One year ago…

Last year, I was given the idea by my parents to start writing a blog about my experiences with astronomy. I took that idea and created “Joly Astronomy.” Throughout this year I kept writing about my experiences, all the good and the bad. Four days ago was my blog’s first anniversary, and this year has given me many opportunities to observe and explore the night sky, image celestial objects, and stand in awe of the universe. I saw and imaged:

  • The Lunar Eclipse.
  • M42.
  • A meteor shower.
  • ISS flying in the sky.
  • The Sun and its sunspots.
  • Conjunctions.
  • The beauty of Long Sault Conservation Park’s and Glen Major’s dark skies.
  • Star trails in dark skies.
  • and many more objects in the night sky.

Thank You to everyone who comes and reads my blog. You are all awesome. Keep coming back, and keep looking up. You never know what you might find up there.


Clear Night of Winter

There are rarely any clear nights during the Canadian winter. That’s why this night of clarity was not to be missed. On December 7, 2014, after bundling myself in two layers of jackets, and a scarf, I went outside, with my telescope, to image Orion.

After assembling, and aligning my telescope to the Full Moon, I was ready to explore the night sky.

The whole time I was there, I experienced problem after problem, and I was able to conquer them all though. For example, I found Orion, but it was a very dim gas cloud from my eyepiece. I needed to image it, but my father’s camera had no liveview. I had to use the internal viewfinder, which couldn’t see Orion, which means I couldn’t focus properly. I could see Jupiter, though.

I slewed to Jupiter and focused the camera. After a few images, I slewed to M42 and started imaging it. Each image turned out bad, because of significant trailing from the telescope. Tracking is still a major issue. I soon decided to image the Moon out of frustration.

I tried imaging M45, but trailing was too great to get a good image. Looking closely at the eyepiece, I realize that there was a one second delay from my command to its response. I tested it by going to M42, and imaging it. The results are here, and they confirm what I feared.

I soon packed up and went back inside, because my battery died. This session was quite productive. I saw M42, and Jupiter, and found a problem to correct on my telescope.

Astronomical Events for December 2014

Hello everybody,

Here are the astronomical events occurring in the month of December: (All times are given in UTC format)

       Astronomical Events

  • December 9: A double shadow transit of Jupiter’s moons will occur. It will take place from 4:18 to 4:27. It’ll be best seen in Eastern North America. Don’t miss it!
  • December 12: Another double shadow transit of Jupiter’s moons will occur from 16:19 to 16:44. It favours North-Western North America.
  • December 13: Geminid Meteor Shower will peak at approximately 1:00. Unfortunately, a waning gibbous moon will obstruct our view.
  • December 18: Asteroid 702 Alauda will occult a star that shines at +6.2 magnitude. It will be best seen at eastern Australia at 14:12.
  • December 21: The Winter Solstice occurs at 23:03. The Northern hemisphere will experience the shortest day of the year, and the Southern hemisphere will experience the longest day of the year.
  • December 21: The International Space Station will experience a period of full illumination with many views of the ISS, best seen at the southern hemisphere.
  • December 21: ANOTHER double shadow transit of Jupiter’s moons will occur. It will take place from 14:17 to 15:55. It will be best seen in Asia and Australia.

Thank You.

Keep Looking Up!