Looking at it again in close-up, the object does appear to be changing shape (though that could be atmospherics)… leading me to suspect that it’s an object that’s tumbling and therefore probably space debris, like a spent rocket booster or rocket body.
Glad you enjoyed it this evening, Nick.
That’s a great image of the Moon.
As regards the “mystery object” it looks like a satellite or perhaps a piece of space debris. There are quite a few south-north satellites and not all are military / spy satellite in origin. Many environmental satellites have this orbital path so that they can cover the whole planetary surface over a period of time.
There will be quite a few rocket bodies as well… and particularly remnants of old Soviet spy satellites.
SkySafari has satellites included in the database now, so that’s a good place to look. Orbitrack is another app that is quite useful for satellite data.
Welcome to the Flamsteed!
Glad that you enjoyed the lecture last night. Sadly, work commitments meant that I couldn’t attend, but I should be at most of the lectures for the remainder of the season, along with most of the observing events.
Hope to see you at a future event.
It’s still early days, I think. I suspect that things will start gearing up when we get some darker night skies, probably from September onwards.
Nice image… and confirms that we were in just about the darkest spot in the south of Spain. E-Eye is about a third of the way up from the bottom and a third of the way from the left.
Pretty dark there!
Thanks for your message Venkat.
Please remember to check the website before departure (or our Twitter / Facebook feed) so that you know for certain that the event is going ahead.
We will be making a “go/no-go” decision by 5pm today.
If we go ahead, I look forward to meeting you later… remember to wrap up warm (it’ll be very cold out there!).
Had a look at it at the last Blackheath Observing session, and must say that it was difficult to even discern it as a disk.
Always worth a look, but don’t expect to see too much!
Where did the mosquitos come from!! I got bites on both my hands, my neck and even on my leg despite wearing trousers. They attacked us in the first hour, like some Michael Caine B-movie horror film.
That was unbelievable… I’ve never seen so many. I managed to avoid any hand or face bites (mostly cause I ended up wearing my big woolly hat and gloves, despite the warm temperatures), but stupidly forgot to tuck my trousers into my socks, so was bitten all over the backs of my legs. Ah well. Hydrocortisone cream is the best treatment, Tej! Give that a go.
we got to enjoy plenty of targets
Yes, it was good fun. I particularly enjoyed treating some of the passers-by to a first ever view of Saturn. That’s always a great thing to show people… particularly those who have never looked through a telescope before.
Mike, what were those two other doubles called again?
Rasalgethi (Alpha Herculis) was the pretty orange-red / greenish double star.
Izar (Epsilon Bootis) was the very closely separated (3″) double of golden yellow / greenish stars.
Glad you enjoyed viewing them.
I’ll be there for 8:30pm, Mike.
Great stuff, Tej. See you there.
What time are you getting there, Tej? I should be able to join you.
Welcome to the Flamsteed forums!
We don’t tend to schedule Blackheath observing events in the period June-August, as the nights don’t get dark enough. Our next scheduled event will be in September.
That said, if you want to publicise an ad-hoc session here, please feel free to do so. I’m sure that one or two members will come along, depending on availability.
Saturn is very low in the sky – no more than 16 degrees at best – so you may struggle to get a decent view even on Blackheath. By all means give it a try, but don’t expect spectacular results! Seeing conditions close to the horizon will make viewing difficult.
Very pleased that you found the session useful, David.
I’ve not used a Samsung mount previously, as I have an iPhone… but a quick Google search has turned up this:
which may fit the bill.
There is another type of mount on Amazon, here:
which is cheaper, but looks like it will do the job.
Hope this helps.
Nice images, Andy.
Yep, definitely another satellite. Quick look at Sky Safari identifies it as 31598 – COSMO-SkyMed 1
COSMO-SkyMed 1 is an Italian Earth-imaging Synthetic Aperture Radar that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 02:34 UT on 08 June 2007. The 1.7 tonne, 3.6 kW craft is the first of a four-satellite constellation, and carries an X-band (9.6 GHz) radar. The swath width is variable and provides images at a resolution between three to 100 meters.
So now you know… you were being spied on by the Italians 😉
Thanks for sharing that, Clive. Good preparation for our next lecture!
Beautiful image, Rupert. I love how you’ve retained the individual star colours, and the emission nebula detail is really stunning for only 20 minutes of exposure.
Makes you realise what will be possible when we’ve learned the lessons from our trip. I’ll certainly be better equipped next time!