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.
Observed the Mercury transit from Public Observatory Bussloo together with volunteers and visitors. Even though the wind was strong from time to time with a less than mediocre seeing, we enjoyed the transit. After a couple of hours, clouds started to hamper observations more and more but after a dinner break, the skies cleared again and we were given a last look at the Sun and Mercury.
I decided to bring a tripod and a Vixen Polaris travel mount on a 1 week trip to the south of Portugal (São Brás de Alportel, 37°9’8.8″N, 7°56’27.4″W, alt=236m). Managed to observe comet 252P/LINEAR on a number of occasions. Below image was from the first night, april 6th, when the comet was near the globular cluster M14. On the night of april 7th, the comet was visible to the naked eye. I estimated it’s brightness at +5.7 using 8.5×42 binoculars, with a coma diameter of 45′ and DC=3.
Comet 252P, 20160406, 0241UT, Canon EOS 60D, EF 135mm/2L at F2.5, ISO1600, 14x29s.
Minutes after parking the telescope and closing down the observatory, the skies cleared. Quickly opened up the observatory again, piggybacked the Canon 60D and 200mm on the mount and took some 1 minute shots. Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) was easily visible in 8.5×42 binoculars.
20160115, 2232UT, Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina), Canon EOS 60D, Canon EF200/28.L at F/3.2, 8x1ms, ISO800.