|Barbecue and Perseid Watch 2004|
I'm sure by now you will have thought I was still at Big Collin? Not quite, just recovering from three VERY late nights in a row!
We had a very successful evening on Wednesday 11th August 2004 with clear skies almost, and it wasn't long after dark till we saw our first Perseid, the first of many during the evening. Before that, we had wonderful views of the sun through various telescopes. Memorable were the views with Mark & Nigel's 10" Meade and Andy Johnson's 6" refractor, but the highlight had to be the view through Philip's Coronado. I was amazed to see the sun change before my very eyes, quite a treat, and very impressive! We were crowded out with EAAS members and some casual visitors, and at one stage the car park was full. On view were M13, M27, M57, NGC884 and much more. The skies turned out to be very steady and quite dark with a limiting magnitude of about 5.5. The MilkyWay was quite apparent and Andromeda was visible naked eye. Only one person managed to capture a Perseid on camera and that was one of the first of the evening.Congratulations go to Paul Evans who captured this cracking image of a colourful Perseid in Casseopeia.
The Perseid picture was taken with a Minolta SRT101 mechanical SLR with 50mm f1.4 lens wide open for approx 30 secs. Time was about 2230 on August 11th. Film was Fuji 400 print, negative was scanned with Epson 3170 scanner and post-processed with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
A big BIG thank you to everyone who turned out, and especially so to Mark who brought the food and barbeque, and to Nigel for doing the cooking for 2 hours +, thanks guys!
As the sky got darker, the clouds started to roll in but dispersed around 11pm for some fantastic and transparent skies. Images below were taken by Mark Stronge with a Digital SLR piggybacked on an LX200. Click here for more details on each image.
On the Thursday evening Mark and I decided to try Slieve Croob but were clouded out, or should that be fogged out? so nothing was observed. On the Friday night we tried again and were more successful. After a hopeless start we found a wee road (somewhere in Co.Down!) and set up the equipment under a beautiful sky. We could see the Milky Way, no problem. About 15 - 20 meteors were observed, mostly Perseids with one or two sporadics. We had a great night until again the fog came down at about 2am, time for home!! Mark captured this image below of the Milky Way so although we didn't get any Perseids on film, we came away with a fine memory of the sky.
John McConnell FRAS