The Astronomical Society of the Toms River Area
ASTRA club message board

It is currently Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:58 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:53 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Maple Shade, NJ
After sunset on February 25, 2012, three of the brightest objects in the night sky formed an attractive slender triangle through gaps in the clouds. Jupiter is at the upper apex while Venus is 16° below it at the lower left. This image was captured from my neighbor's back yard in Maple Shade, NJ, at 6:23 pm EST (36 minutes after sunset) with a Canon 40D digital SLR camera and a Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8 zoom lens set to 18 mm focal length. Exposed 1/6 second (handheld) at f/2.8, ISO 800.

On Sunday evening, February 26th, the view will be similar... except Jupiter and Venus will be 15° apart and the moon will be close to Jupiter.


Attachments:
IMG_5899_800.JPG
IMG_5899_800.JPG [ 76.61 KiB | Viewed 4815 times ]

_________________
Joe Stieber
http://sjastro.org/
Image
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:49 am
Posts: 218
Hi Joe:

Very nice photo!

I saw the alignment last night and considered taking a photo but it was so darn windy it would of been impossible to avoid a blurry image.

Maybe I'll try tonight with the Moon and Jupiter.

Vic Palmieri


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:53 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Maple Shade, NJ
VJP wrote:
Very nice photo!

Thank you Vic!

For tonight’s alignment, it looks like we’ll have some nice clear skies, and mercifully, none of that nasty wind. I was at the East Point Lighthouse this morning (Feb 26) around 3 am for my somewhat annual spotting of Omega Centauri and the wind was brutal. It was so bad, I didn’t even get the scope out, but using my 16x70 binoculars, I did see Omega, as well as Centaurus A not far above it. Comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) was looked nearly as bright as M13 (Garradd is now in Draco, near the bowl of the Little Dipper).

This afternoon around 2 pm, I was able to use the moon (easily visible to the unaided eye) as a stepping stone to find Jupiter and Venus with my 16x70 binoculars. Jupiter was a ghostly disc, a little more than a binocular field or so to the lower left of the moon and Venus was conspicuously bright a couple of fields to the right (and slightly up). I could also see them with my 10x42 binoculars, but was unsuccessful without optical aid (too much solar glare for me, even with the sun blocked by my house).

If you have a low horizon to the west, be on the lookout for Mercury soon after sunset. It’s at magnitude -1.0 and sets a couple of minutes after 7 pm. Run a line down from Jupiter through Venus and it will point to the approximate azimuth of Mercury near the horizon. At 6:30 pm, it will be about 6 degrees altitude.

_________________
Joe Stieber
http://sjastro.org/
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:25 am
Posts: 23
Location: Manasquan NJ
Sunday feb 26,2012
I was just at the manasquan inlet and you could see mercury very clear. I was telling someone that the 2 bright objects were jupiter and venus and then it got dark enough to see what I thought could be mercury. He pulled out his fancy phone pointed it there and sure enough was indeed mercury. As the sky got darker it was clearly visible and pretty far from the horizon. Where I am looking is clear almost to the water so I don't know how high mercury actually is. I think uranus is in the same line of planets but would have to check. MIke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:53 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Maple Shade, NJ
I went to Carranza Field this evening to get a good look at the planets (and to do a little miscellaneous observing too). Indeed, Mercury was quite bright and it was easy for me to see with unaided eyes at 6:15 pm (perhaps sooner; I was distracted a bit taking pictures). The whole grouping was quite lovely.

Yes, Uranus was there too, more or less along the same line as Jupiter, Venus and Mercury (the ecliptic*). It was about one-third of the way from Mercury to Venus, but at magnitude 5.9, it would have taken some effort to find it in the relatively bright twilight after sunset (with optical aid, of course).

-------
* The moon was a bit off the line, it had an ecliptic latitude of +2.5 degrees after sunset. All the others had an ecliptic latitude of less than +/- 1 degree.

_________________
Joe Stieber
http://sjastro.org/
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:49 am
Posts: 218
Joe:

I went over to the beach last night (Lavalette) which offered a clear horizon over Barnegat Bay. Mercury was very easy to see low on the horizon. Along the horizon south of where I could see Mercury there was a large plume of black smoke. There must have been a large fire on the mainland and I'll check the local news after I finish this.

I took a few photos using a Tokina 12-24. The exposures seemed long to me but it wasn't till I got home did I realize that I had left a polarizing filter on the lens. I would attach an image but can't figure out how to do it.

Observed Mars later with an 8" f/6 reflector. The seeing was not to good but during moments of somewhat steady seeing I could see the dark polar collar and overall markings but the seeing was not supportive of discerning individual features.

Saturn was low and the seeing was turbulent. However, during rare moments I could see some cloud banding.

Vic Palmieri


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:53 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Maple Shade, NJ
Vic,

Glad to hear you had success spotting Mercury. With the ecliptic being at a steep angle in the west after sunset, this is probably the best eastern (evening) elongation for Mercury in 2012. I've attached my picture of it below. (To add a picture, look below this text-entry pane for the blue bar that says "Upload attachment." Beneath that, there's a small box with a browse button; click the button to troll your computer for the desired picture; you may have to reduce the size first, I think there's a limit of 800 pixels.) I was also able to add a second picture (Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon last evening).

Anyway, I looked at Mars last night too, but I only stayed at Carranza until 9 pm, so it never got very high and suffered badly from poor seeing; no real detail was seen. I never even saw Saturn rise. However, Jupiter was pretty neat. When I looked at 7:15 pm, the Great Red Spot was visible and Ganymede was just beginning to enter Jupiter's shadow (predicted to start at 7:14 pm EST by S&T's online calculator). It dimmed slowly and didn't disappear until 7:21 pm. Using a moon filter, I had a fairly good view of Venus' gibbous disc. I was also able to see comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) with my 16x70 binoculars (and then the scope) after twilight ended, even though it was not far above the tree tops near the bowl of the Little Dipper. This remarkable comet has been around the magnitude 7 range since last summer.


Attachments:
File comment: Jupiter, Venus and the Crescent Moon at 6:24 pm, 26-Feb-2012
5923-sm.jpg
5923-sm.jpg [ 29.37 KiB | Viewed 4784 times ]
File comment: Mercury at 6:25 pm, 26-Feb-2012
5927-sm.JPG
5927-sm.JPG [ 55.05 KiB | Viewed 4784 times ]

_________________
Joe Stieber
http://sjastro.org/
Image
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
POWERED_BY