Astronomy Astronomy Astronomy
Starlink launch
[23-May-2019] Watched the SpaceX Starlink launch from the yard. Fist Falcon 9 I've seen form there. Interestingly it was clear enough to see the exhaust trail not just a single bright light. Hopefully I have a timed exposure photo coming.

Added some photos
[10-Apr-2019] Finally got back the photos. The camera place did a horrible job. First no one actually develops film anymore they send it off to Texas. Then they came back and they tried to tell me they were all blank. They clearly arent if you have a human look at them. Told them to put them on CD anyway, and 2 weeks later still hadnt heard from them. Went to go get them. Yes they scanned them and seemingly with some automated process that lightened everything because they didnt even bother to have a human look at them. So roughly a month later and way to expensive got back some horrible digital images I have to reprocess.

The SpaceX DM1 launch from March 1.

I there are also some from the total lunar eclipse from Sept 27 2015. Having someone rescan them with black backgrounds.

SpaceX DM1
[03-Mar-2019] Since I was only an hour away went to the Cape to see the 2:49am launch of the Dragon Capsule. There was some lighting in the east as I drove over but it wasn't close enough to effect the launch. Went to the rocket viewing area on 401 just outside the base. Could have done without the flood light but other than that was a pretty good spot.

Rocket went up without problems. Also saw the firing for the first stage to return to the drone ship. More photos to come.

Total Eclipse of moon
[21-Jan-2019] Watched eclipse to the beginning of totality last night. Got CeCe out use the telescope and she was able to find it without problems. it was cold so didnt hand around for the end.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen
[18-Dec-2018] Found it last night from Harrys under a bad quarter moon. I dont think its naked eye except under the best conditions just a faint smudge in the 6in scope.

Atlas V launch
[17-Oct-2018] Was able to see the Atlas V launch from the house. It cleared the trees, then vanished for a few seconds behind clouds then reappeared and moved into Orion before curving lower and vanishing behind the trees again.

I saw Parker Solar Probe from my house!
[12-Aug-2018] Got up at 3:20 for the Perseids but also was lucky since they postponed last night Parker Solar probe launch. Was able to see the Delta IV rocket clear the trees between the church and cell tower when standing next to the sycamore. Got the crappiest photo of a rocket ever. Thats it up and to the left of the row of lights on the church building. Its only visible for a minute or two. Photo is at 3:34 3 minutes after launch.

Also saw 8 Perseids in the 40 mins outside.

[12-Dec-2017] Very good night. Able to see double cluster, Andromeda and M38 w naked eye. Also found M103 and M33 easily with binoculars. 7 Geminids (on while looking for M103 in binoculars) and 1 sporadic in about 45 min.

[17-Nov-2017] Spent an hour outside, 11 meteors. One of the brightest was clearly a Geminid not a Leonid however. It started off well 4 in the first couple minutes but then slowed down. Fog was starting to roll in at the end. This muted the church lights across the pasture which have gotten worse, they put up a new building with more 24 hour lights.

2017 Eclipse
[21-Aug-2017] I have now seen the effects of a total eclipse. I havent seen an eclipse however. Went to Highlands, NC to be under the path of totality a 7 hour drive. Eclipse started at 1:07. Clouds moved in at 12:30 covering everything. Totality was at 2:35, it cleared up about 5 minutes before that just enough to get a photo.

Then clouded back over for totality. Could still tell when it started and ended. Totality is not more of the same of a partial eclipse. Started packing up when totality ended. Got everything packed, and it cleared up enough to see the rest off and on.

Then the nightmare started. Left Highlands apr 3:30. Left Mountain City at 7pm. It had taken 40 minutes to go from Mountain City to Highlands on the way up. Sat in traffic for over 3 hours to move 8 miles because the Rabun county sherrifs dept were not smart enough to open more lanes southbound, despite 2 empty northbound lanes being available until after I passed the bottleneck at 7pm. Passed over I-85 at Commerce, 70 miles from Atlanta at 8:30. It was stopped as far as I could see in both directions. Ended up stopping at Cordelle and spending the night at 12:30am.

[12-Aug-2017] Weather was horrible as usual. Moon rose clear and bright at midnight despite clouds. There was a clear spell around 2:30 am and I saw seven but it clouded over completely soon after that. It must have cleared up later because its all blue sky this morning.

[12-Aug-2016] 4am-5am. 19 meteors with one short fireball, lots of distractions like bug spray and trying to get the AMS app to work. Was mostly clouded over at 4am and almost abandoned the attempt but there was a window open over Perseus and to the east. It cleared up pretty well by 4:15 but right at 5am clouded over completly leaving about 45 min of decent viewing with some clouds.

Transit of Mercury
[09-May-2016] Had to wait until 7:25 to see it. Trees and clouds on the horizon obscured the start at 7:13.

Clouded out Eclipse
[04-Apr-2015] Got up at 5am for the eclipse just as it entered the Penumbra (which you dont notice). Clouded over completely by 6am so I couldnt even see the moon. Didnt see anything, went back to bed. The total phase was only going to last about 5 minutes anyway but it could have at least waited to cloud over till I could see something.

Comet Lovejoy, Venus and Mercury
[12-Jan-2015] When covering the plants for the cold last week noticed Venus, and Mercury low in the west. Got Gibson to see them both. Later tracked down Lovejoy C/2014 Q2. On the 7th it was an easy binocular object, by the 8th then the sky cleared up it was naked eye at my house. Brought Gibson out to see that also. Clouded over again late on the 8th so havent been able to look since.

No eclipse
[08-Oct-2014] Didnt make a lot of effort to see the eclipse, pre-dawn is bad. That was ok since it was fogged out completely anyway.

[24-May-2014] Spent 3 hours outside (2-5am). Kind of hazy early so lots of sky glow but cleared up later. Saw a whopping 5 meteors. Not impressive.

Solar Eclipse
[04-Nov-2013] Went to Alligator Point for the dawn solar eclipse Sunday morning. It was very low since it was already happening at sunrise and only lasted 10 min.

[12-Aug-2013] Since the weather has been messed up this year decided to try them. Watched the weather all weekend. Sat morning clear but way to tired. Sunday cloudy. This morning clear. Saw 19 in about half and hour, and 3 satellites before sun rising got too bright. Should have gotten up earlier. This is the best Perseids I remember seeing since the weather and moon usually ruin them for us.

[20-Oct-2012] Went out twice 12-1 and 4:15-4:45. Saw 5 quick fast ones during the 1st session, and 2 during the second. Also during the second saw 6 that were just flashes of light, no trail which means they were head on. I cant recall ever seeing ones like that. The first couple i wasnt sure of but saw a bright one that was clearly just an instantaneous flash. Might get up again this morning before dawn.