2015-10-10, first winter session

The first indication of winter; a strong easterly wind bringing clear skies. Mark-Jaap and myself headed for the observatory for some astrophotography. First object was comet C/2014 S2 (PanSTARRS) very close the Polaris. Piggybacked my William Optics Star 71 on the observatories’ AP 1100GTO for some unguided 1 minute shots. Next tried to locate comets Lovejoy and Jacques, but these seem to have gone out of reach for my setup. Ended the session with a couple of 2 minute shots of NGC7000, the North America nebula.

Total lunar eclipse, September 28, 2015.

A crowd of volunteers and visitors gathered at public observatory Bussloo to catch a glimpse of the total lunar eclipse. As so often in the Netherlands it was an ongoing battle with clouds. Two hours before first contact, clouds had started to move in. But the moon remained visible through the clouds whilst totality was approaching. Then, minutes before totality started, a nice big gap in the clouds opened up. It only lasted for 20 minutes when thicker clouds moved in and made any further observations impossible. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed this very beautiful eclipse.

Grazing occultation observed from public observatory Bussloo

Despite poor weather forecasts, the sky cleared for a couple of hours right on time for the grazing occultation of star HD69809 (Cancer, m=7.9). The occultation was visible from Public Observatory Bussloo (Netherlands). Six observers in total gathered at the observatory in preparation of the occultation. Hendrik Beijeman and Tom Borger found a place 500m to the south of the predicted limit line and observed two occulations. Jan Maarten WInkel was observing from a site 1400m south of the line and observed a short occultation followed by the complete disappearance of the star. Alex Scholten was the most southern placed observer 1700m south of the line and he saw a complete disappearance.  Mark-Jaap and myself observed from the observatory, 250m south of the limit line. Mark-Jaap shot the occultation with a Celestron C8 and Canon EOS 70D in video mode. I used the observatories’ Celestron EdgeHD1400 with a Watec902 camera, a EZCap frame grabber, AME Video Time-Inserter TIM-10 and VirtualDub.

At the observatory two occultations occurred:
21.36.47-21.36.57 and 21.37.44-21.37.45 (timings in UT).

See below movie clip covering the period 21.36.30 – 21.38.00 UT.

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