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Monday, December 31

Comet Tuttle - 29th Dec. 2007

Tuttle is getting steadily brighter but remains just sub-visual magnitude (to my eyes anyway) at the moment.

There is no apparent tail discernable even on long exposure photos.

It's moving at a real pace, as evidenced in this shot, which combines 6x 2 minute exposures. The motion of the comet against the stars is clear if you look at the nucleus closely.

Saturday, December 22

Mars thunders past M35

Mars is a spectacular sight at the moment as shown in this shot close to M35 in Gemini.

Not quite so spectacular is my first webcam image of Mars...hmmm well here's to practice!

Comet 8P/Tuttle

The next comet to look out for is Comet 8P/Tuttle, currently placed just north of Cassiopeia but heading south at a good rate of knots.

It's not particularly bright at the moment, I would estimate about Mag +7. It's not that easy to spot even with binoculars initially but hopefully this will improve over the next couple of weeks.

This shot was taken in the early morning hours of 21st December with Cassiopeia low on the horizon. It was a desperate shot in the knowledge that the clear nights were soon to disappear.

Tuesday, December 18

Merry Christmas and Happy 2008

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all CAS Members and others who read CAS News on occasion.

It can't have escaped your attention that posts to CAS News have been a bit thin on the ground lately. That really reflects the fact that I've been busy with other things over the last few months. I also haven't managed to organise a Christmas 'Do' for a variety of reasons. Apologies if that was the highlight of your social calendar for the festive season.

Anyway, lets looks forward to 2008. I can't promise that I'll have any more time available any time soon, but I can try and plan it better. So my thoughts are that I'll try and do at least one post a week which summarises that best of space news, society news and observing information. I'll make best use of resources out there by linking articles by the many space bloggers who have far more time, enthusiasm and talent that I have, to ensure you are kept up to date.

I will of course welcome any contributions from other members and anyone who is particularly keen is welcome to contribute to the blog directly, just email me at chris@cockermouthastronomy.co.uk

We next meet on Tuesday 25th January when amongst other things we'll discuss our society plans for 2008. In the meantime enjoy the festive season and the current spell of clear (but COLD!!) nights.

Best Wishes,


Tuesday, December 11

Comet Holmes

A beautiful (freezing) night last night (10th December) and comet 17P Holmes is still putting on a fantastic display for us.

Compare the size of this with the image a few posts ago (8th November)! It's now full frame on the Canon (approximately 2 degrees across I think).

750mm f.5 with Canon 300D. 11 x 2 min exposures @ ISO1600.