Monday, December 29, 2008


5:15 - naked eye viewing of tiny sliver of waxing crescent moon, about 10 degrees above my horizon, Venus about 50 degrees and Jupiter about 10 degrees. I could see the dark side of the moon a little because it was so close to sunset, but was on my way to Costco with no camera. :(

10:00-10:30 - I've been practicing with star charts in my copy of "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" that I got from Dave's parents for Christmas, and a library copy of "Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe". Both of them are AWESOME.

Anyway. With my Opa's binoculars tonight, I saw:
-Orion (plus identified the stars Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, and Rigel within it)

-Sirius (a star in Canis Major...the light pollution was too bad for me to see the whole constellation

-Castor and Pollux (two stars in Gemini, again with the light pollution)

-what I think was part of Taurus (Aldebaran, the second major star in that constellation. Capella was directly overhead, which meant I would have had to look through my balcony roof and several others above me)

-a freaking NEBULA in the middle of Orion (it's just below his belt. I wonder if it has a crude nickname...*snicker*)

-the Pleiades, a cluster of seven stars, although I could only make out six for sure. These ones hurt my neck...they were very up, which is when I wish I had a lawn chair or an air mattress or something.

I think the coolest part is looking up and recognising shapes out of all the bits and bobs that are out there!!! I love Casseopeia, but she's in the north and I face south...she's one of the first constellations (not counting Dippers [which aren't actually true constellations!!] or Orion.) I ever identified, way before I was interested in astronomy.

I might've seen the Big Dipper, but it was partially blocked by buildings, but there seemed to be some stars in the right spots.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yesterday: 420

Venus and Jupiter again. Further apart, Jupiter was a lot closer to the horizon.

Saw what I thought was Mercury (close to the horizon in the south) but it was just a plane. :P Hey, it was moving really slowly...didn't realize it was moving at first. Also, I'm not used to being able to see really far along the horizon and yeah. So there.

Mental note: need stronger binocs or a telescope soon. It's awesome to see the planets, but they don't look much different through the binocs I have.

Monday, December 15, 2008


It seems like Venus is a lot lower earlier in the evening. Jupiter is a lot further away from Venus and a lot lower too. They're off the horizon a lot earlier too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

7:00 pm

Venus had an orangey yellow tint, low in the southwest, checked through binocs and it just looked like a brighter speck. Looked at other stars that happened to be out, but went inside PDQ because I was wearing my robe and it was friggin' cold after the snowfall yesterday/last night.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds for like a million years.

Dec. 11, 4:30pm - During sunset on my way home from work, I saw Venus and Jupiter at about 45 degrees up in the south west. Cool. They followed me home...can I keep them? :)

Looking like a clear night tonight!! Maybe I'll see some actual...y'know...stars. I hear they're out there.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

4:25-5:00 pm

Clear, some clouds on the horizon.

Southern horizon near sunset, what I this is probably Venus. Bright white through the binocs for about twenty seconds before it went behind a patch of filmy pink clouds.

Waxing crescent moon about 30% high southern sky.

After only about ten minutes, Venus and Jupiter were visible high in the sky and moving toward the west. I took some pictures of them, as well as the moon. I love digital photography. :)

If any of them are any good, they'll go up on my flickr account.


I've started getting into astronomy a bit...difficult since I don't have a telescope, astronomy books or anyone really close to me who knows what they're doing... and I live in a rather light polluted area. I do, however, have a pair of really nice 7-15x35 Bushnell binoculars that belonged to my Opa, the expertise of the internet and the folks at Vancouver Telescope Centre and a certain amount of stubborness. So since this blog has been dormant for months, and it's got a rather appropriate we go.

Nov 29 2008, around 8pm: Naked eye viewing, (probably) Jupiter and Venus near southern horizon, (probably) Orion to the southeast (hidden by buildings)

clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds...

Dec 2 2008, around 8pm: binoculars, cloudy, but the waxing crescent moon (20% or so) was visible briefly high in the south. I saw craters!! Not sure which ones since the binocs were shaking a bit and the clouds came in quickly, but it was really cool!