January 30th 1130 GMT
At last, a decent bit of clear sky. However, the solar disc was rather bland, showing a single sunspot in “white light” and hydrogen alpha. I took full disc shots of the Sun in both, only.
January 28th 1010 GMTI bin scanned the Sun and saw two main areas of sunspot activity.
January 28th 0850 GMT
January 27th 2210 GMT
I processed another set of frames to get Jupiter with moons.
I combined the images to obtain a composite.
January 22nd 2215 GMTStrange how weather can change in just a few minutes. I checked the sky and a few stars were visible in the moonlight. When I returned with my Mak and DSLR, I was welcomed by thick moving cloud. I took a few frames of the full lunar disc but processed the best only.
January 20th 1330 GMTThe Sun appeared bland in my PST but my camera picked up some small prominences and a hint of surface granulation.
January 19th 1210 GMT
January 15th 2130 GMT
Not all went according to plan! It started off well enough with some Moon shots at 300mm ISO 400 and 1/500 second exposure. It was when I started trying to snap the Pleaides. There was lots of “play” in the tripod. By the time I had fixed it, cloud had moved in. OK, I tried the Orion Great Nebula, M41 and the Tau Canis Majoris cluster, not that I expected much!
January 15th 1110 GMT
The second shot shows more surface detail but the prominences were not so clear.
The close-ups did not show any great surprises.
January 15th 0900 GMT
I did a quick solar bin scan before getting down to the main nitty gritty of work. As the day before, I could just see one of the two sunspots present.
January 14th 2040 GMTI took a shot of northern Auriga to try and capture some Messier objects. I failed but caught a faint star cluster NGC 1857. I took 21 frames at 70mm ISO 6400 and 8 seconds exposure. I also took 9 dark frames. 19 stacked in DSS and I finished in GIMP.
January 14th 1250 GMT
January 13th 0850 GMT
I took some white light shots pf the Sun with my DSLR and needed ISO 200 to record an image at 1/4000 second exposure and 300mm focal length. I did not record any sunspots but saw some granulation on the photos.
Unfortunately, further examination suggested that the photos were out of focus and the "granulation" was a result of that! There were no further solar viewing opportunities that day.
January 12th 1330 GMT
I caught a patch of clear sky between clouds but the Sun was already getting quite low in the sky. I saw just one of the sunspots I had seen the day before. Neither the Big Bear nor Learmonth images were clear, so I had nothing to compare.
January 11th 1040 GMT
January 10th 0120 GMT
As I suspected, Jupiter was well over-exposed. I normally use a longer focal length for this type of shot but I was mainly using the shot to achieve focus. There is a bit of star trailing but there appears to be two moons close together right next to the planet.
I only caught two frames of M41 but it was enough to get my best ever shot.
The Beehive (M44) is one of my all-time favourites and it was finally good to get a new photo with my recent equipment.
Finally, I managed to stack 7 frames of 11 for M34.
January 9thI reprocessed a photo of Jupiter with its moons from November 18th 2012.
January 8th 1015 GMT
I did a solar bin scan. The Learmonth images showed 2 new sunspots and the older one had rotated and dimmed. The Big Bear images were not available. I was unable to see any sunspots in my binoculars, probably due to low elevation.
January 7th 2020 GMT
The M42 shot did not stack well in Deep Sky Stacker, so I used Microsoft ICE instead.
I had a similar issue with M35 but the great thing was that it was my first ever image of M35.
I felt that use if the remote shutter control made a great difference and using lots of dark frames made the stack of the Hyades better.
January 7th 1200 GMT
I viewed the Sun with my PST. The solar disc appeared somewhat bland. I took a few shots more in hope than expectancy.
January 7th 1120 GMTI bin scanned the Sun through a patch of clear sky but was unable to see the sunspot on the Learmonth images, which seemed to be fading anyway.
January 5thI was hoping for some clear sky in the evening but it just didn't happen. I reprocessed shots of Jupiter and its moons from November 14th 2012 which I reprocessed into a single image.
January 5th 1220 GMTIt finally cleared enough for me to attempt a bin scan of the Sun. A closer look showed some thin cloud crossing the solar disc and I was unable to see the small sunspot that I'd seen in the Big Bear images. This somewhat surprised me, as I would have expected to see it under the conditions.
January 5th 0630 GMTI woke up early and not by intent! Once it was obvious I wasn't going back to sleep in a hurry, I peered through the curtains to see Caster and Pollux low in the west. As if I needed another hint. It was 6.30 by the time I got outside. The Moon and Venus were low but enshrouded by cloud. I could see some lunar features and the phase of Venus seemed quite near 100%.
The main target was Comet Catalina (2013 US10). It had moved somewhat northwards and was larger and much easier to see than four days ago. The only disappointment was that I couldn't see a tail. I would have said its angular size was about 20 arcminutes and it looked more like a nebula or globular star cluster. Good thing I know the Messier Catalogue.
I also saw Melotte 111, one of my photographic targets for the spring. I tried to find the Beehive (M44) but cloud was already encroaching from both the north and south. OK, no photo opportunities but at least I got to see the comet.
January 3rd 2115 GMTThere seemed to be some clear sky to the south but a closer look revealed a lot of haze, as the stars appeared fainter than normal. I decided to try a binocular scan. My first target was the Orion Great Nebula (M42). I could make out a rough shape but it was not at its best. The Hyades was not too bad, with most cluster stars visible. The Pleiades (M45) only showed about 20 stars. I could not make out M41 in Canis Minor, nor M35 in Gemini nor any of the Auriga clusters. I could make out most of Melotte 20 and the Double Cluster but only a hint of M34.
It was clearly not a night to try any photography.