Tuesday, July 05, 2005

20050704 - Holiday Weekend with Venus & Sun

This holiday weekend, I observed from the northwest corner of Hecksher softball fields in the late afternoons on 02 & 03 July; on the morning of the 4th, I observed from the hill with the wooden gazebo just inside the 59th & 6th Ave entrance. This is nearby the location where Arissa & I go to watch & catch fireflies.

Instruments used:
02:-> Tak 22x60 bins on Bogen tripod, Fujinon 7x50 bins
03:-> Tak 22x60 bins on Bogen tripod, Fujinon 7x50 bins
04:-> TeleVue Ranger (TVR) on Bogen Tripod, Fujinon 7x50 bins

I'm not much of a solar observer so had to ask Charlie how to determine the sun's orientation. He replied to an eMail saying that if "\", I must be observing in the evening. (He assumed correctly that I was observing the sun in bins).

These days have provided me time to practice searching and locating Venus in the daylight. She is nearly 25° east of the Sun, so I feel safe when searching with handhelds with 7.5° field of view (fov). I have found it twice in the late afternoon, once in the Fujinon 7x50 bins (handheld), the second day with tripod-mounted Tak 22x60 bins. I had recalled a site line using a tree and the buildings on the horizon. The 3rd day, Venus was located in the TeleVue Ranger, relying on a leveled tripod head. I used the compass markings on the head to have a general idea of an altitude measurement. There were no clouds or sky features in the bins that I could use for fov-hopping. Venus has been gibbous these past observations.

As for the Sun, there has been quite a bit of activity occurring over the days. I have made various sketches of the whole disk and some detailed closeups. Not much artistic merit. This is an activity which takes practice. There is an intent when drawing to maintain scale and spatial relationships, but that doesn't seem to show in the sketches. Nonethelesses, the live views are more stunning and captivating than what one can get at www.spaceweather.com.