My Astronomy


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My Telescopes

My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

My new Paramount MyT and 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien Telescope

MyT Hand Controller

My Meade 12 inch SCT on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

My 4 inch Meade Refractor with Sky Watcher Guidescope and ZWO camera on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mount with Canon 40D


My Solar setup using a DSLR and Mylar Filter on my ETX90

DSLR attached to ETX90. LiveView image of 2015 partial eclipse on Canon 40D

Astronomy Blog Index
About the Site

 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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Where is Mars in the sky?

With no clear nights here recently I have begun to lose track of Mars and other planets (and Dwarf Planets!)

This morning's chart


So Mars in in Sagittarius with Dwarf Planet Pluto - no doubt looking for a cup of tea from the teapot! I have also highlighted Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko which is "nearby" in two dimensions - so if you are wondering where Rosetta and Philae and the comet are - you now know.

To put this into perspective - literally - here is the solar system showing the positions of all these objects. The comet orbit is shown - the vertical lines show how far above or below the eclitic the comet lies in its orbit, It is heading for the Sun.

I like the names Rosetta and Philae - I have visited the island of Philae in Egypt and have spent some time in the British Museum looking at the Rosetta Stone and working out the hieroglyphics that cracked the code!

My neighbour here in Spain asked me if I had looked at the comet through my telescope - I explained how faint it was - but that I had taken an image of the area.

On the chart you will see that Venus rises after the Sun and that the Moon is very close - with a phase of 0.14%. Saturn is near the Moon. You may notice a comet symbol just above the Sun. In fact that is the comet 135P/Shoemaker-Levy at magnitude 18.39. However this is not the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 that collided with Jupiter 20 years ago - David Levy discovered a number of comets with Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker. You will notice that Saturn is also close to the Sun in the sky.

Back to Mars - who needs a telescope - it is amazing that we can view a billion pixel interactive image from the surface of Mars and look around the immediate area - click on the image to link to the interactive viewer.


 I particularly like this video/animation of "How to get to Mars" (Spirit)