May Meteor Storm

There is a possible large meteor storm occurring this evening! It should produce a large amount of meteors if predictions are accurate. This is not a “shower”, but known as a storm. The difference is that the shower produces a show over a period of a few weeks while this storm is only to last a few hours. That being said, you’ll still be able to see meteors here and there, but the large concentration is tonight.

The storm should start around 11:30 PM tonight and end around 2:30 AM Saturday morning (PST). There are several time zones posted here, so it shouldn’t be a problem for you to find. The radiant of the storm is near the North Star. this only means that the trails produced by the meteors will be pointing to this vicinity, so you are equally likely to see the meteors from any point in the sky. Hopefully the weather will hold out for a nice view, as this could be a potentially large output of meteors up to 1000. My opinion is this is a bit over optimistic, but you never know until you look!

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Some More Sketches

I’ve made quite a few sketches the last month or so.  The recent Mars Opposition made for some great views of the red planet, and  I made my first Mars sketch since 2012! I sketched it with the RV-6 on 5/3/14 at 277x. The seeing was excellent.Mars

My next sketch is one of the bright globular cluster M3, or NGC 5272.  I sketched it with the Orion Observer 70 and the 16 Nagler.  It was nice to have such a wide apparent and true field and some decent magnification. As usual, clicking the photo will show the full resolution view.

NGC 5272

Quick question for you, do you prefer seeing the close up “Presentation” view like the Mars sketch, or is the full scanned page better?  Moving right along, another sketch I did was spiral galaxy NGC 4753.  I highly recommend this galaxy.  It was pretty nice and bright, and punched through the light pollution pretty well.  Definitely worth a look.  Sketched with the 12.5″.

NGC 4753

Here is my most recent sketch, one of Saturn I did just the other day. It is my best view of Saturn to date. I got this Saturn template from Jeremy Perez’s website, you can download it here.  Using the 7mm Galoc ortho and a 2x Shorty barlow I had the power racked out to 544x! The seeing was really steady and if I could put more power on it, it would have been able to handle it.  On this sketch, most notable is Encke’s Division, the furthermost gap in the rings.  The largest gap is called Cassini’s division.

Saturn