★ TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OBSERVING OPPORTUNITIES NEAR THE SOLSTICE – HANS HEYNAU
June has not typically been a good month for observing in SE Florida, but I did get a few opportunities
that I thought I’d share.
The first was to take advantage of the waning sunspot cycle to try to observe some occasional solar
prominences before they become quite rare. On June 17th I had a chance to use the PST scope (small Halpha)
that the wife and I picked up last fall in Maryland. I hand held my iPhone up to the eyepiece and
capture the following lucky snap:
Saturday June 25 saw may of us at JD to enjoy a rare mid-year night at JD – the first in many years was
the remark by Jim Kimball ! Although I did not have a big rig myself at this event (I was simply trying out
one of my eyes that had been the subject of a cataract removal and implant), but everyone was quite
happy with the views of Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. I believe I saw the “horse and rider” (Mizor and Alcor)
in the handle of the Big Dipper, so I was quite happy too. Although I did not get any pictures myself that
night, it spurred me on to try to do so while Mars and Saturn were relatively large and near the meridian
where there is less atmosphere to disturb the viewing. At home on Monday June 27th I got the
opportunity to take some movie data to make pictures with a simple converted web cam -- and to share
what everyone at JD was very happy about the prior Saturday night. Below are Mars and Saturn
processed video data generated pictures – so you can remember the great JD night, or simply wish that
you had been there! Jay Albert was sketching in earnest, so he likely has another take on that fine
evening. Will we be as lucky at Pine Glades and next month at JD? Only time and El Nino knows!
Left. Mars had some interesting features facing earth toward the end of our viewing time.
Right. The atmosphere was jigglingSaturn quite a bit, but it is always nice
to have the rings tilted so we can view them!
See July 2016 newsletter for photos!