Observer's Archive - Jun-Dec 2004

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Nov 10, 2004 - (1477) Bonsdorffia - HIP 2421 - asteroid occultation observed by Dave Bennett and David Lee.

(1477) Bonsdorffia - HIP 2421 occultation


Nov 5, 2004 - Venus-Jupiter Conjunction
The two planets were only 0.6� apart this morning.
Photo by Joe Carr

Oct 27, 2004 - Lunar Eclipse - The eclipse was already underway when the Moon rose here on the west coast of Canada.  Our members located themselves to have a clear view of the eastern horizon and everyone was in place well before Moonrise.

Lunar Eclipse Photos & Reports from our members.


Time (PDT)

Moon rise


Umbral contact


Total eclipse begins


Mid eclipse


Total eclipse ends


Partial eclipse ends


Moon leaves penumbra


The October 2004 edition of Sky & Telescope magazine has comprehensive information about this lunar eclipse October's Ideal Lunar Eclipse (page 72 in printed edition), and also has an excellent article on how to capture the eclipse with a camera Observing and Photographing Lunar Eclipses (page 132 in printed edition).  Also refer to the online article Lunar Eclipse - Oct 27, 2004 written by David Lee for handy observing and photography tips.

August 2004 - The planetary lineup is changing this month. 

Jupiter is setting earlier and earlier in the western sky, and will vanish altogether by mid-month into the glare of the Sun.  Venus is a glorious morning star, rising 15� above the eastern horizon some four hours before the Sun rises.  Saturn is finally reappearing to join Venus in the early morning hours, and will be 20� above the ENE horizon by month's end.

Uranus is visible all night long in Aquarius and Neptune is also visible all night long in Capriconus.  Both are low in the sky, but this is the best time to find them with the help of charts. Most telescopes can resolve Uranus as a tiny cool blue-green coloured disk if the seeing allows some magnification, since the planetary diameter is almost 4".  Neptune will be more difficult to resolve, but will appear as a powder blue coloured steady point of light, since its 2" diameter is at the resolving limits of most telescopes.

The Perseid meteor shower is predicted to put on the best show in years starting Wednesday, August 11th, and continuing into the early morning hours of August 12th.  You might want to book time off work for the 12th and plan to stay up all night to watch the show.  Predictions call for up to 90 meteors per hour to be visible, and since the Moon is at a 12% phase, the sky will be nice and dark.  If you want something to do while you watch the show, record your observations for scientific use by following the instructions on the International Meteor Organization website.  They also supply a nice finder chart and other useful information about the Perseids. Other useful links: Viewer's Guide Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Aug. 11-12 and StarDate Online 2004 Meteor Showers and Viewing Tips

The Moon turns new on Sunday, August 15th, so find a nice dark observing site sometime this weekend, and plan to observe the Milky Way.  There will be no better time to leisurely explore the dark summer sky this month.

This would also be an ideal time to take that digital camera with you, mount it on a tripod, and photograph the Milky Way with a few wide angle images.  Just set the camera to use the longest exposure time possible, and focus and lock on infinity if your camera allows.  If your digital camera is all automatic, then get that old manual SLR camera out of the closet, put some film in it and ensure the batteries are fresh, then take it out in the field with you.  Focus on infinity, open the lens to its fastest setting (lowest numbered f/stop), set the exposure time to Bulb, and use a cable shutter release to open the shutter for about one minute.  When you get the film developed, be sure to ask for the lab to scan the images to CD for you so you can share your astrophotos. Hint: when taking astrophotos on film, be sure to take a daylight shot at the beginning and end of the roll so the labs don't get confused with all the dark frames and cut your negatives mid-frame!

Venus and Saturn are only 4�� apart in the early morning of August 27th.  If you get up early to see this planetary pair, you will also see the starry pair of Castor and Pollux nearby to the left of the planets.  Castor and Pollux also happen to be separated by 4��.  By August 30th, Venus and Saturn are only 2� apart. 

Aurora - July 24-26, 2004 - Island Star Party

July 13, 2004 - Multiple sunspots!

Photo by Joe Carr

Transit of Venus from Egypt - June 8, 2004

June 8, 2004 we were at the Movenpic Hotel on Crocodile Island on the Nile. Our gracious hosts closed off an area for our group where we could set up all our scopes and cameras and cooling blankets (the temperature in the shade by mid morning was already 42C). The transit lasted 6h12min and everyone cheered when finally someone with an H-alpha filter yelled out first contact. Over the next several hours many people ran back and forth between scopes and the swimming pool (a relatively cool sun heated 30C), but always managed to be back at strategic times for photographs.

I captured these transit shots by holding my camera to the eyepiece of different scopes and am surprised at just how well they turned out.

Li-Ann Skibo




June 7, 2004 - Transit of Venus 2004 - event held at the Centre of the Universe

Transit of Venus at the Centre of the Universe



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Observing Highlights 2008
Observing Highlights 2009
Observing Highlights 2010
Observing Highlights 2011
Observing Highlights 2012
Observing Highlights 2013


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