News

1st sightings of NLC by member’s Jim Burchell & Diane Clarke

Whilst up early to photograph Venus and the crescent Moon on the 26th June 2022 at Dartford top road, member Jim Burchell also saw some Noctilucent Cloud too around 3am!  The 1st Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) sighting for CMHASD NLC season 2022. 

Jim sent out an alert via Whatsapp to members which Diane Clarke picked up and so too managed to photograph the NLC that morning from North Kent.

NLC by Jim Burchell – 26th June 2022

NLC by Diane Clarke – 26th June 2022

Venus & Crescent Moon by Jim Burchell

Two image’s of Venus in the morning sky both taken from Dartford top road by Jim Burchell on the 22nd and 26th June 2022. 

 

Venus in the dawn Sky 22nd June 2022 taken with a Pentax KP. F9.0 1/2s  60 mm iso 200.
 
Venus and the Crescent Moon taken in the early hours of 26th June 2022 with a Pentax KP.  F7.1 1″ 1/2 sec 88 mm  iso 200. 

Crepuscular Rays by Jim Burchell

An absolute stunning image taken by Jim Burchell just before he went to bed on the 25th June 2022 of Crepuscular Rays. 

Image taken with an Olympus E-M10. F4.5  1/80sec 14mm iso 200.

Super Strawberry Moon – by Jim Burchell on the 14th June 2022

June’s Full Moon is also known as the Strawberry Moon after the wild strawberries that start to ripen during early summer.  On Tuesday evening 14/06/22 member Jim Burchell took these lovely photos of the Strawberry Moon rising from Dartford top road. The Full/Strawberry Moon was near its closest approach to Earth on that day too, so making it a Supermoon as well.  Therefore this Full Moon was a Super Strawberry Moon!
 
Image 1 Moon just appearing above the horizon. 
135mm F9.00 5 sec iso 200
Image 2 Moon halfway  above the horizon  this image has been under exposed to bring out more detail and colour. 
135 mm F9.0  1.5 sec iso 200
Image 3 Moon above the horizon image under exposed. 
135mm F7.1 1/30 sec iso 400.

Lunar Eclipse – 16th May 2022 by Jim Burchell & Honor Wheeler

On the 16th May 2022 the Moon passed through the Earth’s shadow between 03:28 and 06:55 BST, creating a total lunar eclipse.

It was difficult to see from North Kent.  Firstly the Moon set partway through the eclipse and secondly the Moon was only 5° above the horizon when the eclipse started but this did not deter members Honor Wheeler and Jim Burchell; who got up early to photograph the event from Dartford. 

Unfortunately it was rather cloudy and misty that morning too.

The first image below was taken by Jim Burchell and shows the Moon in partial eclipse. Jim used a Nikon D5100 set at F6.0, 1/2 sec and iso 640 attached to an Altair Astro refractor to acquire the image.

The next set of images below were all taken by Honor Wheeler from the same location as Jim.

 

 

 

The last image before the Lunar Eclipse was obscured completely by cloud.

  

Early Morning Planets

Members Jim Burchell, Diane Clarke and Richard Bohner were up very early on the 29th May 2022 to do a bit of planet spotting. 

Jim captured the Mars & Jupiter conjunction from Dartford at 3.30am and a little bit later Saturn with Mars & Jupiter.

Mars & Jupiter

Mars, Jupiter & Saturn

 

Meanwhile Diane Clarke captured Jupiter & Mars and then Venus from Belvedere at 4am.

Jupiter & Mars

Venus above a cloud bank

 

Then 8 hours later in Arizona member Richard Bohner captured Mars & Jupiter (with Moons) too in the early morning sky. Richard said ‘It was very windy this morning and was having camera shake in some of my photos. These are 3 second images at ISO 2500.’

Mars & Jupiter from Arizona. 

Richard Bohner – Milky Way – Arizona

Member Richard Bohner took the opportunity to photograph the Milky Way from his back garden on the 26th May 2022 and these are the results…….stunning!

Richard said ‘Was outside last night taking a few photos. a perfect night. It was 22C, wind – calm, no moon , “seeing” was very good and steady. These photos were taken with Canon 6D with Canon wide angle telephoto set at 24mm and 16 mm, f2.8. ISO 4000, exp time 20 seconds. Single frame.

These images were taken at 01:30 AM, AZ time. Scorpius is just above pine tree top and the Tea Pot just above roof line to left of galaxy.

Martin Crow – Exo Planets WASP-58b, TOI-2076b & HAT-P-57b

The latest Exo planet observations by Martin Crow for the ExoClock project.

TOI-2076 b is an extrasolar planet (exoplanet) that orbits a K-type star TOI -2076 in the constellation of Bootes. An exoplanet is a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun. The star is located 136.86 light years away from Earth. TOI-2076 b is a Neptune-like exoplanet, its mass is 6.89 Earths, it takes 10.4 days to complete one orbit of its star and was discovered in 2021.

 

WASP-58b was discovered in 2011 and has an orbital period of 5 days.

 

HAT-P-57 b is a gas giant exoplanet that orbits an F-type star. Its mass is 1.41 Jupiters and it takes 2.46 days to complete one orbit of its star in the constellation of Aquila. Its discovery was announced in 2015.

Simon Dawes – Exo Planet TOI-1296b

One more for the ExoClock project by Simon Dawes. Exoplanet TOI-1296b.

TOI-1296b was discovered in 2021 and observed with TESS and SOPHIE.  It is a hot Saturn-mass exoplanet with an orbital period of 3.944 days.

Simon said ‘Got this Friday night; 7 milli mag dip on a mag 11.5 star – quite a noisy measurement due to twilight observation.’

 

Informal Night & UFO – 21st April 2022

Thursday 21st April 2022 was an informal night at the pavilion and some members took the opportunity to do some observing with some members viewing a very rare sight indeed.

Chairman John Archer summed the evening up in his ebulletin to members dated 27th April 2022. He wrote ‘Last week we had another opportunity to get together for an observing evening and a variety of instruments were rolled out – everything from EV Scope and iPhone to Mark 1 eyeball was scanning the night sky.

Members sought out the elusive planet Mercury, and once skies darkened, other more distant objects could be seen.

A flurry of excitement and speculation surrounded the appearance of a mysterious, moving object in the night sky which turned out to be a SpaceX Falcon upper stage conducting a de-orbit burn prior to re-configuring itself into a marine reef / insurance claim – depending on where it finally landed.”

Some objects were also observed using the societies 16″ Peter Hindle telescope they were M81, M82, M44 and the Eskimo Nebula.

Below are some images from the evening taken by member Jim Burchell.

Mercury in the constellation Aries just before sunset taken using a Pentax KP 135mm F11.0, Exp 1/2sec &  ISO 800.

The Observatory taken using a Pentax KP 18mm F3.5, Exp 10sec & ISO 800.

Constellation Leo taken using  Pentax KP 48mm F7.1, Exp 2.50sec & ISO 800.

 

The next 2 images below are snapshots taken from a video that member Steve Goldson managed to capture of the UFO that four other CMHASD members witnessed too at 8.46pm.  The 1st photo shows what looks like a small cloud moving very quickly through the sky.  The 2nd photo shows the same unidentified object a few seconds later now as a bright dot with a cloud in front of it moving through the sky.

 

The members were perplexed but excited by what they had seen with most sighting it as their 1st UFO.  Later after some detective work by Honor & Sonia it was concluded that they along with Jim Burchell, David Freed and Steve Goldson had witnessed the second stage deorbit of SpaceX Falcon 9 after launching another batch of Starlink internet satellites (Starlink 4-14).

Jim Burchell – The Moon – Sept 2021

This fantastic image of the Moon was taken by Jim Burchell back in September 2021.  Jim used his Samsung A10 mobile phone attached to one of the society Dobsonian Telescopes called Isaac at F1.9, 1/50 sec and ISO50.

 

The Sun

The Sun on the 14th May 2022 taken by member & trustee Simon Dawes. 

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

The Moon by Neil Webster – 5th & 7th May 2022

These two superb images of the Moon were captured by member Neil Webster on the 5th & 7th May 2022. 

Neil acquired the images using and Altair Astro 115mm triplet APO, EQ6 R mount, ZWO ASI290MM camera plus Astronomik R/IR filter.

Each image consists of 3 frames stitched: each 90s x 33fps….20% selected, aligned, stacked in AutoStakkert3 and processed in PS.

The Moon – 5th May 2022 – Waxing Crescent 19% and 4.23 days old.

The Moon – Moon 7th May – Waxing Crescent 36% and 6.02 days old.

The Moon – 8th May 2022

A lovely image of the Moon taken by Simon Dawes on the 8th May 2022 from Bexleyheath, Kent.

Details of how Simon acquired the image are on the photo.

Exoplanet KELT-23Ab by Simon Dawes

Another set of observations by Simon for the ExoClock project.  

KELT-23Ab was discovered using the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT). 

The Sun – 8th & 9th May 2022 by Simon Dawes

Two more great images of our Sun on the 8th & 9th May 2022 by Simon Dawes and now up to Sunspot number AR3007.  

Sunspot AR3006 however is behaving a bit odd as described on Spaceweather.com  ”A MIXED-UP SUNSPOT: Sunspot AR3006 is having an identity crisis. It is supposed to have a +/- magnetic field. Mostly it does. But deep inside the sunspot’s primary core, the polarity is opposite: -/+…………….The mixture of magnetic polarities makes this sunspot interesting and dangerous. When opposite polarities bump together, it can light the fuse of magnetic reconnection–the explosive power source of solar flares. If AR3006 flares today, it will be geoeffective. The sunspot is directly facing Earth.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

The Sun 8th May 2022

The Sun 9th May 2022

 

Type 1a Supernova SN2022hrs in NGC 4647

An awesome capture by Simon Dawes of a Supernova called SN2022hrs in NGC 4647.

NGC 4647 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo.  Supernova SN2022hrs was discovered in the galaxy NGC4647 on the 16th April 2022 by astronomer Koichi Itagaki.  NGC 4647 is 63 million light years away, so, this star exploded 63 million years ago and it took that long for the light of the explosion to reach us.

Messier 60 (NGC 4649), an elliptical galaxy, is also in the image and it is in the centre of the frame and NGC 4647 is slightly down and to the right of it.  SN2022hrs looks like a bright star in front of the galaxy but it is actually an exploding star within the galaxy.

The Sun – 6th May 2022

The latest image of the Sun taken by Simon Dawes. 

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

Comet C/2019 L3 (ATLAS) by Simon Dawes

A fantastic image of Comet C/2019 L3 (ATLAS) in Gemini taken by Simon Dawes on the 24th April 2022 from Bexleyheath in Kent. 

Simon has included detail about how and when he acquired the image on the photo below showing the comet which is the fuzzy round shape in the centre of the image.

Comet C/2019 L3 (ATLAS) was discovered on the 9th of June 2019 by the ATLAS program.

Jupiter & Venus Conjunction 2022 by Richard Bohner

Whilst CMHASD member views of Venus & Jupiter from the UK were blocked by cloud, two superb images of Venus & Jupiter were captured in the early morning skies of the 28th & 30th April 2022 by member Richard Bohner in Arizona, USA.

The first image taken on the 28th at 04:30 MST was acquired using a Canon 6D, ISO 500 and an 8 second exposure time.  Jupiter is on the left and Venus on the right and only 2.3 degrees apart.

The second image, taken on the 30th at 05:00 MST (using a Canon 6D, ISO 500 and a 6 second exposure time) shows Venus & Jupiter appearing even closer together, in fact very close. The planets were separated by the same angular distance as a full moon: about 1/2 degree!!!  Three moons of Jupiter; Ganymede, Io and Callisto can also be seen in the 2nd image. 

The Venus-Jupiter conjunction happens about once a year but this year the two planets appeared closer than they usually do. The last time the two planets were closer than this year’s conjunction was in August 2016 but it was more difficult to see since they were closer to the sun.  The next time they will get this close is in 2039.

Jupiter & Venus 28th April 2022

Jupiter & Venus 30th April 2022

Although Venus and Jupiter appear next to each other in the sky they are nowhere near each other in space. The actual orbit of the planets is around 430 million miles apart (690 million km) nearly five times the Earth–sun distance!

You can also understand why the ancients called planets wanderers too.

Rainbows – not 1, not 2 but 3! captured by Martin Crow

Oh my word, what a fortunate man member Martin Crow was last evening whilst out Kayaking on the river near Burnham on Crouch in Essex.  Martin got to witness something very rare and absolutely stunning; 3 rainbows together!!!  Two rainbows are often seen by people but 3 rainbows or the beginnings of a 3rd is a rare sight to see. 

Luckily Martin captured this special event on his phone, see below and member Honor Wheeler explained the 3rd rainbow  ”It’s a reflection of the main rainbow from the water reflecting back into the sky.  A reflection bow. Super capture lucky you”.

The Sun by Simon Dawes

The Sun on the 30th April 2022 taken by Simon Dawes.  As you can see the Sun was still ‘active’ re sunspots on that day.

As of today (5th May) we are now up to AR3006 and in the past 24 hours sunspot AR3004 has produced over 18 solar flares (15+ C-class flares and 3 M-flares). 

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

The Sun on the 30th April 2022

Mercury & M45 by Richard Bohner

Planet Mercury at the bottom & M45 (The Pleiades) above right taken on the 28th April 2022 at 2015 local time MST in Arizona, USA.  Richard acquired this splendid image using a Canon 6D, 400mm tele f2.8, ISO 800 and 12 second exp.

WASP-92b by Simon Dawes

The latest set of observations by Simon for the ExoClock project of the exoplanet WASP-92b which orbits its parent star WASP-92, an F7 star, every 2.17 days.

Deep Sky imaging by Dr. Mike Rushton

Dr. Mike Rushton took advantage of some clear skies recently (25th April 2022) and took these 3 super deepsky images using his eVscope of Messier 13, Messier 51 and the Bow Tie Nebula.

Messier 13 (M13) also designated NGC 6205 and also called the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules and the Hercules Globular Cluster, is a globular cluster of a several hundred thousand stars in the constellation of Hercules.

 

Messier 51, known as The Whirlpool Galaxy and as Messier 51a, M51a, and NGC 5194, is a spiral galaxy found in the constellation Canes Venatici,  M51 was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy and is 31 million light-years away from Earth.

 

The Bow Tie Nebula also designated NGC 40 and Caldwell 2 is a planetary nebula discovered by William Herschel in 1788.  It is composed of hot gas around a dying star. The nebula gets its name from the fact it has an intriguing bow-tie shape.

CMHASD’s 60th Anniversary Dinner

The 30th November 2021 was Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford’s 60th Anniversary however due to Covid the society was unable to celebrate at that time. Roll on to the 23rd April 2022 and we finally managed to have our 60th Anniversary celebratory dinner at The Boathouse, Danson Park, Bexleyheath. 

Member Diane Clarke wrote ‘From the early evening of Saturday the 23rd of April 2022, a dinner was held at the Boathouse Danson Park to belatedly celebrate the Societies 60th anniversary.

Several members and their families came along but unfortunately our numbers were somewhat depleted due to some members and their families succumbing to summer colds and Covid.

But in spite of this we had a very enjoyable evening regaling each other with memories and tales of various Society lectures, social gatherings and outings, including our last summer barbeque. There was also talk about holding another barbeque later this year.

These photos give a flavour of the evening’s events that included a presentation from the Societies president Mr John Archer that included a look back at the Societies 50th Anniversary meal.

As can be seen John gave his speech to an appreciative audience.

Eventually we had to leave so everybody got together for the group photo, and with the evening’s festivities coming to a close we left in good spirits.

With several members deciding to continue the evening‘s festivities at another establishment.’

 

Below is a slideshow of photos taken by Diane Clarke & John Archer of the evening.

The society would like to thank Diane Clarke, John Archer and Malcolm Gough for organising the event and to Diane & John for sharing their photos.

 

 

Sunspots AR2993 & AR2994 by Kevin Langford

Superb close up of Sunspots AR2993 & AR2994 captured by member Kevin Langford on the 24th April 2022 using ASI385mc, SW 130 Reflector on a SW Adventure tracker mount. Using SharpCap, Autostakkert 2 and PS.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

Spotty Sun

More sunspots!!!!

Now up to AR2999 and counting as there is now a new very active region of sunspots appearing on the Sun as of today which have yet to be given an AR number. 

This new source of solar activity has so far been of C-class explosions which have in the past 24 hours hurled at least two CMEs into space. We (Earth) are not yet in the line of fire but as the active region rotates toward facing our planet things could change……

Simon Dawes captured these 2 white light image of the Sun on the 24th & 26th April 2022.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

The Sun on the 24th April 2022

The Sun on the 26th April 2022

Active Sun

And they keep coming………more sunspots appearing on the Sun as captured by Simon Dawes on the 23rd April 2022.  Now up to sunspot AR 2996 on Simon’s image below but as of 24th April – sunspot AR 2997 has put in an appearance.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

The Sun by Simon Dawes

Nice to see some sunspots on the Sun and there are quite a few visible at the moment as Simon Dawes shows in his recent images taken of the Sun on the 20th & 21st April 2022.  NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely. 

Sunspot complex AR2993-94 is crackling away with M-class solar flares and did directly face Earth a day later. They are ‘big’ sunspots too.  The two dark cores are as large as Earth and a magnetic filament attached to one of the cores is more than 100,000 km long.

Sun on 20th April 2022

Sun on 21st April 2022

Sunspots are caused by magnetic disruptions of the visible photosphere of the sun which exposes the relatively cooler layers underneath – appearing as a black spot. 

The sun’s magnetic entanglements and disentanglement happen in 11-year cycles with each solar cycle having phases of low and high activity. Solar activity cycles have been numbered since 1775, when extensive recording of sunspot activity began.

We are currently in Solar Cycle 25, which has yet to reach its peak. The current cycle is expected to reach its maximum activity in late 2024 or early 2025, this means we may see more and bigger sunspots.

BAA Picture of the Week – Diane Clarke

Congratulations to member Diane Clarke for one of her images being selected for ‘Picture of the Week’ by the BAA (British Astronomical Association). 

The image that was chosen is called ‘Eclipsed Moon Rising’ and is a composite of 14 images taken between 8.17 – 8.26pm of the full Moon as it was rising above a distant horizon – see below.  There was a band of cloud that drifted across as Diane waited and as the Moon started to rise the cloud bank obscured parts of the moon as it climbed into the sky.  

Absolutely stunning………

Click the following link to be taken to the BAA Picture of the Week page of their website where you will find more detail about Diane’s image. https://britastro.org/observations/observation.php?id=20220415_141246_3339ce105b39a7a8

Pink Moon – 16th April 2022

On the night before Easter, the sky will look a little more “pink” due to the full Moon.

This is because the 1st full moon of the spring season is known as the Pink Moon and the name derives from a pink flower called phlox subulata that blooms in spring in North America.

While the moon itself won’t actually be pink, you might notice a slight change in its colour, depending on what time you viewed it on the 16th April 2022.

Members Jim Burchell, Diane Clarke and John Howarth all captured the full Moon last night on the 16th April 2022 as it rose, which appeared as a glorious ‘pink’ colour due to taking the photos whilst the Sun was still setting.

All photos were taken from locations in North Kent.

 

Below is the Pink Moon rising by Jim Burchell

 

Photo below is by Diane Clarke

 

Photo below is by John Howarth

 

For more information about the Pink Moon, click on the link and you will be taken to a new site https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/pink.html

 

Winchester 2022

BAA Winchester Weekend

2022 Apr 8 – 2022 Apr 10

A grand total of 16 members from CMHASD attended the weekend and a good time was had by all.  There was observing on both nights too and a superb presentation to the BAA by 2 CMHASD members.

Below is some information about the weekend from the BAA website, followed by a slideshow of the first submission of photos taken by members as well as Marc Gray & Pauline Philips of the BAA.

 

Programme of the weekend

Friday April 8

15.00 – 18.00 Reception – book in at Westley Court
19.00 Dinner
20.15 Welcome and Introduction – Alan Dowdell
Multi-messenger Astronomy – Dr Matthew Malek (University of Sheffield)
21.30 Observing if clear or adjourn to the bar

Saturday April 9

07.30 – 09.00 Breakfast
09.15 Pete and Paul’s Astronomical Challenges 2022 – Dr Paul Abel & Pete Lawrence (BAA)
10.00 Measuring Comets – Nick James (BAA Comet Section Director)
10.30 Observing Mercury – Chris Hooker (BAA Mercury Coordinator)
11.15 Coffee/Tea break
11.45 BAA Archives: Past, Present and Future – John Chuter (BAA Archivist)
12.30 Break – time to visit sales stands
13.00 Lunch
14.15 Lunar Section meeting (Organiser: Dr Tony Cook, BAA Lunar Section Director)
14:15 Overview of the BAA Lunar Section’s Activities – Dr Tony Cook (Lunar Section Acting Director)
14:30 Lunar Impact Flashes and How to Observe Them – Dr Tony Cook
15:00 Lunar Geology – Old Lunar Questions Revisited? – Barry Fitz Gerald (Lunar Circulars Editor)
15:30 Tea break
16:00 Lunar Occultations from a Personal Perspective – Tim Haymes (Lunar Occultations Coordinator)
16:30 New Space Missions and the Prospect for Future Low Cost Lunar Exploration – Nick James
17:00 Question Panel Session
17:15 End
18.00 Dinner
19.30 The Alfred Curtis Lecture
Exploring the Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope
Dr Stephen Wilkins (Sussex University)
21.00 Observing if clear or adjourn to the bar

Sunday April 10

07.30 – 09.00 Breakfast
09.15 Can you successfully 3D print a Spectrograph? – Tony Rodda (BAA)
10.00 Observing the aurorae of the giant planets with the James Webb Space Telescope
Dr Henrik Melin (Leicester University)
10.45 Coffee/Tea break
11.30 Monsters in the dark: the formation of the first stars in the Universe
Dr Paul Clark (Cardiff University)
12.30 Break – please return room keys to the reception desk
13.00 Lunch
14.15 Members’ session
Your opportunity to talk briefly about what you’ve been doing during the past year
16.00 Coffee/Tea and Goodbyes

We will not be able to live stream or record the lectures.

Organiser: Ann Davies

Venue

Sparsholt College, Westley Lane, Sparsholt, Hampshire, S021 2NF

Sunrise & Sunset by Jim Burchell

I could not resist posting these 3 beautiful photos taken by Jim Burchell of our Sun. They were taken on the 16th April 2022 from Dartford and show our glorious Sun rising and setting.

A Sun rising…………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sun setting, so beautiful……..

Dick Chambers & Malcom Gough 2006

A lovely photograph of Dick Chambers with Malcom Gough taken at Winchester back in 2006 by Keith Rickard.

The Moon by Neil Webster

Neil has been busy and produced these two beautiful images of the Moon.

The image below was taken on the 8th April 2022 from Kent.

The image below was taken on the 13th April 2022 from Kent.

For a more detailed view of these images and more photos of the Moon see Neil’s flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/137388222@N05

WASP-113b by Simon Dawes

The latest exoplanet transit from Simon Dawes for the ExoClock project.  WASP 113 is a 11.7 magnitude star and Exoplanet WASP- 113b orbits it every 4.5days with a drop of 10/1000ths of a magnitude.  WASP 113 is a G type star of 1.3 Solar Masses and the exoplanet WASP-113b is half the mass of Jupiter.

Crayford members have now contributed 110 light curves.

 

Crescent Moon by Jim Burchell

Two beautiful photos by Jim Burchell of a crescent Moon both taken with an Olympus E-M10 Mark on the evening of 02/02/22.
 
The first photo is of the crescent Moon and Jupiter.  40mm F4.0 1/40 sec  Iso 800.
 
The second photo is of the crescent Moon and a wind turbine.  150mm F5.6 1/13 sec Iso 800.

The Sun – 3rd April 2022

A superb image of an ‘active’ Sun by Simon Dawes taken from Bexleyheath. Details of how Simon took the photo are on the image.

ISS pass on 25th March 2022 by Jim Burchell

On the evening of the 25th March 2022 there was a bright pass of the ISS.  Jim Burchell managed to capture 2 image’s of the ISS pass at 19.47.51- 19.52.51. Image’s taken with a pentax K70.

The 1st image shows the ISS passing the star Capella in the constellation Auriga.  F7.0  20″ 18mm iso 800.

 

The 2nd image shows the ISS passing the constellation Ursa Major – top left. F9.0 20″ 18mm iso 800.

Solar Halo by Jim Burchell

A stunning Solar Halo was sighted & captured by Jim Burchell whilst visiting Eynsford Castle on the 28th Jan 2022. 

All image’s where taken with an Olympus E-M10 Mark ll. 
Image 1: 163046 jpg  F11  1/2000s 14 mm  iso320
Image 2:102145 jpg  F11 1/3200s 14 mm iso 320
Image 3:20220128jpg F11 1/3200s 14mm iso 320
 
Image One
 
Image Two
 
Image Three

SN2022ewj in NGC3367

Supernova SN 2022ewj in galaxy NGC 3367 taken by Simon Dawes on the 23 Mar 2022 from Bexleyheath. 

Details of how Simon acquired this superb image is on the photo. 

NGC 3367 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the constellation Leo. It is located at a distance of around 120 million light years from Earth, which, given its apparent dimensions, means that NGC 3367 is about 85,000 light years across. The galaxy was discovered by William Herschel on March 19, 1784

Mag 15.5, SN 2022ewj was discovered on the 19th March 2022 by Koichi Itagaki and is a type II Supernova.  This is the 6th supernova to be observed in NGC3367 over the last 30 odd years.

Not the easiest of objects to image from the London Borough of Bexley!

Exoplanet KPS-1b observations by Simon Dawes

Another for the ExoClock project……

KPS-1b orbits a star similar to the Sun with a period of 40 hours.

The mass and size of the exoplanet KPS-1b are close to the characteristics of Jupiter, but it is located very close to its parent star so the temperature of the atmosphere KPS-1b is much higher than that of Jupiter.

The discovery was made by the prototype Kourovka Planet Search (KPS) project, which used wide-field CCD data gathered by amateur astronomers using readily available and relatively affordable equipment with astronomers from Belgium, USA, England, France, the Netherlands, Turkey, Portugal, Lithuania, Italy and Canada contributing. 

The night Simon did the observations for KPS – 1b Simon said ”the transparency was low – when I left the society meeting you could see the water particles in the air in the headlamp and under the street lights, so I’m pleased I got anything at all!” 

Exoplanets WASP-148b & HAT-P-44b observations

Simon Dawes has been busy again with his exoplanet observations for the ExoClock project. Below are his observations.

Exoplanet HAT-P-44b was discovered in 2013 by the HATNet transit survey. Its mass is 0.39 mass of Jupiter and has an orbital period of 4.3 days.

Of Exoplanet WASP -148b Simon said ”This is a 11.8 magnitude star and the dip is 8 thousandths of a magnitude – I think it must be one of the most challenging to observe with my 8″ telescope, but the conditions were obviously good and I got this fit very quickly (this is the one I said at last night’s meeting that I hadn’t submitted because I wanted to see if I could improve – this is the improved reduction) .  WASP 148b is a hot Jupiter, there is another planet in this system (WASP 148c with a 35 day orbit) and the gravitational tug of the outer planet (WASP-148c) perturbs the orbit of the hot Jupiter WASP-148b”

 

 

The Sun – 25th March 2022

A lovely image of the Sun showing 3 sunspots taken by Simon Dawes on the morning of the 25th March 2022 from Bexleyheath. Details of how Simon acquired the image is on the photo.

 

ISS pass – 23rd March 2022

A superb composite image showing part of tonight’s bright 19.46 International Space Station (ISS) pass taken by Diane Clarke.
 
Diane said ‘This is a composite image consisting of 3 x 10 sec images.  I missed the start of the pass due to local roof lines obscuring my view but did manage to capture the 3 images that I put together to create this composite image.  The gaps are due to the self timer to reduce/remove camera shake.’
 
Diane used a Canon M50m2 Tripod Mounted Sigma 18-250mm lens @ 18mm  f4.5 10 sec @ ISO 100 to acquire the images.
 
 

The Sun – 23rd March 2022

Another great image of the Sun by Simon Dawes taken today from Bexleyheath. Details of how the image was acquired is written on the photo. Three sunspot groups are visible.

The Sun – 18th March 2022

A very nice image of the Sun with sun spots taken by Simon Dawes on the morning of the 18th March 2022 from Bexleyheath. Taken using a Baader solar safety filter, skywatcher 190mn telescope, ZWO ASI1600mm pro CMOS camera, mesu e200 MkII mount and sharpcap pro image capture software.

Lunar Halo – 15th March 2022

A beautiful Lunar Halo last night photographed by members Jim Burchell and Gary Hunt.

Jim’s photo above was taken around 9.30pm and Gary’s photo below at 11.30pmish.

Exoplanet TOI-1298b observations by Martin Crow

These are the latest exoplanet observations by Martin Crow.

TOI-1298 b is a gas giant exoplanet that orbits a G-type star TOI -1298 in the constellation of Ursa Minor.  Its mass is 0.356 Jupiters.  It takes 4.5 days to complete one orbit of its star and is 0.059 AU from its star. TOI-1298 b was discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) observatory, in 2021-09.

Martin wrote ”The observations were done as part of the ExoClock synchronous observations group. This particular transit has a depth of <5 thousandths of a magnitude!! To get useful data for this target would require a telescope diameter of at least 400mm or greater. My telescope at 235mm is too small although the dip is clearly detectable buried in the noise. The aim of the project is to combine three or more data sets from similar sized small instruments taken on the same night to increase the accuracy to that achievable with a bigger telescope. This method will help to make otherwise impossible targets viable for the majority of instruments registered on the ExoClock project.”

Diane Clarke’s The Moon & M45 The Pleiades on the 8th March 2022

A lovely image of the Moon 4.1° south of M45 taken on the 8th March 2022 by Diane Clarke.
 
Diane said ”I had my doubts about capturing this event due to the cloud forecast, but there were breaks starting to appear as 19.00 hrs approached, so I went to set up but there was a strong breeze forcing me to find a sheltered spot to stop my equipment suffering wind blast, the breeze was also making the clouds scud across the sky very quickly.  So much so that any breaks in the cloud could disappear as quickly as they appeared the image was taken in one of these short lived break’s in the cloud cover.
 
Image Details: Camera EOS M50m2 using a 100mm Canon EF Lens.
2.5 sec’s @ f5.6, ISO 2000, on a static tripod, with a 2 sec delay to remove camera shake.
 

Neil Webster’s Moon 7th March 2022

A spectacular image of the Moon by Neil Webster; taken on the 7th March 2022.

Waxing Crescent Moon, 23%, 4.72 days

4 frames stitched (each 44fps x 75, 20% stacked in AutoStakkert) and then processed in PS.

 

Below is 1 image taken from the above stitch of 4.

For a more detailed view of these images see Neil’s flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/137388222@N05

22 day old Moon by Simon Dawes

Latest super image by Simon Dawes of a 22 day old Moon taken on the 23rd Feb 2022 in Bexleyheath.

Rosette Nebula in Ha by Kevin Langford

This is the latest stunning deep sky image by member Kevin Langford of the Rosette Nebula (Caldwell 49, NGC 2237) in Ha. Taken on the 26th Feb 2022 in Bexley, Kent using ES 102ED APO, EQ5 Pro, ZWO ASI071, Orion MMAG and Ha filter.

3Hrs of exposures.

To see this image in more detail and to see Kevin’s other superb astro images check out his flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/77708720@N08/

Latest deep sky images from Neil Webster

Member Neil Webster has done it again and produced 2 fantastic deep sky images. 

The first image is of NGC 2264 Cone Nebula Xmas Tree Cluster.  Taken on Feb 24th 2022.

AA115mm APO, EQ6 R, ZWO ASI294MC Pro, Orion 50mm Guide Scope, ZWO ASI290MM, Optolong L Enhance Filter.

63 x 240s Lights, 15 x Darks, 50 x Flats/Bias

St Marys Platt, Kent

This is a vast star forming region with H gas excited by young O, B stars.

 

The second image is of  NGC 2024 “Flame Nebula”, IC 434, B33 “Horsehead “, and NGC 2023, Alnitak.  Taken on the 26th Feb 2022

AA115mm APO, EQ6 R, ZWO ASI294MC, Orion 50mm guide scope, ZWO ASI290MM

APT, PHD, Nebulosity, Photoshop

56 x 240s Lights, 15 x Darks, 50 x Flats/Bias

St Marys Platt, Kent.

Check out Neil’s flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/137388222@N05/ for a more detailed view of these images and the many others he has done!

Exoplanet Qatar 8b

Another exoplanet transit observed by Simon Dawes of Qatar 8b for the ExoClock project. Qatar-8b is just over a third of Jupiter’s mass (0.37) and is considered a “hot Saturn.” It takes less than four days to orbit its star, which is about 900 light-years from Earth.
Simon said it was a tricky one to process, but the result came out very well with a depth almost identical to the published data. Well done Simon.

Star Count 2022

All citizen scientists we need you!

Take part in Star Count 2022 (26th Feb 2022 to 6th March 2022) organised by The Countryside Charity and British Astronomical Association. Click image below for more information.

Star Count 2022 is happening!

Exoplanet WASP-12B by Simon Dawes

Here is the latest exoplanet transit observed by member & trustee Simon Dawes for the ExoClock project. It is of  WASP-12b a doomed EGG shaped planet.

WASP-12b is a hot Jupiter that orbits so close to its parent star, it is being torn apart and it takes this sizzling gas giant alien world only 1.1 days to completely circle its parent star!

The doomed planet is being eaten by its parent star, according to observations made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). The planet may only have another 10 million years left before it is completely devoured.

The planet WASP-12b, is so close to its sun like parent star that it is superheated to nearly 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit and stretched into an egg shape by enormous tidal forces. The atmosphere has ballooned to nearly three times Jupiter’s radius and is spilling material onto the parent star. The planet is 40 percent more massive than Jupiter.

“We see a huge cloud of material around the planet, which is escaping and will be captured by the star. We have identified chemical elements never before seen on planets outside our own solar system,” says team leader Carole Haswell of The Open University in Great Britain.

WASP-12b reflects just 6% of the light that shines on its surface. As a result, the exoplanet has been described as “black as asphalt”, and as “pitch black.”

Photo Credit: NASA/ESA/G Bacon artist’s concept of WASP-12b & parent star.

Simon along with other amateur and professional astronomers have been observing exo-planet transits as part of the ExoClock project for the Ariel Mission due for launch in 2028.  Each observation takes between 4 and 5 hours typically so is quite a commitment. Well done Simon.

The Ariel mission will observe spectroscopically around 1000 exoplanets to further characterise their atmospheres. For the mission to be as efficient as possible, a good knowledge of the planets’ ephemerides is needed before its launch in 2028. While ephemerides for some planets are being refined on a per-case basis, an organised effort to collectively verify or update them when necessary does not exist. In this study, we introduce the ExoClock project, an open, integrated and interactive platform with the purpose of producing a confirmed list of ephemerides for the planets that will be observed by Ariel.

Click here for more information about the project.

February Observing Evenings

Every Thursday in February we will be observing (weather permitting).

Members who are trained can use the 16″ Peter Hindle telescope. Untrained members can use the other society telescopes or bring your own.

If you are unsure on how to use your own telescope then these nights are perfect for getting one to one guidance from our more experienced members.

Open to Full & Basic members plus potential new members by invitation.   Enquiries about membership, or attending for the first time, should be directed to the Secretary of the Society.

Cosmic Camp 2021

Eight society members attended Shear Green Junior School on Friday 17th with either their own or society telescopes (6 in total) to take part in their ‘Cosmic Camp’.

We observed the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn and put on two different Astronomy activities in the school hall related to the solar system. seventy five, nine to ten year-old boys and girls and about 20 adults enjoyed the activities. With lots of ‘wow’s’ ‘OMG’ etc. Whilst the skies were a little cloudy, the cloud stayed away from the planets and Moon and the seeing was remarkably good. 

We didn’t take photos – too many safeguarding issues – but the school blog has a section on it with a few photos that they took.

“I just wanted to send an email to say a massive thank you for Friday night!
The children (and adults) got so much out of what you all provided. The awe and wonder of seeing Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon really brought the topic to life for the children.
Your team were so patient and knowledgeable providing invaluable insight to us all. The indoor activities were really engaging and all of the children have said their favourite part of the camp was the star gazing!”

Thanks to all members who helped make this a success.

Crescent Moon, Venus and a Sun Pillar – Wow!

Image of the crescent Moon, and Venus with a Sunset and sun pillar – well spotted and recorded by Jim.

Conjunction - Moon, Venus, Sun Pillar Sun Set JB

Image by Jim Burchell Image of Crescent Moon and Venus and Sunpillar taken on 13/6/21 Olympus E-M10 Mark ll.

 

International Space Station Images by Leigh Slomer

Images by Leigh Slomer

18072021-B-Enlarged-x4-Enhanced

The International Space Station. Taken on the 17th of July with a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian Telescope and a ZWO ASI174MM

18072021-A-Enlarged-x4-Enhanced

The International Space Station. Taken on the 17th of July with a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian Telescope and a ZWO ASI174MM

Moon and Mars 2021-05-13

Moon mercury JB 15-05-2021

Crescent Moon and Mars near the constellation of Auriga taken on 13/05/21 with a pentax K70 . 135mm /f8.0 iso 800 1/5 sec.

Partial Solar Eclipse 2021-06-10

Images by Leigh Slomer

Solar Eclipse 10,06,21 Version C

Partial Solar eclipse. Taken on the 10th of June with a Daystar Solar Scout SS60-DS and a ZWO ASI174MM.

Solar Eclipse 10,06,21

Partial Solar eclipse. Taken on the 10th of June with a Daystar Solar Scout SS60-DS and a ZWO ASI174MM.

Competition: Image the Trapezium

In this competition we are looking for images of the Trapezium at the heart of M42, the great Orion nebula. We normally think of the Trapezium as 4 stars but in large telescopes you can make out other stars, so all you need to do is submit an image of the Trapezium with more than 4 stars.

Sounds simple, but the main 4 stars of the trapezium are bright making it difficult to resolve the other stars.

This is possible in an 8″ telescope – possibly smaller.

Tips:

  • use lucky imaging with short exposures.

Images by Simon Dawes

The-Trapwzium

Image by Simon Dawes EQ6 Pro, MN190mm, ZWO ASI1600, 500x 0.5s exposures. THIS IMAGE IS DISQUALIFIED FROM THE COMPETITION – SIMON IS THE JUDGE!

Images by Richard Bohner

IMG_4653

Here is a photo of Trapezium cluster I took a few weeks ago with my iPhone through my 102mm Maksutov scope. I think the magnification is about 100X. Don’t know ISO because it was taken with phone camera. You can see five stars. I plan to take out my bigger scope and try again. “Cheers”

Sir Patrick Moore Prize

Congratulations to our very own Rita Whiting for being awarded the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Astronomy outreach, Rita does so much for our society and outreach with local groups  over such a long period of time this is a well deserved award. Well done Rita!

 

Dartford Grammar School Astronomy Club – Virtual Observing Session

Our society currently supports the Dartford Grammar School Astronomy Club, and on the 25th January 2021 we held a virtual observing evening using Simon’s observatory.

The students really enjoyed the evening

‘The boys from last night have been on the google classroom leaving you rave reviews’  

‘Last night blew their minds! They loved it.’

Moon-2021-01-25-1926

Image by Simon Dawes & Dartford Grammar School Astronomical Society

Mars-2021-01-25-1935.

Image by Simon Dawes & Dartford Grammar School Astronomical Society

M42-100s-integrationt

Image by Simon Dawes & Dartford Grammar School Astronomical Society

Lunar Halo/Corona Competition

Lunar Halo Competition

As the name suggests, take an image of a Lunar Halo.

Rules:

Whilst the points awarding is somewhat ambiguous I’ll be looking for the following…

  • Technically a good image (in focus)
  • Well composed 
  • Other points of interest (foreground or background)
  • A good story – if you have a story of how you took the image it can’t hurt!

Entry criteria:

  • You can only enter if you are a paid up member (any tier of membership)
  • Entries must be to webmaster@crayfordmanorastro.com – feel free to post them on what’s app as well!

Entries:

 

Images By Diane Clarke

Lunar Corona DC

Image By Diane Clarke. The two stars to the left of the Moon are Castor & Pollux in the constellation of Gemini Image details, Taken on 30.12.20 @ 21.48 Camera EOS 750D, Lens Sigma 18 -250 @18mm 1/2 Sec @ f3.5, Image as taken Static Tripod

MG_2585c

Image by Diane Clarke This image shows the Moon and a 22° lunar halo, along with the stars of Gemini Aruga, Taurus & Orion Image details, Canon EOS 750D, Sigma 18 – 250mm lens @ 18mm 8 sec @ f5.6, ISO 800, 25.01.21 @ 20.48 hrs Static Tripod Image as shot

Images by Leigh Slomer

Leigh Slomer Lunar Corona

Image by Leigh Slomer Taken with a stock Canon EOS 200d and a Samyang 135mm lens. Exposure time was 1/5 of a second at ISO 400 at an f ratio of 2.8. Processed in GIMP.

Images by Jim Burchell

20210125_214700

Image by Jim Burchel image taken on the Evening of 25/01/21. Image taken with a pentax K70. ISO 800/ F8 and 30 second exposure. Image showing some part of Orion Taurus and the Pleiades..

The BAA Winchester Weekend comes to Crayford (hopefully)

Correction: It’s not a weekend (just Saturday Afternoon) and it’s not at Crayford (it’s at the Pavilion Sutton-at-Hone).

The BAA are running a virtual ‘Winchester Weekend’ – and COVID Restrictions permitting (i.e. restrictions and social distancing in London and Kent have been lifted) – we intend to add a little of that Winchester magic (OK it’s food, drink and conversation) to the proceeding by streaming it at the Pavilion Sutton-at-Hone.

Price: (to cover costs only) £10 per person – on the door – cash only (the chip shop only takes cash)

(Fish & Chips is £7.80 at my local chippy, the rest is for cake, biscuits, milk, tea and coffee.)

Date: 10th April 2021 13:00

13:00 Registration: (Tea and cake)

14:00 BAA Winchester Agenda

15:00 Tea and biscuits & discussion about the lecture

15:15 BAA Winchester Agenda

16:30 Tea and Biscuits and discussion about the lecture, socialise.

18:00 Dinner (Fish and chips)

19:30 BAA Winchester Agenda

21:00 Tea and biscuits and discussion about the lecture

Observing (weather permitting)

At the moment I’m canvasing who might be interested, no commitment at this stage, just to see if it is worth taking further, closer to the event I’ll ask for confirmation and provide a menu.

 

This is a ticketed event, please contact the webmaster@crayfordmanorastro.com if you are interested in attending (no commitment at this stage)

 

 

Best Meteors of 2020

Almost 2000 meteors were detected in 2020, we would have had quite a few more but for the cloudy skies in August that limited the view of the Perseid’s in August.

2020chart

2020 Meteor stats collated by Simon Dawes from data reviewd and analysed by the Crayford Meteor Team.

December 2020Meteor report

December was particularly cloudy, but we still manage to detect 288 meteors, 115 from the Geminid meteor shower.

 

Sun spots! 2020-12-27

Images by Honor Wheeler

20201227_1148UT_HW

Image by Honor Wheeler Skywatcher ED80 refractor, Canon M6 Mark2 camera. EQ3 synscan mount. For the full disc I used a x2 Barlow and the close up x5 Barlow. Processed using PIPP, AS!3 & PShop elements6. I could have done better but didn’t have clear skies really for long enough and at the moment the sun is so darn low! Anyway happy to get these.

20201227_1127UT_HW

Image by Honor Wheeler Skywatcher ED80 refractor, Canon M6 Mark2 camera. EQ3 synscan mount. For the full disc I used a x2 Barlow and the close up x5 Barlow. Processed using PIPP, AS!3 & PShop elements6. I could have done better but didn’t have clear skies really for long enough and at the moment the sun is so darn low! Anyway happy to get these.

ISS transit of the Sun

Honor recently took this video of a transit of the Sun by the ISS, something she has been attempting for 10 years.

20200420_1309UT_HcW

Image by Honor Wheeler This was taken using: Skywatcher ED80 refractor Canon 700D set in movie mode @50fps 2x Barlow EQ3 mount Date 2020.04.20 13:09UTC Transit time was 0.9 sec 16 frames extracted from the original video using PIPP and then the layers merged in Photoshop elements 6. Additional processing also done in Photoshop E6.

The Great Conjunction of 2020

Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years (the last one in 2000.) however this particular conjunction will be especially close – the closest since 1623 and the closest observable since 1226! Don’t worry, if you miss it there is another close conjunction in 2080!

At its closest on 21st December Jupiter and Saturn will be 6 arc minutes apart (1/5 the diameter of the full moon) which is still easily discernable as two separate planets (some reports would have you believe the merge together into an ‘elongated star’)

The weather was poor on the 21st, but there was a gap in the clouds on the 20th, the images from the 20th the planets were at about 9 arc minutes vs 6 arc minutes at closest encounter.

Images by Steve Goldson

Screenshot-2020-12-21-at-17.43.22sdedit

Image by Steve Goldson 1/8 sec f5.6. ISO 6400. taken at 18.02. 20/12/2020. (Inset image: 1/8 sec f5.6. ISO 3200 taken at 18.07. 20/12/2020. – Note Steve captured 3 of Jupiter’s moons)

Images by Martin Crow

S-J Conjunction MartinCrow

2020Dec20 17:06ut Equipment: 80mm equinox @ f15 and DMK41 mono video camera and an old laptop. Location: Top of Dartford Road, Hextable. Taken the day before closest approach due to likelihood of poor weather on 21st. Best views though were had through the eyepiece. Absolutely stunning.

Images by Simon Dawes

The-Great-Conjunction-of-Jupiter-Saturn-2020-12-20-1645

Image by Simon Dawes Skywatcher MN190 (modified), EQ6 Pro (modified) ZWO ASI 1600 MM Pro Bexleyheath England

EXO-Planet Paper features observations from two members

Members Simon Dawes and Martin Crow have been named as contributors on a scientific paper published this week, Martin and Simon along with other amateur and professional astronomers have been observing exo-planet transits – each observation takes between 4 and 5 hours typically so is quite a commitment. Well done Mrtin and Simon and all the other amateur astronomers who submitted observations.

Abstract 

The Ariel mission will observe spectroscopically around 1000 exoplanets to further characterise their atmospheres. For the mission to be as efficient as possible, a good knowledge of the planets’ ephemerides is needed before its launch in 2028. While ephemerides for some planets are being refined on a per-case basis, an organised effort to collectively verify or update them when necessary does not exist. In this study, we introduce the ExoClock project, an open, integrated and interactive platform with the purpose of producing a confirmed list of ephemerides for the planets that will be observed by Ariel. The project has been developed in a manner to make the best use of all available resources: observations reported in the literature, observations from space instruments and, mainly, observations from ground-based telescopes, including both professional and amateur observatories. To facilitate inexperienced observers and at the same time achieve homogeneity in the results, we created data collection and validation protocols, educational material and easy to use interfaces, open to everyone. ExoClock was launched in September 2019 and now counts over 140 participants from more than 15 countries around the world. In this release, we report the results of observations obtained until the 15h of April 2020 for 119 Ariel candidate targets. In total, 632 observations were used to either verify or update the ephemerides of 83 planets. Additionally, we developed the Exoplanet Characterisation Catalogue (ECC), a catalogue built in a consistent way to assist the ephemeris refinement process. So far, the collaborative open framework of the ExoClock project has proven to be highly efficient in coordinating scientific efforts involving diverse audiences. Therefore, we believe that it is a paradigm that can be applied in the future for other research purposes, too.

Full article is available here

 

Two New Competitions

After the success of the last competition, we have decided to run another two.

Lunar Halo Competition

As the name suggests, take an image of a Lunar Halo.

Rules:

Whilst the points awarding is somewhat ambiguous I’ll be looking for the following…

  • Technically a good image (in focus)
  • Well composed 
  • Other points of interest (foreground or background)
  • A good story – if you have a story of how you took the image it can’t hurt!

Entry criteria:

  • You can only enter if you are a paid up member (any tier of membership)
  • Entries must be to webmaster@crayfordmanorastro.com – feel free to post them on what’s app as well!

Orion’s Trapezium Competition

The Trapezium actually has more than 5 stars can you image them?

Rules:

Whilst the points awarding is somewhat ambiguous I’ll be looking for the following…

  • Technically a good image (in focus)
  • you need to resolve at least 5 stars in the trapezium – this wil be challenging!

Entry criteria:

  • You can only enter if you are a paid up member (any tier of membership)
  • Entries must be to webmaster@crayfordmanorastro.com – feel free to post them on what’s app as well!

Winner of the Milkyway from your backyard competition

The winner has been announced, every image was great but there has to be a winner and our congratulations goes to Richard Bohner of Arizona (yes he is a member of CMHASD) with this marvellous image taken from his back yard.

MW_RichardBohner

The Winner of the ‘Milkyway from my back yard’ competition. Image by Richard Bohner Taken with Canon 6D with wide angle lens at 24 mm at iso 1600 for 60 seconds. Jupiter & Saturn at far left with Sagittarius Teapot to left of galaxy and constellation Scorpius to right of galaxy. Taken on 15 June in Arizona, USA. (Richard lives in the USA so this is a valid entry)

 

 

Meteor Report for November 2020

November 2020 was spent largely in lockdown due to the Corona virus, one thing keeping us from all going crazy is our astronomy and with our remotely operated meteor camera our members were still able to observe and had lots of candidates to look forward to, and it turned out this was our most productive November ‘since records began’ – ok the records only go back to August 2018 – so was it better weather, is COVID-19 actually space borne and arriving on the meteors, or perhaps it is just a useless fact? Personally I think it has something to do with 5G masts…

Sorry back to the report.

We observed 244 meteors, 39 of them Leonid’s and you can watch them all – thanks to our members of the meteor team – without having to wade through all the false positive sightings.

I’ve embedded the video below, but if your attention span isn’t what it was, then just check-out the highlights at the times listed below (if you click on them they will take you to the correct part of he video)

Highlights:

01:50     02:06      02:22     02:22     02:57     03:20     04:00     05:40     07:18     07:50 

 

Conjunction of Mars, Moon and ISS

Image by Dianne

Mars Moon ISS

Image by Dianne. Mars, the Moon, & the ISS Canon 750d, Sigma 18-250mm lens, @18mm Exp 6 secs @ f/5.6, ISO-400 Static tripod

 

Kelling Heath Autumn Equinox Star Party 2020

7 members of the society attended the Kelling Heath Autumn Equinox Star Party, some booking camping pitches and others static caravans. The weather was overcast with showers with long dry spells and whilst the astronomical observations were very limited between clouds it was still a great event which I’d recommend any keen observers try to book.

Meteor report for September 2020

This is the meteor report for the automated meteor camera operated by the Crayford manor house astronomical society Dartford, for the month of September 2020

This month we detected a total of 269 meteors, well over half were sporadic meteors, meteors from known showers only making a minor contribution to the total, the largest identified shower came from the September Perseids but contributed only 22 meteors to the months total

Perseid Meteor Shower Report 2020

The below video is a report for the perseid meteor shower, based on meteors captured by the semi-automated meteor camera operated by the society members.

Milkyway from my back yard competition

This is a simple competition, take an image of the Milkyway from your back garden – or close to where you live. The winning image will be the one that the webmaster is most impressed with.

Rules:

  1. You have to be a member of the society
  2. No telescopes! This is for camera and lens only!
  3. Must be from your location not some superb dark sky you travelled to.
  4. Ends November-ish

What will impress the Webmaster most?

  • It’s all about effort taken and obstacles overcome.
  • Local sky conditions vs image captured

Good luck!

 

Cygnus Rift Closeup

mage by Leigh Slomer 26 light frames at 75 seconds ISO 800. 15 darks frames 20 flat frames Equipment used: Canon EOS200D Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX DC HSM lens @ f2.2 Skywatcher Star Adventurer tracking mount. Processed in Deep Sky Stacker and GIMP

Milkyway-Leigh-Sloamer

Image by Leigh Sloamer I made an attempt at capturing the milky way last night. This is a 14 x 3 minute stack at iso 3200. I would have captured more but my new lens is a dew magnet. I also had to crop the image a bit due to amp glow in the lower left corner.

MW_JOhnArcher

Image by John Archer Thought I would pop out and snap the Milky Way while the evening is still mild and the breeze has died down. Bit of a change from planet spotting….

milkywayHW

Image by Honor Wheeler finally found this image of the Milky Way taken from my back garden on the evening of the 23rd of August 2014. I’d just got back from the cinema and the sky was amazing. As you’ll see it was a single shot with my Canon 1100D on a tripod, no tracking! Black and White as light pollution was an issue.

MW_RichardBohner

Image by Richard Bohner Taken with Canon 6D with wide angle lens at 24 mm at iso 1600 for 60 seconds. Jupiter & Saturn at far left with Sagittarius Teapot to left of galaxy and constellation Scorpius to right of galaxy. Taken on 15 June in Arizona, USA. (Richard lives in the USA so this is a valid entry)

Conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon.

The recent conjunction of the Moon, Venus and Mercury in the evening sky has been delighting our members, below are some contributions from those who imaged it.

JimBurchell-Moon-and-Mercury-20200525_095543

Image by Jim Burchell The Moon and Mercury showing Earthshine. Taken Dartford top road. Pentax K70.

John-Howarth-Moon-Mercury-Venus-May24_2056UT

Image by John Howarth Venus is at lower right on both photos, Mercury (faint, but visible) is about equidistant from Venus and the moon, practically level with the moon.

John-Howarth-Moon-Mercury-Venus-May24_2045UT

Image by John Howarth Venus is at lower right on both photos, Mercury (faint, but visible) is about equidistant from Venus and the moon, practically level with the moon. Taken from the park.


stephen-goldson-moonmercuryIMG_4569

Image by Stephen Goldson ‘First time I’ve seen Mercury clearly’

Leigh Slomer’s Saturn Images

Images of Saturn are from the same 2 minute long raw format video, but stacked and processed differently. The last version had a 1.5x drizzle applied to enlarge the size.

Equipment used:

•Skywatcher heq5 pro mount
•Skywatcher skymax 150 pro maksutov cassegrain telescope
•celestron 2× Barlow 
•Zwo asi290mc one shot colour uncooled CMOS camera

•Captured with ASICAP for android
•First and second version stacked in registax, the last version in autostakkert with wavelets in registax 
•Final processing in GIMP

Camera settings:

•Raw16 colour space 
•Gain 300
•Exposure time 82000ųs

LeighSlomerSaturn01

Image by Leigh Slomer processed in RegiStax

LeighSlomerSaturn02

Image by Leigh Slomer processed in RegiStax

LeighSlomerSaturn03autostakkert

Image by Leigh Slomer processed in AutoStakkert

Conjunction of Mercury and Venus

MercuryandVenus-John-Howarth

Image by John Howarth Image taken through glass in upstairs window. (Window will open but not in the right direction. Telephone wires are a nuisance too, just in wrong place..or perhaps Mercury’s in the wrong place!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Image by Jim Burchell – no details provided

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Image by Jim Burchell Image of Venus and Mercury taken this evening (2020,05/19) at Barn End Lane Dartford

Meteor Captured

20200510_161429SD-Edited

A Meteor captured by Jim Burchell

Conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn

Conjunction of the Moon Jupiter Sature and Mars

Image taken by Jim Burchell, in the early hours of 2020/05/12 capturing a conjunction of Saturn Jupiter and the moon .possible Mars far left of the image..

Conjunction of Venus and the Pleiades

Image by Honor Wheeler of the Moon and Pleiades imaged on the 3rd of April 2020 @ 20:08UT taken with her Canon 700D and a 300mm lens – ISO1600, f6.3, exp 2sec.

HW-conjunction-2020-04-03

Imaged by Honor Wheeler on the 3rd of April 2020 @ 20:08UT taken with her Canon 700D and a 300mm lens – ISO1600, f6.3, exp 2sec.

venusandM45KevinLangford

Venus & Pleiades Canon 750D, Sigma F2/135mm Lens, CLS filter. Skywatcher Adventurer Tracking mount. 1hr of exposures. Bexley, Kent. © Kevin Langford

Exo-Planet HAT-P-30b

HAT-P-30b is a transiting hot Jupiter around a 1.25 solar mass star in the constellation of Hydra near the boarder of cancer.

Martin Crow and Simon Dawes observed this exo-planet transiting its parent start part of the exoclock project, to refine transit predictions for the Aerial space craft wich will be observing exoplanet transits to learn more about these enigmatic planets.

HAT-P-30b-2020apr04

HAT-P-30b-2020-04-04-Results

EXO-Planet TrES-3b

Martin Crow observed this Exo Planet

TrES-3b

Observation by Martin Crow for the EXC-Clock project

Member Observing – not so isolated

We have had some lovely clear and moonless nights the last couple of days and on top of this few contrails from planes making the sky ideal for observing, and whilst alone with your telescope or binoculars you can still share your experiences using our WhatsApp groups, just contact committee@crayfordmanorastro.com if you want to be added…

Here is a selection of member observations shared over the last few nights.

ISS2020-03-22JA

Image by John Archer – 20s no other details provided

Venus_in_falseColour-2020-03-22_19-24

Image by Simon Dawes It’s been 11 years, 1 month and 5 days since I last imaged Venus, now I remember why…

WASP-84b

Data measured by Martin Crow So my non transit resulted in showing up an error in NASA’s exoplanet archive. The mistake has now been corrected apparently. This is a good result as finding errors once Ariel is up would not be great

WhatsApp-Image-2020-03-22-at-10.53.28-PM

Image by John Archer of the ISS – no details provided

WhatsApp-Image-2020-03-24-at-9.48.57-AM

Here is a test CCD image of the galaxies M65 (left) and M66, part of the Leo Triplet, which I took last night. My guiding still needs sorting out…

WhatsApp-Image-2020-03-23-at-1.32.30-PM

Image by Kurt Appreciate this will be basic stuff to most of you, but here’s my first astrophotography effort of the full moon a few weeks back. Nothing too complex, 5inch SCT and snapped with a Pixel 4 phone.

WhatsApp-Image-2020-03-23-at-2.11.27-PM

Edited by Martin Just adjusted highlights and shadows mostly. You may already know this but it’s always worth looking from the edge of Mare Crisium to the limb of the moon. Due to libration you will see that this changes and sometimes we can see a little further around the moon.

Free Open University Courses in Astronomy