Gained an hour, lost it

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BST ended last night (for once I remembered) and I thought with pleasure of an hour gained for a lie in or a lazy getting up time.

But there was that clear sky … and the conjunction moving ever closer, which I hadn’t managed to see for days.

(If you can’t see any stars, click the thumbnail for a larger image.)

I was up in the dark, confused by the time shift. The conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mars (below them) was tight and spectacular.

I was up in the dark, confused by the time shift. The conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mars (below them) was tight and spectacular.

One of the photos taken from the tripod showed the real colours of the planets without any processing at all: piercing white for Venus, yellowish for Jupiter, pink for Mars.

One of the photos taken from the tripod showed the real colours of the planets without any processing at all: piercing white for Venus, yellowish for Jupiter, pink for Mars.

Venus is moving down away from Leo; Regulus still visible above the planets.

Venus is moving down away from Leo; Regulus still visible above the planets.

Venus is a dead loss to observe through the telescope, with the eye or like this through a camera; too bright to see -

Venus is a dead loss to observe through the telescope, with the eye or like this through a camera; too bright to see –

so to get her phase at all, put in a filter or high magnification for the eye, or turn down the exposure for the camera.

so to get her phase at all, put in a filter or high magnification for the eye, or turn down the exposure for the camera.

Trying to get Jupiter through the telescope with my primitive equipment is a waste of time ...

Trying to get Jupiter through the telescope with my primitive equipment is a waste of time …

... though to my amazement the two faintest-of-faint dots among the noise at 1 o'clock really are Io and Ganymede. Can't find Europa or Callisto though, even with the eye of faith.

… though to my amazement the two faintest-of-faint dots among the noise at 1 o’clock really are Io and Ganymede. Can’t find Europa or Callisto though, even with the eye of faith.

The eyeball still has a lead over the lens. Even in this light, with my small telescope I could see Jupiter's main bands and all four moons.

The eyeball still has a lead over the lens. Even in this light, with my small telescope I could see Jupiter’s main bands and all four moons.

The Earth's shadow receded pinkly to the west.

The Earth’s shadow receded pinkly to the west.

It took three cups of tea and a paracetamol to decide if all the blips were hot pixels, random noise, or merely the unwashed state of the laptop.

It took three cups of tea and a paracetamol to decide if all the blips were hot pixels, random noise, or merely the unwashed state of the laptop.

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3 responses »

  1. I used to go on day trips really early on Sundays. I remember sitting on a bus stop with only seagulls for company. It’s a magical time to be up before everyone but the street sweepers and night shift workers.

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