Astronomy, Photography and Weather

General Category => Astronomy & Space => Topic started by: Roman White on December 20, 2010, 06:14:11 pm



Title: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on December 20, 2010, 06:14:11 pm
Why don't I see any threads about the upcoming eclipses?  ???

Let me write down some comments...

---------------------------------
Total lunar eclipse - Dec.21, 2010 (tonight!)
NB: Half-day before northern winter solstice

You'd be lucky there to witness a total phase of it. My friend from Poltava is being currently in Edinburgh too. So I hope the weather will cooperate for astronomers in the UK.
In Ukraine only beginning of the penumbral phase would be visible. To be honest, actually invisible - this is the only eclipse since 2002 which I would be able to see only on my PC screen, regardless of weather.  ;D Eclipse begins here just a few minutes before sunrise, at 07:29 EET and 0.8° altitude. Shortly, at 07:38 EET Moon sets while penumbral magnitude is <15%. Anyway, I'd be glad to add this virtual eclipse to my chase list, lol  :D

---------------------------------
Partial solar eclipse - Jan.04, 2011
NB: 1 day after the Earth at aphelion

First in a set of 4 solar eclipses next year, and the one that most people in the world could see. Visible widely across Europe, Africa (north of equator), Western Siberia, Middle East and across most of Central Asia.
The most favourable weather conditions are (certainly!) in Northeast Africa and Arabian peninsula.
The biggest phase (>75%) covers Benelux, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and most of Central and Eastern Europe, with maximum of 85.8% at the Swedish coast of Gulf of Bothnia (with Sun at 0° altitude btw)

Poltava would get healthy 78.3% and 2h:59m of the eclipse.  :) This is going to be the biggest phase for 30 yrs (2000-2029) and longest duration for 54 yrs (1983-2036)!

The weather prospects for early January aren't very good. It could be either very cold and sunny, either warmer and very cloudy. Best option is to have a dry arctic air mass from N-NW. I had a thought of travelling some 1000km north to Russia (Pskov, Novgorod or Leningrad regions), which might increase the maximal phase to 83-84% and slightly increase the chances of clear & cold weather. But then I decided to stay at home, as there are roughly 50-60% chances to glimpse the Sun during the eclipse time.

I hope everybody over the British Isles would be lucky with the sunrise eclipse too! See you in a week or so, when short-term forecasts would be available.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: martinastro on December 20, 2010, 07:29:05 pm
That's a very good question Roman, I was just about to start one there now but I'm glad you took care of it. Looking forward to observing and photographing this eclipse if skies are clear, I just got the loan of a 100-400mm lens so hopefully I will get a few decent shots. Best of luck everyone and enjoy this rare solstice total lunar eclipse  :)

Here's the link to the NASA eclipse article..

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/17dec_solsticeeclipse/


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on December 20, 2010, 11:51:56 pm
I'm sat here clinging onto the hope for clear skies in the early hours, though, I'll be surprised if I get any.  Still, gonna spend the night snoozing on the sofa just incase...


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: rjgjr on December 21, 2010, 02:15:19 am
I would have just about the best seat in the house, the Moon being directly overhead at totality, but there is rain over the entire area with few breaks. Will definitely be poking my head out the window from time to time.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Big Dipper on December 21, 2010, 04:52:42 am
Why don't I see any threads about the upcoming eclipses?  ???

http://astrophotoweather.smfforfree4.com/index.php/topic,2845.0.html (http://astrophotoweather.smfforfree4.com/index.php/topic,2845.0.html)

Welcome back Roman - I was beginning to think that you'd deserted us!  :)

I must admit that my enthusiasm for this eclipse has been somewhat dampened as totality occurs around the time that the Moon sets (as seen from the UK). If only it had been a repeat performance of the superb eclipse we had in early 2007. The timing and altitude of the Moon was far more favourable to those of us in 'ole Blighty and as most of us had clear skies for the occasion, my main astro forum at the time was buzzing with reports from all parts of the UK - including a guy who lived way up in Shetland.

Talk about an electric atmosphere!!

There's a thick blanket of cloud outside as I type this so looks as though this eclipse will be a 'dead duck' for me, too!  :(


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on December 21, 2010, 07:24:57 am
Yup, cloudy here for me  :-\

Resorting to webcasts of it instead...

*edit*

Grrrrrr!  Just before sunrise the eastern part of the sky cleared while the west has a bank of cloud towards the horizon  :(


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: brianb on December 21, 2010, 08:16:30 am
Got a brief glimpse between cloud banks but the unfavourable circimstances combined with unpleasant weather (-10C even on the coast) and not wanting to move more than necessary due to risk of further injury to my wrist meant that this event was not amongst my highest priorities at the moment.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Keith g on December 21, 2010, 10:19:46 am
Well done to you all who got a view, I know the weather did not help for some which was a real pity. I got a wonderful view of it here in east Cavan, even at minus 13.5C it was worth it. I could follow the eclipsed moon all the way to my horizon.  I have to say I was really lucky as the fog last night was really bad.

Here is a taste of what the scene was like over the snow-covered fields 

Just after totality
www.webtreatz.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-102

The eclipsed moon setting
www.webtreatz.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-101

And right at moonset from my site, this was really hard to see as it seemed the moon was getting ever darker, and with the brightening sky, this eneded off a lovely show
www.webtreatz.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-100

Keith..         

   
 
 


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on December 21, 2010, 11:04:37 am
Lovely shots Keith!  You did well to get some flicks of it, was always going to be a difficult one from our part of the world.  Looks very dramatic over the snow :)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Paul on December 21, 2010, 12:53:24 pm
Success in Larne - for want of anywhere else to put them, my pics are here.....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulgevans/

All taken with Sony DSLR A700 with 400m  f6.3 T2 mount lens on static tripod.

Enjoy!

Paul.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: martinastro on December 21, 2010, 01:32:06 pm
Congratulations Keith and Paul, great to some got good images of this event  :)

Glimpsed it for a few sec's but that was it, freezing fog covered the the main event, I was parked on the side of a road for a long time waiting for a break, the cold was unbelievable!


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on December 21, 2010, 01:32:46 pm
Very nice images Paul! :)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: rjgjr on December 21, 2010, 04:16:11 pm
Great shots everyone, the only thing I saw or heard overnight was 3 " of rain. Maybe next time!!


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on December 21, 2010, 08:12:35 pm
Congats for Keith and Brian!  :) I just love those shots in front of the blue sky and snowy backround - it reminds me Feb. 2008 eclipse, but then totality occured while still dark (5 AM), so I have never seen the eclipse like that.

And special congratultations for Martin - I agree, it worth an effort, even if the result is a few seconds glimpse. The same 'success' as you I've got in Mar.2007 (overcast and rain, then broken clouds, then overcast and fog).

Last night I was completely clouded out, it cleared only during next moonrise.

Why don't I see any threads about the upcoming eclipses?  ???
http://astrophotoweather.smfforfree4.com/index.php/topic,2845.0.html (http://astrophotoweather.smfforfree4.com/index.php/topic,2845.0.html)
Welcome back Roman - I was beginning to think that you'd deserted us!  :)
Oh yeah, that is, but one cannot post replies to it...
No, Andy, I've not deserted, I simply spare very few time for astronomy last time, so I check the forum once a few weeks but usually forget to post. You know, it's sometimes frustrating when you're busy and the weather is mostly bad, therefore the scope may stay indoors for a month or so... :-[


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: martinastro on December 21, 2010, 09:14:24 pm
I have to say the image of the red Moon above the snow fields and trees with hoar frost before dawn by keith is absolutely stunning!  :)

Paul, congrats on getting your lunar eclipse image on BBC Newsline this evening.

Thanks Roman, I have no images and only saw it for a few sec's but at least I got a glimpse, it was tough going in such horrendous weather conditions.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: jjb on December 21, 2010, 09:51:45 pm
Here are 2 of my efforts it was baltic -15

(http://i56.tinypic.com/11uvlsp.jpg)

(http://i54.tinypic.com/2pyc0f5.jpg)

jonathan.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: John9929 on December 21, 2010, 10:40:34 pm
Very nice Jonathan, I was well fogged out by that stage :'(
(http://i54.tinypic.com/2uylgl3.jpg)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on December 21, 2010, 11:31:24 pm
Great images Jonathon and John!  8)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Big Dipper on December 22, 2010, 04:24:49 am
Congrats on getting some superb shots Keith, Paul, Jonathan & John. Glad to see that your efforts in braving the elements have been suitably rewarded. (http://www.mackenzie1963.freeserve.co.uk/Smilies/AMac%27s/fing02%5B1%5D.gif)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Tyler on December 22, 2010, 04:48:47 am
Some nice shots in here everyone! it's been a while since I've been on here, due to being very busy with work and school, but now that I'm on winter break I have a bit of time to catch up. Can't say there's been much to share in my part of the world lately, but I was fortunate enough to get clear skies for this eclipse. I headed to the state capital building (just a few blocks from my apt) and nearly froze my hands off waiting for the moon to line up with the statue on top of the capital! I have to say I'm extremely pleased with the lighting on the building at this time of night  ;D It was nearly a perfect exposure for both the moon and the building. PS (I've posted one more shot on my page... http://tonightssky.org/)

(http://www.tonightssky.org/images/122110a.jpg)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: rjgjr on December 22, 2010, 06:37:38 am
Great shots Jonathan, John and Tyler, simply beautiful. Fantastic exposure of the State Capitol and the eclipse Tyler!!


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on December 22, 2010, 06:50:20 am
Well done Tyler!  :)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on December 22, 2010, 07:07:17 am
That shot is a stunner Tyler!!!!   8)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: DaveH64 on December 22, 2010, 10:44:22 am
Stunning stuff, Jonathan, John and Tyler  great compo really like that.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Big Dipper on December 22, 2010, 07:30:15 pm
Now that I like, Tyler! Thanks for sharing. (http://www.mackenzie1963.freeserve.co.uk/Smilies/AMac%27s/fing02%5B1%5D.gif) (http://www.mackenzie1963.freeserve.co.uk/Smilies/AMac%27s/fing02%5B1%5D.gif)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Paul on December 24, 2010, 11:59:47 am
Here's the composite of my shots...
(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5285/5287291427_d2e5731db9_b.jpg)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on December 24, 2010, 01:08:21 pm
Brilliant stuff Paul! :D


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on December 24, 2010, 09:36:05 pm
I began to do some preparations for the solar eclipse...  :)
Have written down a list of 34 items I need to keep in handy during the eclipse ;D (scope, cameras, tripods, laptop, clocks, thermometer, etc.) - it's a nightmare to get all of this collected and adjusted - but at least it's better than rushing up in an hour before the event. I'd wish to do it in a proper manner, so have planned to make a preparational observing session (with the exactly similar timetable & full equipment) on one of the days within Dec.28-30 or Jan.01-02.

Merry Christmas to everyone here on the forum!  :)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: rjgjr on December 25, 2010, 08:10:50 am
That's a great collage of the eclipse Paul. Merry Christmas!


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: martinastro on December 27, 2010, 02:53:03 pm
Love the eclipse image Tyler, fantastic composition and foreground, I hope it was featured on your local news or papers  :)

Excellent image montage Paul, looks like you had a very good sky that morning which just goes to show how much it differed with location. Freezing fog was a real problem here so your images show me what I missed.

Jonathan - beautiful images with the contrasting blues and reds, I wish I had seen that in the flesh.

Looking forward to the solar eclipse...


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on December 31, 2010, 12:14:17 am
have planned to make a preparational observing session (...) on one of the days within Dec.28-30 or Jan.01-02.
Well, yesterday I have done some preparations for the upcoming eclipse. Though haven't still completely adjusted my telescope - had only a few minutes of clear (but extremely hazy) skies at sunset.
Despite clear skies and -10...-6C have been forecasted for Dec.29/30 night and Dec.30 until evening, in reality it turned out worse. Whole night the sky was 99% clouded with a thin but not transparent layer of Stratus - what a disappointment! And all next day long it was the same - 99% clouded with Stratus, however Sun was visible through it for ca. 10% of the time - that might be called a success if happens on the eclipse day!  :)
You can see check out some pictures at my blog (http://roman-white.livejournal.com/3221.html). It may seem ridiculois to somebody, but I take into account that I would be probably observing the eclipse during (or just before/after) the snowfall. Actually, it happened to me once - exactly a year ago (partial lunar eclipse 31.12.2009).
Another point I was afraid of was the functionality of my laptop in winter outdoors conditions (-7 degress today, possible -15 on the eclipse day). I grabbed a quick-handmade thermobag, and it worked fine in my opinion: the temperature inside the bag was +7C. At the same time, one of the AA batteries have frozen - and became working only after putting it indoors.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on December 31, 2010, 11:14:07 am
Good work on the preparation side of things Roman!  Sadly I fear cloudy skies for me, though, things may change...  I like your blog though I have to say! :)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on January 02, 2011, 02:30:32 pm
Thank you Mark!

1.5 days left, and a reliable weather forecast is available...
Best places for viewing the eclipse (with regard to weather) in Europe would be Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and NW Greece.
Most of other countries south of 49°N and north of 56°N would see it too, but with partly cloudy skies. In particular, partly cloudy weather is expected in Finnland and NW Russia, where the eclipse magnitude is greatest (>83%).

Central Ukraine is predicted to be... #$#$@... (http://www.tamemymind.com/blog/images2007/smiley-bangheadonwall-yellow.gif) perhaps the worst place in Europe... despite the first week of January is mildly cold and mostly clear, Tuesday (with both adjacent nights) will provide us an intense snowfall (cyclone is due to come from Balcanic peninsula). I have some not clearly defined ideas to get on the wheels and go some 400km west - to see at least something through the clouds...  :-\

P.S. Have made clouds/pressure (http://roman-white.livejournal.com/3398.html) animations for Europe and Ukraine (GFS model).


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on January 04, 2011, 07:19:38 am
Sadly it looks cloudy for me today / this morning, and also to top things offf my laptop seems to hsver died aswell   :(


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: martinastro on January 04, 2011, 06:42:52 pm
How depressing - crey cloud and drizzle the entire time ..grrrr


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on January 04, 2011, 08:43:20 pm
Sorry to hear that guys!  :-\

Poltava was clouded since previous night, and only some semi-transparent gaps allowed to see the Sun for a liitle time after the mid-eclipse.

But I did my first (and successful!) eclipse chase - went 180km NW from Poltava to the town of Pyriatyn, where the sky was mostly clear. There were some transparent Altocumulus present (<15%), but they have just partially obscured the Sun during the last 10-15 minutes before C4. The weather I've experienced was even BETTER THAN AUGUST 2008!
Btw it was cold enough (colder than I expected): -12C on average, and down to -14C at maximal eclipse. I was afraid not as much for myself getting cold, but more for my camera batterries which could die during those 3 hours-long session! Hopefully, I managed to take shots in 15-minutes intervals and other time both cameras were kept inside a warm pocket (and they survived!).
The things I had a luck to observe today are:
  • all stages from C1 to C4, including maximum 79.6% magnitude (both visual and photographic session were 100% successful)  :)
  • some small mountains on S & W parts of lunar limb, still nice with my equipment (76mm aperture solar-filtered at 35x)
  • 1+6 sunspots and their occultations
  • definite temperature drop of 2...3°C
  • not very distinct fading of landscape & sky illumination
  • excellent crescent shadows!
  • as weather bonus: huge and very photogenic hoar frost, plenty of clear & dry snow and some iridiscence on the clouds (latter not photographed though)

An event of equal magnitude will occure in Poltava only in 2030, and the closest one (only 55%) is >4 years ahead too. Therefore, I hope to have many more events outside Poltava until those dates!  ;D

P.S. Photoreport to follow in a day or two (I'm excited but quite exhausted right now)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on January 04, 2011, 09:40:37 pm
Cheers Dennis  :)

Omg, there are pretty a lot of successful reports from Western Siberia, where afternoon temperatures were between -40...-30C.  :oHere's link (http://www.astronomy.ru/forum/index.php/topic,76971.msg1436111.html#msg1436111)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Big Dipper on January 05, 2011, 01:38:09 am
Having seen dazzling Venus in the southeast at around 6am, I kept everything crossed in the hope of seeing something of the eclipse. (http://www.mackenzie1963.freeserve.co.uk/Smilies/Angry3_files/crossfingers.gif)

Of course, yes you've guessed it - the hope was in vain here, too! (http://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/sauer/angry-smiley-054.gif) (http://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/sauer/angry-smiley-053.gif)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: rjgjr on January 05, 2011, 04:19:25 pm
Great report Roman, looking forward to the animation Dennis. My big anticipation is still 6 1/2 years away, the Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017. It waill be right in my backyard, so to speak, only about 150 miles NE in the dry, high deserts of Eastern Oregon. Nothing like planning ahead.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on January 05, 2011, 09:24:58 pm
I've checked the satellite images from yesterday morning, as well as meteostations' reports, and I can tell you that most of the areas with the greatest eclipse magnitude - NE Sweden (Lulea), Finland, NW Russia (St.Petersburg, Pskov, Tver', Vologda) have been clouded out with pretty much of snow falling, and only some people had luck to see the Sun through the thick clouds.

P.S. Next partial eclipse of June 1st would be fun: in Murmansk (Russia) the eclipsed Sun (60%) would be at 2° above the northern horizon just after the local midnight. ;D


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on January 06, 2011, 08:02:00 pm
P.S. Photoreport to follow (...)

Most successful solar eclipse that I have observed so far...  :)
(http://spaceweather.com/submissions/pics/r/Roman-Kostenko-composite1_1294342129_med.jpg) (http://astronomy.pl.ua/gallery/eclipses/pse2011/composite1.jpg)

Country road where I set up my equipment. Btw, there was as much as 20...25 cm of snow on the ground.
(http://astronomy.pl.ua/gallery/eclipses/pse2011/mesetup1.jpg)

Eclipse was only 1.5 hours after the sunrise
(http://astronomy.pl.ua/gallery/eclipses/pse2011/sunrise1.jpg)

Binocular projection. (I didn't plan in advance to get those crescent shadows)  ;D
(http://astronomy.pl.ua/gallery/eclipses/pse2011/projectioncrescents1.jpg)

The kind of weather I like! These transparent clouds kept away from the Sun until the very last minutes of the eclipse.  :)
(http://astronomy.pl.ua/gallery/eclipses/pse2011/weather1.jpg)

Temperature drop measurments (sensor calibrated to 0.2°C)

(http://astronomy.pl.ua/gallery/eclipses/pse2011/temperature.jpg)




Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: martinastro on January 06, 2011, 08:27:31 pm
Roman these are an impressive collection of images which really bring your eclipse observing session to life for us to appreciate. The eclipse montage is stunning, and I love the images of the crisp clear sky, bright sun, and deep snow on the ground, the 2nd and 3rd images really convey your dedication to stay out in that feezing weather. Nicely done getting the crescent shadows and getting the temp graph. Congratulations Roman on a great session  :)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: martinastro on January 06, 2011, 08:30:19 pm
Dennis, excellent animation! - you should upload that to youtube in my opinion  :)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on January 06, 2011, 09:54:28 pm
Martin and Dennis, thank you!  :)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Big Dipper on January 07, 2011, 01:45:01 am
Dennis/Roman some spectacular solar eclipse images both. Thanks for sharing.


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on January 08, 2011, 07:18:18 pm
Thanks Andy,

Here are the results of my photometry:
Have taken consequtive shots of the same (northern) area of the sky with equal exposure and without expocompensation. At the same time, I've noted the EV values displayed by camera (the ones that could probably be used).
(NB: as the Sun rised from 10 to 17, the atmosphere extinction changed from 4х to 2.5х)

(http://astronomy.pl.ua/gallery/eclipses/pse2011/exposure.PNG)

First and third point from the graph above have been used for making this animation.

(http://astronomy.pl.ua/gallery/eclipses/pse2011/anim_0.004s_ISO50_f5.6_0947-1101.gif)

I said, I had some doubt whether the decrease of illumination was visible visually, but with help of camera it is evident!  :)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: markt on January 08, 2011, 09:41:34 pm
Excellent work Roman!  8)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: Roman White on January 09, 2011, 08:12:46 pm
Thank you Mark

I have corrected the obscuration graph above with more accurate approximation.
Check this useful website: Eclipse Magnitude & Obscuration (http://www.jgiesen.de/eclipse/index.html)


Title: Re: 2010/2011 winter eclipses
Post by: martinastro on January 09, 2011, 10:16:39 pm
Excellent work Roman - very well captured. I love your attention to detail, that's always a sign of an exceptional observer.  :)