Monday, July 11, 2005

20050711 - Weekend Observing

Already getting behind. Observed Saturday late morning, Sunday late morning & Sunday early evening - a total of nearly 14.5 hours. Plannning for trip to Japan, so will have transcibe notes when I return.
And I haven't transcribed any notes to date. An empty promise.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Debating about where to start

Being new to blogging, I am fighting an urge that wants to create a web site-like appearance. "That's not what a blog is to be.", says the rigid me. Nonetheless, to develop a habit of coming in and writing something, I trust that over time a certain character and identity will develop and evolve.

It seems that the debate has been resolved. What's past is past, and let it exist where it lies or gather it to another type of venue.

Rainy day and cloudy night. Took a peek out at the sky and put the bins on the red-tail hawks nest. Clouds were moving through, it appears as if tomorrow could be a bright, sunny day; however the forecast says differently. They've been wrong before. I couldn't get a clear view of the hawks since it is dark out and the magnification from the bins is not large enough for me, especially with my birding skills. I am not a birder.

Had planned for observing the young moon on the 7th but the weather was disagreeable. Perhaps I can plan for next month. What I have been learning about young, and old, moons has come come primarily from Guy Ottewell's Astronomical Calendar. I am an admirer of his work, in addition to works of many others.

Also, I look forward to another sunny, clear weekend morning to go off to the park where Arissa & I firefly hunt to catch more sights of the rising Sun and Venus.

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