Astronomy

Observing Log for

Session Details


Aberdeen

57.1208, -2.09038

10m

Notes

A calm, clear evening with little cloud but detectable haze particularly on the western horizon after sunset.

Observations

Comet C/2007 F1 LONEOS

Yesterday evening, with the promise of clear skies, I headed out west from my flat and over to Kincorth Nature reserve. The red giant star Arcturus was clearly visible in the West North-West with other stars of Bootes above it, and the Northern Crown to its upper right. Over to the right things were still rather lost in the lingering sunset, but after ten minutes or so I could see Cor Caroli, with the stars of Ursa Major above it.

With binoculars I now started scanning the area I knew the comet to be, using a couple of triangles I'd found in the finderchart provided by Martin McKenna on his website. It didn’t take too long to pick up the comet, though it was obvious that at these low altitudes the seeing was less than ideal - light pollution exacerbated by haze was reducing the contrast turing this faint mag 6 object into a diffuse object that could only really be picked up with averted vision. Still, it definitely was the comet: a green, compact round glow in my binoculars which didn't reveal any hint of a tail.

I then turned my camera on the area and using exposure times between 15-25 seconds, an aperture of f/2.8 and ISO 200-400 have picked up the comet (just!). Here is a widefield view first with Arcturus over to the left, the Northern Crown to the top left and Cor Caroli up to the right. The comet is slightly below and left of center and is detectable on my monitor as a faint, small patch of fuzz.

Comet LONEOShttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2066/1580287839_a6b7c3869c.jpg

I’ve also cropped and contrast-enhanced this image to further pick out the comet which definitely appears green and round in shape. Arcturus is the bright red star off to the extreme left.

Detail showing Comet C/2007 F1 Loneoshttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2328/1580359957_7046c2f450.jpg

Meteor

Whilst observing the region around the comet I was lucky enough to pick up a bright, slightly green, slow moving fireball heading through Ophiuchus towards Bootes.

ISS

Having check Heavens-above before leaving I knew there was to be a ag -0.6 pass of the ISS at 19:54, so I set my camera up pointing towards the appropriate region of the sky and got a nice shot.

Mag -0.6 ISS Passhttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2002/1581310404_2eda1fea69.jpg

The ISS was fairly low down, but seemed to stay in the sunlight for a good length of time (thanks to the proximity of sunlight) and I was able to watch it steadily move south and east.