ve got the close-approaching asteroid 2004 BL86, which will appear as bright as 9th magnitude when it passes the Earth at the safe distance of 1.2 million kilometres. We may have to wait until later in the session until the asteroid is high enough in the south-east to view. The asteroid will be on the border of Hydra and Monoceros at the start of our session, moving up towards Cancer at the end of the evening.
Should be a good evening, and we are expecting a big attendance with Eric Emms and his friends from BSIA coming along. It would be great to see lots of Flamsteed members there, even if you can only pop along for half-an-hour or so.
We start at 5pm, with free parking available on Talbot Place from 6.30pm. We will probably start winding up the event after 10pm, but may continue later depending on weather conditions.
Look forward to seeing you there!
Looking forward to lots of great new photographs for our opening video at the next Flamsteed meeting!
defiantly going to try and come along trying to sort a way out to get my gear down there as well
I am feeling unwell probably due to a few cold nights I spent out last week trying to catch different celestial events such as Jupiter triple moon transit and Lovejoys. I really want to see that asteroid so will try to make it but damn my bones are feeling brittle! If I dont make it, enjoy the session everyone.
Hope to see you later, Simon. There should be plenty of scopes available, if you can’t bring one along.
I’m not feeling 100% today, so won’t be bringing my refractor. Will probably just bring a camera / telephoto lens and the Astrotrac.
Forecast is suggesting that we should have at least a couple of hours of clear skies. Let’s hope so. BSIA are expecting 30 people to come, and I suspect we should see the same number again from Flamsteed members and local residents.
Looking forward to it.
I am feeling unwell
Sorry to read that, Tej. Not 100% myself, as you may have read from above. If I don’t see you tonight, hope to see you soon.
Sorry to read you chaps are under the weather. Unfortunately I can’t attend tonight either, though wellness has nothing to do with it.
Tej, did you manage to get any good shots while catching your death of cold?
I did, Andy! I had meant to post them on the imaging/observing thread but I didnt get around to, sorry 🙁 I’ll go and post them on there now.
No worries Tej – I was thinking ahead to the opening video at our next lecture night – no rush, just curious to now if you were successful! But if you’re feeling up to it, by all means post them here too of course!
Superb evening of observing on Blackheath tonight. Great company and an excellent attendance for a weekday fixture.
The wind was bitterly cold at times, so I left just before 10pm… but at least it’s given me time to process a couple of images taken tonight. Hopefully these images prove that it is possible to do successful astrophotography under light-polluted skies!
CometLovejoyBlackheath by MikeMey67[/url], on Flickr
OrionNebulaBlackheath by MikeMey67[/url], on Flickr
Both images taken with a Canon 60Da 200mm f/2.8 lens. ISO 1600. 30 second exposures for comet, 15 seconds for Orion. Astrotrac mount. 10 x exposures stacked for each image.
I couldnt bare missing out on the event and feeling a little better I felt I could still go so i packed my trusty nexstar and joined in the fun at around 6:30.
A great evening and lovely to see my friends from both Flamsteed and some Baker Street Irregulars whom I also frequent their meetups.
Once again it was a delight to show views of the usual celestial objects to several newcomers throughout the evening and they all looked like they enjoyed their time with the group, diversity of scopes and objects being pointed at.
I ended up leaving at midnight! Mike, remember those couple of guests that came so late when everyone was packing up at around 10pm? Well I decided to stick around for them and it was worth it because they were on a serious agenda to catch themselves the asteroid. Impressively, they controlled their telescope with Stellarium and in so doing, they had the scope perfectly tracking on the asteroid and on their laptop screen i could see the asteroid moving across the starfield as they took a continuous set of short exposure frames. Unfortunately they were from Bakerstreet Irregulars so their work wont be amongst Andy’s Flamsteed member astrophotography compilations 🙁
At midnight, i decided to leave these two crazier than me north londoners who were still imaging the asteroid.
Fun evening but right now, i am so not feeling well again. I think i need to ease up for a week off any stargaze
Mike, awesome images in that light polluted skies. I wished i noticed what you were doing as I would have like to see how you used that astrotrac!
Mike: they’re amazing!
The first 20 seconds of this 48-second Youtube video is pretty awesome, showing the asteroid passing across the night sky. The rest of the video is technical stuff for Mike 😉
Edit: By the way, Nasa’s images show that the asteroid has a moon.
Another edit: Youtube autoplay doing some weird things so I’ve deleted an earlier reference to another video.
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