November 2001 Newsletter

The monthly meeting will be held at Timperley Village Hall, 8pm.  Chris Suddick, Roger Livermore, Paul Clark and Mark Crossley will be demonstrating and discussing various astronomical software titles, and Paul Brierley will be speaking on the Leonids meteor shower. Paul Brierley is selling his 8'' scope, after upgrading to a 12'', and has asked the following details be made available: For Sale: Orion Optics 8-inch F6 Newtonian, comes with Vixen Super Polaris equatorial mount, 25mm. and 10mm. eyepieces, counterweights and finderscope. Asking price is £460. If you are interested, contact Paul on 01625 269 569 or email: paul.Brierley@easynet.co.uk This scope would be suitable for beginners and experienced observers alike.


EVENTS

Liverpool A.S.have arranged a lecture meeting to be held on Fri. 16th November, at The Crypt Concert Room, Liverpool R.C. Cathedral, Mount Pleasant. Bill Jones will be speaking on 'The Art of Telescope Making'. If you have any enquiries regarding this, please contact Ken Clark of L.A.S. on 0151 638 3270.

The next planned dark sky trip will be either sat. 10th, or sat. 17th November. Please keep an eye on the newly created Dark Sky page on the ADAS website for more information nearer the time.

Organisation was not too good for the last planned visit to Llyn Brenig, I think most people, myself included, thought that as the weather was cloudy in our area, that it would also be in North Wales.

As it turned out, this was not the case, and 1 member of Liverpool A.S. showed up to enjoy beautifully clear sky in solitude. Paul Clark also reported clear sky from Anglesey on the same night. Another issue raised was regarding transport. There is clearly a need here to ascertain in future, who will need a lift there, and who has available space in their car. We also need to consider using one of the more local sites if conditions are borderline, as wasting time and fuel to spend a night stood around looking for a break in the clouds is somewhat frustrating.  Fingers crossed that the next attempt is more successful, given that we spend most of the time under our wonderful English clouds.

On Friday, 12th October, Paul Clark, Myself, Mike Cook and other members of Mobberley A.S. went to Teggs' Nose, for a mixed quality night of observing. Conditions earlier on were good, I bagged a number of Messier/NGC objects, including a first for me, NGC 6826, the 'blinking' planetary nebula in Cygnus. Yes, it really does appear to blink 'on' and 'off'. I also had good views of Uranus and Neptune earlier on.  After a couple of hours the impending mist finally set in, and after a while away from my own scope, (after seeing Saturn and the double cluster through Mike's 10'' Dob+Televue Panoptic eyepiece which was truly amazing - I almost forgot to mention also that we could even see a section of the veil nebula through increasing haze) I returned to find that my primary mirror was completely dewed up. It was time to go, a little disappointing, as I had taken time to accurately polar align my mount, in the hope of taking some 'piggyback' photos. A rising Jupiter was lost in the clouds, and we unfortunately lost the opportunity of viewing the shadows of Europa and Io passing over the face of the gas giant.

Observing Notes

qSUN     Now in Scorpius, the Sun is continuing its' period of activity. I have not heard anyone

report aurora sightings, but our star continues to manifest sunspots.  There have been four e-mail alerts in the past month advising of x-ray flares and an Earth-bound coronal mass ejection.

rMOONThere are 2 full moons this month, details as follows

Full on the 1st, rises 17:07, sets 07:03                    Photo taken

Last Quarter on the 8th, rises 22:58, sets 14:16      Jan 01, 2001

New Moon on the 15th, rises 07:29, sets 16:39

First Quarter on the 22nd, rises 13:40, sets 22:51

Full on the 30th, rises 15:56, sets 07:17

On Saturday, 3rd November, there will be an occultation of Saturn by the Moon, approximately between the hours of 21:00 and 22:00. (I've veered on the early side by just over 5 minutes here, to avoid missing it) Weather predictions are tentatively favourable. Graham C has mentioned he will be attempting to video the event with his Nexstar 5. Any other webcam owners going to try? I'm  hoping to get some stills 'wi' film and chemicals' sMERCURY     should still be visible in the early morning twighlight in the South, rising at 06:10.  on the 15th. tVENUS    Rising at 05:52 shortly before Mercury, and 97% full on the 15th, it should be very noticeable at an estimated magnitude of -3.9. Venus will make a good guide to Mercury as they are in close proximity. Both of these planets will be rising later as the month progresses. uMARS   Will already be sinking from an altitude of just less than 18 degrees by the time darkness falls on the 15th, setting in the South at 21:50 vJUPITER    Rising in the North-east in Gemini at 19:17 on the 15th, Jupiter has once again become a prominent presence in the night sky, setting long after daylight at 11:40. Here follows a list of dates and times when it will be possible to view lunar shadow transits and also the Great Red Spot: Shadow Transits                                                    GRS   (duration approx 5 hours from start time) Date      Moon      Start     End                                 Date       Start 5th         Io           00:27    02:40                              2nd         00:45, 5th        Gan.        02:29    05:22                              4th          02:23,   22:14 6th         Io           18:55    21:08                              6th          23:52, 6th         Eur.        19:37    22:24                              9th          01:30,   21:21 12th       Io           02:20    04:33                              11th        23:00, 13th       Io           20:48    23:01                              14th        00:38,   20:29 13th       Eur.        22:14    01:00                              16th        02:16,   22:07 20th       Io           22:41    01:50                              18th        23:45, 21st       Eur.        00:50    03:37                              21st        01:23,   21:14 24th       Cal.        23:04    01:13                              22nd       17:05, 28th       Io          00:35     02:48                              23rd       22:52, 28th       Eur.       03:27     06:14                              26th        00:30,   20:21 29th       Io          19:03     21:17                              28th        02:08,   21:59                                                                              30th        23:37, A recent view from the authors' 8'' on a night of steady seeing....(!?-GC) wSATURN     In Taurus, rising at 17:11 on the 15th, there will be the previously mentioned occultation of the planet by the Moon on the 3rd. Now visible for the duration of the night, setting at 08:22 on the 16th. xURANUS     In Capricornus, magnitude 5.8, will be just past culmination at an altitude of 21.25 degrees by dark on the 15th, setting at 22:38. yNEPTUNE     Also in Capricornus, magnitude 7.9, Neptune will also have started to sink from a maximum altitude of 17.5 degrees by nightfall on the 15th, setting at 21:18. I certainly found Neptune more of a challenge than Uranus recently, the planetary disc only just being discernible. zPLUTO     Rising at 09:16 and setting at 19:14 on the 15th, Pluto is not currently visible from the U.K. Comet 2000 WM1     Moving from the Northern area of Perseus toward Aries, and predicted to brighten to magnitude 6.8 on the 15th. Expected to brighten to mag. 4.5 as it passes into Pisces at the end of the month. Should be visible in binoculars mid-December. Meteor Showers The Taurids shower will peak on the 3rd, but will largely be obscured by the moon. Some meteors should be seen on subsequent nights as the Moon wanes. The Leonids shower will peak on the 17th, albeit late in the evening, high rates have been predicted for this year, as the earth will be moving through 4 separate streams of debris from Comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle, the oldest of which dates back from the comet's pass in 1633. The densest counts will not be visible from the UK due to Leo not being above the horizon at the appropriate time. In spite of this, UK observers should still be able to enjoy seeing large numbers of meteors.

Click HERE for October Newletter.

The Sun from SOHO. (Dave T. recommended)!: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov

The Sun as observed this day  through the Mees white light

telescope in Hawaii: http://www.solar.ifa.hawaii.edu/MWLT/mwlt.html

Stars from ADAS's Sky Map 8 planisphere: http://www.adas.u-net.com/skymaps.html

Planets via Sky and Telescope ‘What’s Up?’: http://www.skypub.com/sights/sights.shtml 

Asteroids via Heavens-Above: http://www.heavens-above.com 

Comets BAA: http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~jds

Comets NASA: http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/whats_visible.html

Meteors  the IMO calendar via: http://www.imo.net

Aurora alert  York University: http://www.aurorawatch.york.ac.uk/

Satellites from Heavens Above: http://www.heavens-above.com 

Variable stars, novae and supernovae AAVSO: http://www.aavso.org


by Dave Timperley

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