July 24, 2009

A NOT SO SUCCESSFUL SOLAR ECLIPSE!


To watch the Total Solar Eclipse 2009, I travelled to Surat with our KAAC-club members. Surat was the best place for the eclipse.We got there one day before total eclipse and attended the whole day workshop. The whole day was rainy and we didn't expect to see the eclipse successfully.


On the next morning when I rose before dawn, I stepped out of my room to check the weather. It was complete cloudy and still raining.I thought we wouldn't be able to see the eclipse! At 5:30am at dawn on 22nd, some thousands of people accumulated on the terrace of"Atmiya Vidhya Mandir" in Kamrej village where the main event was organized. The sky was completely covered by dense clouds and there was light rain.Then the Sun was about to rise and the first contact was already in progress. At 6:19 everyone felt that the darknesswas gradually increasing. Then after a minute there was complete darkness at 6:20am. Although we did not see the eclipse as the Sun was hidden behind clouds but weenjoyed the thorough event what nature offered!


Just before the totality, I saw a bird called "black painted strock" emerged from the farm and wandered around. But as the time of totality approached and the darkness spreaded, the bird quickly went back and hidden behind the farms. That behaviour of bird I observed and enjoyed the moment instead of seeing the Sun!!

Rahul Zota (Bhuj-India)

OBSERVING SESSION THROUGH MY 25X100 BINOCULAR


On the evening of 19th July just after sunset the sky became crystal clear! Although the whole day remained cloudy and was light rain. I had just got my new 25x100 giant binocular on 17th and I had not checked it yet. I was very buoyant to see celestial objects through it and I did not expect to see stars until mid August. But on 19th evening the sky was very clear down to horizon. The Scorpius was mind blowing in south! The summer triangle was coming up at 10:00pm. I quickly uncovered my binocular and went on terrace. Still I haven’t purchased its mount and I was using it without any brawny support. The binocular weights 5 kilograms and it is very difficult to hold it for a long time. So I decided to observe the sky and few known deep sky objects in sleeping position.

The first light was Vega high in the sky. Through my binocular the star appeared very bright but was out of focus. The binocular has individual support system. It has not central focus system like small size binoculars. It was tough to focus any thing when you are holding a bulky thing without mount. Eventually somehow I managed to focus Vega. The view of this bright star was outstanding! I can say it was better than the view of my old 5-inch reflector. Then I slightly moved to M57. I could see a bright, round fuzzy patch. Then I observed many objects described below:

M3: Very bright and big with outer halo resolved.

MIZAR AND ALCOR: Mizar A and B was slightly resolved.

M11: with many pinpoints resolved.

M4: big and bright, more like M11.

M7: Stunning! I have never viewed like this before!

M6: I counted about 20 stars.

NGC 6231: Very nice, I could count 6-7 stars.

M22: Very bright and big with outer halo resolved.

M13: Was near transit and I could see faint stars of outer halo.

GAMMA CYGNI REGION: This part of the sky was embedded with many celestial sparkles! I saw M29 and NGC 6910.

NU DRACONIS: This star in the constellation of Draco is a wide pair and appeared nicely separated.

ALBERIO: Excellent with color difference.

Jupiter was just rising. I saw two cloud belts and four satellites.


Rahul Zota

July 19, 2009

MY LIST OF COMET MASQUERADERS


1. M42
2. M13
3. NGC 6231
4. NGC 6910
5. STEPH.1
6. NGC 2169
7. NGC 2392
8. NGC 6633
9. IC 4665
10. NGC 6885
11. BASEL 1
12. NGC 2301
13. NGC 2477
14. NGC 6293
15. M17
16. NGC 6624
17. M68
18. M92
19. M4
20. M19
21. M57
22. M80
23. NGC 4755
24. NGC 5128
25. NGC 5986
26. NGC 6356
27. M9
28. NGC 6281
29. NGC 6242
30. M31
31. M32
32. M110
33. NGC 457
34. NGC 663
35. NGC 1851
36. NGC 5286
37. M62
38. M10
39. M11
40. M69
41. NGC 6441
42. NGC 6541
43. NGC 6871
44. NGC 6284
45. M7
46. M6
47. Cr. 399
48. M16
49. M22
50. M18
51. M24
52. M25
53. M23
54. Stock 23
55. M15
56. NGC 6723
57. M54
58. M34
59. M2
60. M45
61. M36
62. M37
63. M33
64. M3
65. M44
66. NGC 2571
67. M87
68. NGC 4214
69. M52
70. M101
71. M104
72. NGC 6823
73. NGC 1746
74. NGC 1647
75. NGC 1582
76. NGC 2299
77. NGC 2482
78. NGC 2467
79. NGC 2520
80. NGC 2841

July 18, 2009

My New 25x100 Giant Binocular!




I have just received the new 25x100 Giant astronomy binoculars. I have always been a binocular fan ever since I became interested in astronomy. Although my first instrument was 20x50 Super Zenith binocular.

The 25x100 is very bulky and looks very attractive with giant 4-inch multi coated glasses! I hope it will help me to find the new comet. I will purchase its stand by August end. The views of M42-The Great Orion Nebula, M45 and M44 will be undoubtedly outstanding! This new binos will get name MIZAR. My 8-inch reflector has been named VEGA.

- Rahul Zota