Showing posts with label Second Avenue Star Watchers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Second Avenue Star Watchers. Show all posts

Friday, February 9, 2024

Today in enormous cluster of sunspots

Felton Davis of the Second Avenue Star Watchers shared this dispatch today...
After a long month of almost non-stop clouds and rain, the crowds came out for this afternoon's stupendous 120,000-mile wide cluster of sunspots. Lucky for us, it was not pointing directly at the U.S. when the coronal mass ejection (CME) erupted. Stay tuned for an almost-total eclipse of the Sun on April 8, and lets hope for another clear day!

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Miles away: the Moon and Saturn in Aquarius from Third Street

Felton Davis of the Second Avenue Star Watchers shared this dispatch from last night...
Aquarius is low in the sky, and the glare from the streetlights on East Third Street made it very difficult to make out Saturn, some 800 million miles distant. Thanks to everyone who stopped by...
... and for a little constellation perspective...

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

A pre-dawn collab with the Moon and the Seven Sisters

Felton Davis of the Second Avenue Star Watchers shared this dispatch early this morning...
Waning crescent Moon and very close by, the Pleiades in the constellation Taurus, high over East Third Street at 4 a.m. on Wednesday. 

All Seven Sisters could clearly be seen, especially if you blocked the glare from the Moon, but only three of them showed up in the photos.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The pre-dawn Moon in Taurus

An early morning dispatch from Felton Davis of the Second Avenue Star Watchers ... the top photo of the waning Moon was taken from Third Street ... with another shot with some of the Moon's features...
Per Felton: "The waning moon is weird in the early morning, all flipped over from its usual early evening waxing position. Out in the country, the famous Pleiades cluster would be visible just a few degrees over from the moon, but at street level here in NYC they are not."

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Seeing sun spots today

A dispatch today from Felton Davis of the Second Avenue Star Watchers:
For about an hour this afternoon, while the bright sun was still in the sky, and before the cloud banks covered it over, there was an unobstructed view of the active sunspot regions that have appeared this month.
... and a safe view of the sun...  
And please note ... "Word of caution for serious fans: do not look directly at the sun, and do not set up a telescope unless it is fitted with a 99% solar filter."

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Sunday's opening shots

Pre-dawn photos from East River Park via Felton Davis from the Second Avenue Star Watchers

There's a planet-moon conjunction taking place ... Venus, Mars and Saturn all appear close together just before sunrise ... with a crescent moon nearby.

Per Felton: "On the other side of the constellation, the 28th-day waning crescent moon will slowly process across the planets, and then slide below them toward Aquarius on Tuesday."

Click on the image below for a better view... and with captions ...   

Friday, November 19, 2021

The longest partial moon eclipse in 580 years as seen from 2nd Avenue

As Space.com reported:
The full Beaver Moon of November 2021 passed through Earth's shadow in a partial lunar eclipse overnight on Nov. 18-19 in what was the longest eclipse of its kind in 580 years.
And this was obviously a big event for Felton Davis of the Second Avenue Star Watchers

He reports that the event here was almost rained out (ed note: stupid rain):
After a long, cold and drizzly night, the clouds over 2nd Avenue finally parted, revealing a slow eclipse of the Moon that was already in progress. Three or four times from 3:15 to 4:30 a.m., the Moon disappeared behind the clouds, and came back out, and each time I had to reset the (icy cold!) telescope ... and take a few photos.
And props to Amy for coming out and helping Felton get the telescope back inside.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Monday's parting shot

Felton Davis of the Second Avenue Star Watchers shared this:
Venus and the Moon were low over the Avenue tonight, and disappeared behind Avalon and the Public Hotel soon after sunset.
The top pic shows the view from Second Avenue and Third Street ... while the shot below is what people saw through the telescope he had set up on the corner (click on the images for a better view!) ...
And on the horizon (so to speak) on Nov. 18 into Nov. 19 ... the Full Moon in the constellation Taurus will undergo a partial — but almost total — eclipse, per Felton.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Today in sunspots

Felton Davis of the Second Avenue Star Watchers shared this today...
Crystal-clear blue sky this afternoon, for an unusually large sunspot left of center, but the attempt to angle my aging telescope almost straight up was very difficult. Joanne stayed the course through about 45 minutes of agonizing adjustments, and then the sun promptly disappeared behind the clouds. The sunspot was approximately 8,000 miles in diameter, or a hundredth of the diameter of the sun.
... and a view of the sunspot...
... and the size of the sunspot next to Earth for a little comparison...
According to NASA: "The sun ... is roughly 109 times the diameter of the Earth — about one million Earths could fit inside the sun." 

And a word of warning from Felton if you want to start sunspot spotting: "Do not stare at the sun for any length of time, and do not point a telescope at it unless you have a very thick filter covering the tube."

Monday, November 11, 2019

Today's transit of Mercury from 2nd Avenue



Exciting day for fans of the planet Mercury, which passed directly between Earth and the Sun in an event that won’t happen again until 2032.

As this photo by Derek Berg shows, Felton Davis of the Second Avenue Star Watchers was set up near the F stop... from here, you could spot the small silhouette of Mercury moving across the Sun. (A very thick black filter blocked out 99 percent of the Sun's light, and made it safe to view.)

Here's a photo that I took with my iPhone via NASA today ...


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Some big nights ahead for the Second Avenue Star Watchers



Via East Village astronomy buff Felton Davis...

Amazing lineup of planets setting in the southwest this week: the sun in Ophiuchus setting at 4:30 pm, Saturn in Ophiuchus setting at 4:55 pm, Mercury in Sagittarius setting at 5:34 pm, Pluto in Sagittarius setting at 6:56 pm, Venus in Sagittarius setting at 7:30 pm, Mars in Capricorn setting at 9:30 pm, and Neptune in Capricorn setting at 11:19 pm. What a spectacle for people viewing over the Hudson from High Line Park or from Battery Park.

What does that leave for Second Avenue Star Watchers? It leaves a nice four-day old waxing crescent Moon about seven degrees north of Venus in the constellation Capricorn, and if it doesn't cloud over, later in the evening the famous Pleiades star cluster rising high in the heavens between Aries and Taurus.

If it stays clear I'll set up outside The Bean (East Third Street & Second Avenue) at 5:30 pm to show the Moon going down, but don't get your hopes up for the Pleiades, because that one is difficult to spot from the street.

Updated: Unfortunately, the cloud coverage made all this impossible this evening... Felton says he will try again tomorrow night...