21st November 2008

Libration of the Moon (from the Latin verb librare "to balance, to sway")

The Moon keeps the same face towards the Earth, but wobbles about somewhat so we can actually see 59% of the surface from the Earth.

Laurent Laveder took a full moon picture every month for two years. He compiled this animation
Being unable to resist fiddling I took his animation to pieces and recompiled an animation with all moon images the same size.

24th November 2008

M1 Crab Nebula 27x30seconds 6" reflector

Only 1 star near the Crab Nebula showing any proper motion.

25th November 2008

Uranus - indicated by arrow

Uranus is presently in the constellation of Aquarius

Enlarged picture showing possible moon of Uranus (Ariel?)
   This javascript program shows where the moons were at 8pm. Ariel is in the correct position, but Titania, Umbriel, Oberon and Miranda are strangely absent.  
Comparing my photo with the Digital Sky Survey image shows that Uranus and the suspect moon are the only two objects that are not stars.

Titania and Oberon are the largest moons so should be easier to spot than Ariel.

More investigation is needed!

Update: I think the view through my scope is the other way round, so the positions of the moons should be more like this:
  Titania is the largest moon so should be the easiest to spot. The scale of the image is probably more like the version to the right, which means that the other moons are unlikely to be seen.

I was too late to catch Neptune before it disappeared behind a tree...