La Palma, december 2018.

After my trip to La Palma last year, I decided to visit La Palma again coinciding with the perihelion passage (December 12) of comet 46P/Wirtanen. At closest approach to Earth at December 16, it would probably be visible with the naked eye. Of course this period is also known for the maximum of the Geminid meteor stream. We (my parents and I) experienced exceptionally good weather (sunny, 22°C) and we were able to observe comet Wirtanen every night as well as the Geminids.

2018-07-27, Eclipse of the moon.

On the very hot (38°C/100°F) summer evening of Friday 27 July, more than 500 visitors had gathered at public observatory Bussloo transforming the observatory into a festival site. Armed with drinks, chairs, telescopes and binoculars, the darkened moon became visible for the first time at 22.05 CET, more than half an hour after the rise of the moon.

With 1h 48m, this lunar eclipse was the longest in duration of the 21th century.

After a first presentation, I looked outside through the back door; there were already more than 100 visitors waiting in line for the next presentation.

Waiting for the moon to rise.

Waiting for the moon to rise.

Observers on top of the hill were the first to spot the moon rising through thin clouds.

2018-07-27, 21.02 UT, Moon & Mars. Canon 6D II, Sigma ART 135mm, F/1.8, 0.8sec, ISO1600.

2018-07-28, 21.14 UT. Canon 60D, William Optics FLT98, f=618mm, ISO400, 4sec.

2018-07-28, 21.23 UT.Canon 60D, William Optics FLT98, f=618mm, ISO400, 2sec.

2018-07-28, 21.47 UT. Canon 60D, William Optics FLT98, f=618mm, ISO400, 1sec.

2018-07-28, 22.23 UT. Canon 60D, William Optics FLT98, f=618mm, ISO400, 1/800sec.

2017-09-03, Sun.

After months of little to no activity a nice group of sunspots (AR2674) appeared. In poor seeiing I captured a 1/125s shot from my balcony (overlooking a big tin roof) with a William Optics 61mm, f=360mm telescope and Canon 6Dii ati ISO800.20170903_0959UT_WO61_f360mm_ISO800_1-125s_6Dii_0118_web

2017-08-12/13 Perseids

Although the weather looked bad, meteorologists predicted clear spells during the Perseid maximum night 12/13 august. We gathered at public observatory Bussloo at 22.00 preparing for a very humid night waiting for the skies to clear. Around 22.45 most camera’s started imaging a partly cloudy sky. The first meteors were seen. At midnight most of the clouds had disappeared but instead the moon started to rise and illuminate the skies. Between 01.30 and 02.30 we were completely clouded out, but then the clouds finally gave way and we were able to continu well into dawn. Highlight of the night was a -6 Perseid fireball right in my field of view with a persisting train that was visible in binoculars for over 1 minute.