Archive for December, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Moon

On the morning of the 21st December, the moon moved into the Earth’s shadow and caused a total eclipse.  Luckily enough, it was a clear morning with great visibility and the moon was perfectly positioned between two houses for the beginning of the eclipse at 06:15.  I was looking at it from our bedroom window and could see the shadow gradually moving across from left to right.  It was a great site to behold, but I had a bad cold and wasn’t able to watch the full event, so had to go back to bed.  When I woke up to take a look a little later, the moon had moved behind some houses so I was unable to see it.  It was a shame, but i’m glad that I saw the beginning of the event.

Geminid Watching

Unfortunately I didn’t see many of the Geminid meteors at all.  I went out on the 12th December for about an hour, intending to solely keep an eye out for them, but got sidetracked by the Moon and Jupiter.  They were both high up in the sky and shining brightly. It was a very clear night.  I had both the telescope and the binoculars out and the moon showed up brilliantly.  Looking at Jupiter, I couldn’t see any of the moons this time which was a shame.  This may be because Jupiter is getting darker and further away now, since its peak in November.  In between looking at these two, I did scan the night for the Geminids and saw two shoot over the sky, coming from a Northerly direction and moving towards the West.

I went out occasionally over the next three nights, but there was a lot more cloud in the sky.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see anymore Geminid meteors, so will have to wait until next year’s show!

Time: 20:00 – 21:00, Longitude: 50.435423, Latitude: -4.093217, Viewing: North and East

Orion and the Geminids

Well last night was an amazingly clear night for looking at the stars and constellations.  Scores of starts littered the night sky, all twinkling in the frosty air. The most amazing scene was the great Orion constellation looking down on the world. From my back step, Orion filled a large area of the sky and was perfectly placed to view.  It was an amazing sight!

In the end I spent about 20 minutes just gazing up into the night sky, and I didn’t even use my telescope or binoculars as the view was great as it was.

I was also hoping to view some meteors as a friend of mine commented on Twitter recently that they had see three shooting starts in one night. These were probably meteors meeting the Earth a little before their scheduled full arrival on the 13th December. Collectively they are known as the Geminids and they reach their height in a few days time.  Hopefully it will be a clear night on that day, although it will be best to view them after midnight due to the predicted brightness of the Moon on that night.  It should be an awesome sight though and one to enjoy for sure! Am looking forward to it.

Time: 21:10 – 21:30, Longitude: 50.435423, Latitude: -4.093217, Viewing: North East