Check out this NASA page
Most nasa sites are overloaded, but this page works.
Select LASCO C3 and a number of frames (5 per hour) to see a cool video of the comet approaching the sun.
I rose early this morning as i had set my alarm for 6:09 AM.
I then verified that the daylight savings time no longer applied, and that the 6:58 sunrise
meant i had another hour to go.
I decided to bring my 4 inch solar filter, my DSLR and my pocket camera.
I also packed a tripod and my finderscope (a 3.5 inch refractor) on the off chance they would be handy.
At Burlington Waterfront Park, a place where the HAA has held public astronomy events in the past,
I knew that there would be a clear view of sunrise over the water.
The cloud bank on the horizon was another matter. It appeared that there was rain in the Grimsby area,
and the clouds extended out over the water to the east, obscuring the point of sunrise.
I did, however, get to watch a nice sunrise.
The eclipse was predicted to end at 7:08 AM.
Using the solar filter, i could see a chunk missing from the lower right portion of the Sun,
but due to the nearby clouds there was no way to guarantee that the interesting part of the Sun was not
simply being blocked by the cloud bank right below it, as it peeked through the clouds.
So I might claim to have seen the eclipse, but i might simply have seen the Sun.
I shared the view through my solar filter with 2 people who had come to take a look.
By holding up the (highly reflective) filter in front of my face, and angling it so that the image of the Sun
matched the dark part of the pupil of my eye, I had a clear sharp view of the Sun, albeit small.
I hope other members had more favourable cloud arrangements.
Last night several HAA members came out to join Jim when he opened the park for observing. Five members and five scopes were set up on the hill and enjoyed views of double stars, clusters, galaxies and nebulae. Everybody looked through everybody else's scopes and encouraged each other. The club's loaner eyepiece was put to good use, and several members enjoyed the very wide fields that the University Optics 55mm eyepiece offered.
I was lucky enough (and yes, some if it was luck) to get a very good polar alignment and a very good focus on my camera and ended up with some of my best astrophotos to date. Here is one sample from last night, a view of M13, the globular cluster in Hercules, taken through my 90mm refractor.
Next time you get an email from a keyholder inviting you out to the park, why not come on out and join us for another great night.
M13, the great globular cluster in Hercules, through a small scope
Long time HAA member Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn is speaking to the public at the David Dunlap Observatory this Saturday. Kerry spoke to the HAA earlier this year, and is an engaging speaker. Set against the backdrop of the largest telescope in Canada, this should be a special occasion. Details can be found here:
According to reports from the AAVSO, the nova in Delphinus peaked earlier today at a magnitude of about 4.5. I just looked at it this evening, and the nova has dimmed to 4.9. Finder & comparison charts can be found by clicking on the title above and following the links.
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