Dec 25, 2013

Moon Before Yule rising

Moonrise on Dec 17, 2013, 1 day past full moon and 4 days before winter solstice.
Yule on Wikipedia See full moon names here



 17:26 Jogger with LED



Oct 20, 2013

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse 2013 Oct 18/19

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of the Hunters Moon

A beautiful sight especially in binoculars. After the maximum some intermittend clouds made a nice background. At 02:38 (48 min past maximum) the darkening at lower right was still obvious through 7x42 binos.

Oct 18, 23h 52m UT, 2 min past maximum, b/w, contrast enhanced at right

Oct 19, 00h 06m UT, 16 min past maximum, with cloud
Panasonic DMC G3, f=42mm, ISO200, f/5.6,  exposures 1/400 and 1/10s combined

Jun 28, 2013

IRS Kolloquium Allan Meyer

IRS-Kolloquium am 27.06.2013 mit KAO-Veteran, SOFIA-Pionier Allan Meyer anlässlich der Verleihung der Ehrendoktorwürde der Universität Stuttgart.

An insider's expert presentation on the key factors for successful observations with SOFIA.
Of utmost importance is to have a minimal amount of the already small amount of water at SOFIA's flight level in the stratosphere.
See also Measuring the water vapor above the SOFIA Observatory
The SOFIA Water-Vapor Monitor

Album 9 pics 



Jun 21, 2013

ISS and Moon

The ISS passing below the Moon half an hour after sunset
Animated gif from 5 Photos

Animated gif from 5 exposures 2 sec each at 22:05 MESZ

May 31, 2013

Solar Eclipse 2003 May 31

Partial Solar Eclipse 2003 May 31 at sunrise with Fernsehturm Stuttgart in foreground at a distance of 8 km. Actually annular farther north, see map by Xavier Jubier

The sky was clear except for a distant cloud bank just in the direction of sunrise. Unexpectedly, the rising of the partially eclipsed sun was visible as the cloud did not extend completely to the horizon. About ten minutes later it disappeared behind the cloud for about half an hour.

Photos taken on Fujichrome color slide film through 500mm telephoto lens.
Gallery or Slideshow  

Stacked photos


May 28, 2013


Triple Planetary Alignment of Mercury, Venus, Jupiter on May 27, 2013

more on  Twitter   and  Spaceweather

22:10 MESZ crop 1280px
22:10 MESZ crop 2000px
22:10 MESZ full scene f=42mm, 0.2 sec, f/5.6, Lumix DMC G3

Apr 27, 2013

Partial Lunar Eclipse 2013 Apr 25

Partial Lunar Eclipse from Stuttgart

A real visual treat, to the unaided eye and with 12.5*100 scope, maximum contrast with 8mm exit pupil.  More in this gallery
Video from Stuttgart Observatory 

21:11 MESZ Stack of 2 exposures LUMIX DMC G3 1s, 1/30s f/5.6, f=42mm, ISO 800, blossoming pear tree in foreground

Animated GIF 21:11 MESZ

21:29 MESZ
Partial phase 22:16 MESZ Exp 1/100s and 1/200s ISO200 500mm Soligor lens f/5
Animated GIF 22:29 MESZ

Mar 20, 2013

Panstarrs again

Comet C/2011 L4 - Photo op between rainshowers

19:43 MEZ Lumix G3 42mm f/5.6 8s ISO800 w/ plane trail


19:44 MEZ Lumix G3 42mm f/5.6 8s ISO800 crop

19:41 MEZ Lumix G3 42mm f/5.6 8s ISO800 crop

Mar 17, 2013

Panstarrs vom Fernsehturm

Comet C/2011 L4 Panstarrs observed from  Fernsehturm Stuttgart on 2013 Mar 15.

Photos taken with Lumix G3. First success at 19:18 MEZ, on a picture at 19:14 it is not visible.
Two more photographers and about ten comet watchers had gathered here. The easiest way to find it was using live-view at high zoom factor as done by the Canon 600 photographer. About 3 minutes later I saw it in my 7x42 binoculars.  It was a pretty sight, especially as the sky got darker.

Here is a series of 26 images between 19:25 and 19:55 MEZ. View as slideshow
Additional photos

19:35 MEZ f=42mm f/5.6 3.2s ISO800



Fernsehturm Stuttgart

Mar 14, 2013

Comet C/2011 L4 Panstarrs

Finally clear skies in Stuttgart
19h 30m MEZ Lumix G3 1600ISO 1.3 sec

Animated GIF 7 sec apart

Jan 27, 2013

Saros 120 Eclipses 1925 1979

Fig.00 TSE 1925 Jan24 in NYC, eclipse paths by Jubier and Herald

There has been a lively discussion on the Yahoo Solar Eclipse mailing list SEML about the Total Solar Eclipse of Jan. 24, 1925 and the southern limit of the totality zone - observations versus computations using modern software and Google Earth/Maps.

The eclipse happened in New York City in the morning with the sun at 17 deg. elevation.
The southern edge of the totality zone was reported from a dense line of observations to be at 96th St. at the intersection with Riverside Dr. (SEML Msg #16462 #16471) and Edison-Report (PDF)

Fig. 01 pg. 10 from Edison-Report

tomhaeberle #16462 jan.24
As many of you know the 1925 eclipse was well-documented. Astronomers wanted to
use the Manhattan Gridline to help Map the southern limit of the eclipse. It was
determined with the help of a 149 workers of the NY Edison company that the line
crossed between 95th and 97 street centering on 96 street (from the actual NY
Times article).

mzeiler #16471 jan.25
The famous measurement of the observed limit line is described
here and states that the
limit line was observed to be about the intersection of Riverside Drive and 96th
street. This is about a 1 km perpendicular offset from the modern computed
southern limit line.

The discussion  dealt with the plotted path of the southern edge in Google Maps/Google Earth
using data from the 5-millenium atlas by Jubier resp. Espenak. It is displayed 800m south of 96 St.
The line given by Dave Herald's Occult 4.1.0 is even 300m further south (Ephemeris DE414/LE414 with DE423/LE423).
Actually Espenak states: The accuracy of the northern and southern edges of the eclipse path are limited to approximately 1-2 kilometers due to the lunar limb profile.

Circumventing potential projection problems, we can calculate local circumstances. Xavier Jubier's tool V1.0.6 for the intersection 96th St/Riverside Dr. yields 15 sec totality after limb corrections.

Three Saros cycles later an almost identical repetition occurred in Oregon. The southern shadow edge was again determined observationally (OSU Solar eclipse expedition , gallery).
Incidentally at my site north of Madras OR totally lasted about 19 sec, almost identical to the prediction for NYC 96th St.
However for the 1979 event theory and observation match very closely. (Blog)

Further checks were made using Beads Analysis in Herald's Occult 4.1.0.
For the NYC site at 96th St., Occult predicts totality of 14 sec between 14:10:43 and 14:10:57 UTC
in close agreemant with Xubier's local circumstances.

So it appears that, aside from the problem connected with projections of the totality zone edges
in 1925 there seems to be a real discrepancy between the reported southern limit from observations and the local circumstances computed for that location using modern eclipse software.

The profile is very sensitive to the solar radius parameter. A value of 0.5" of the white-light emission zone between photosphere and chromosphere has been reported by Sigismondi et. al.
See Jay Pasachof, SEML #16492
Many subscribers to SEML will be interested in "Towards a Unified Definition of
Solar Limb during Central Eclipses and Daily Transits" by Costantino Sigismondi,
Andrea Raponi, Cyril Bazin, and Richard Nugent,
and some other papers by Sigismondi at, searching on his name.

Update 2013 Feb 03
Simulation with Occult 
Correction to solar radius = 0.4" to 0.5"  (Fig. 09 to Fig.11)
Altitude = 50m (estimated rooftop height,  Fig. 12)

This reproduces the observed edge of the totality zone at 96th St./Riverside Dr. in NYC
and essentially confirms John Irwin's findings in SEML #16512 Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm
"If we increase the solar radius by 0.05% to allow for this transition
region, and also include a ~50m elevation for the observers, then for the
location at the junction of Riverside Drive and W96th St. (73.97537W,
40.79635N) the true limb-corrected duration reduces from 14.9s to near zero!

In this particular situation, I find the observation point actually lies
outside the umbral outline but the closest-approach distance is only about
10m. I suppose one could vary the solar radius and/or elevation to pin-point
an exact grazing event, but I think we'd then be playing in the noise.
Greatest eclipse (if we can call it that) occurs at about 14:10:50 UT, with
a delta-T of 23.8s (which is close to the actual value of 23.6s).

Therefore with these considerations we can predict a near zero-duration
total eclipse consistent with the observations. I'm not sure the use of a
blackened film can be used to explain the discrepancy as I think that would
increase the duration, not decrease it as required to fit the observations.


The solar radius was 16', thus 0.05% corresponds to 0.48"
Solar distance r=0.984480 a.u.






06 comparison Jubier/Maestro w/ Occult/Herald UTC 14:10:41

07 comparison Jubier/Maestro w/ Occult/Herald UTC 14:10:43

08 comparison Jubier/Maestro w/ Occult/Herald UTC 14:10:57

Fig.09 solar radius + 0.40"

Fig.10 solar radius + 0.45"

Fig.11 solar radius + 0.50"

Fig.12 Google Earth