Karl's Astro-Journal

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- 2012 Astro Journal -

Aurora 2012

October 08, 2012: A brief aurora display filled our northern skies in early October. It was a welcome sight considering that there's not been a lot of aurora visible from NY in recent months. We've been clouded out for a couple displays but with Solar Max at hand, hopefully clear skies will coincide with geomagnetic activity over Northern New York in the coming months.

TOV 2012

June 05, 2012: The transit was eventually clouded out again, but even as the rain moved in from the east, the transit held on in the west. All in all, we were able to follow the transit for about an hour and 45 minutes. Not bad considering the gloomy weather forecast earlier in the day. That makes us two for two with respect to observing Venus transits in our lifetime. Here's a photo from the 2004 Transit of Venus.

TOV 2012

June 05, 2012: In addition to taking transit photos through a 120mm telescope fitted with a 70mm aperture Baader filter, we set up my trusty 80mm refractor to project onto an old movie screen. Fast moving clouds added a dynamic quality to the image as we watched the "TRANSIT, Transit, transit, transit,... OF, of,... VENUS, Venus, venus, venus ... ", our favorite way to refer to the "Grand" celestrial event.

TOV 2012

June 05, 2012: The 2012 Transit of Venus began with cloudy skies here in Greene, NY. So we watched the NASA channel broadcast from Hawaii until, just before second contact, the Sun broke from behind the clouds. We hurried outside to view the transit through telescopes I had set up, only to notice that our view of the transit was already past second contact. And, quickly the mental light bulb went on. That's exactly what the expeditions of 1769 were trying to observe, the difference in time between transit contacts from different places on earth. What they tried to observe by risking life and limb traveling around the world, we were able to observe by moving 50 feet from our living room to our backyard. Pretty cool! (Note: The view from our part of New York was about 6 minutes and 18 seconds ahead of the view from Hawaii.)

Additional Images:   img_0139.jpg /  img_0155.jpg /  img_0188.jpg 


April 28, 2012: Another item of interest at NEAF was the Explorer-Dome 8 foot home-observatory dome. The idea of having a more permanent set up for observing on short notice or when clouds are on the way, has some definite appeal. Alicia was smiling as she looked in from the outside. I am optimistically hoping her smile means she thinks the dome will look good in our backyard! 8' Explora-Dome.

iOptron EQ-45

April 28, 2012: This year we made a trip to the NorthEast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) held at Rockland County Community College NY. It's been a few years since our last trip to NEAF but this year there were a few items of interest that I was hoping to see first hand. One item was the iOptron iEQ45 goto GEM as shown in the picture. It's received some good reviews and would be a nice goto mount for my Sky-Watcher 120mm refractor.

M42 20120312

March 12, 2012: Early spring brought two things to our backyard. 1) A new 120mm Sky-Watcher telescope with a Vixen GPD2 mount and 2) several nights of wonderfully clear air. New equipment and clear skies almost never come in pairs but usually act like opposite poles on magnets. That being said, I did not hesitate to try the new gear along with my aging but tried and true Canon 10D DSLR. The Orion Nebula (M42) was an obvious first target.

M51 20120312

March 12, 2012: That same night I attempted to image a familiar but more challenging object, M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy. This galaxy, actually most galaxies, were never viable astro-photo targets for my trusty but humble 80mm Celestron achromat. However, the 120mm Sky-Watcher has put many new objects within reach, including M51.



NOAA Space Weather
Prediction Center


Central New York


Adirondak Public

Syracuse Astronomical

Mohawk Valley
Astronomical Society

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