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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Nova Del 2013, 2013-08-15.

Nova Del 2013 was easily visible with the naked eye at magnitude 5.0, notwithstanding moonlight and high clouds. Humidity was extreme; within 10 minutes of setting up, dew started to build up on the outside of the hood.

20130815-2225UT-Nova-Del2013-5DIIa-135-F2.8-ISO1250-8x30s-txt

22.25UT, Canon EOS 5DII(mod.), EF135/2L @F2.8, ISO1250, 8x30s, Vixen Polarie.

21.38UT, Canon EOS 5DII, EF135/2L @F2.8, ISO1000, 4x30s, Vixen Polarie.

21.38UT, Canon EOS 5DII, EF135/2L @F2.8, ISO1000, 4x30s, Vixen Polarie.

Sonisphere 2011, Amnéville, France.

Koen, Lars and I visited the first ever Sonisphere festival in France. We left Holland on friday morning and arrived at the entrance of the parking lot after 5.5 hours of roadworks and traffic jams. We parked on a windy and sandy waste land, and had to walk 45 minutes with our tents, sleeping bags and other stuff before we arrived at the entrance to the campsite. The campsite was a parking lot next to the snowhall with lots of stone, gravel and, again, sand. Not ideal for pitching a tent, but we didn’t get to sleep much anyway. The festival site itself is also an old parking lot with two stages opposite one and another.

Friday night was Slipknot night. Nice surprise was Airbourne; an Australian rock band. Main headliners on Saturday were the Big 4; Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth and Metallica. The 2.5 hours long Metallica show with the usual amount of flames and fireworks was the perfect end to a nice festival.

2011-05-07 ATT

Our annual visit to Europe’s largest astronomy fair; toys for boys. Less visitors than last year,  and also a number of vendors that didn’t show up this year. I would have loved to see the new AstroTrack GEM. Nevertheless we had a very good time. We checked out different solar telescopes. Clear winners were the double-stacked scopes.