Friday, November 9, 2012

Eclipse 2012 - Siding Spring Observatory

Visiting comet-guru McNaught at Siding Spring.
Touring Siding Spring Observatory was great fun. We met Robert McNaught, discoverer of 73 comets and 410 asteroids, and heard about his work. We saw the great telescopes and took in the beautiful landscape views from the mountain.

Observing an outburst on the Sun
We have finally been getting a few minutes of sunshine in the mornings and I have started setting up the H-alpha scope for solar viewing with our tour guests. Yesterday witnessed an outburst from active region 1611 near the limb of the Sun. I hope that this region and others like it will be present during the eclipse next week - the more action the better on eclipse day.

Today we will leave New South Wales and fly north to Cairns. Mentally and physically this signals the next - eclipse - phase of our journey. Up until now I have not pulled out the photographic setup from my baggage stores, but starting tomorrow it will be time for that. I really hope there will MUCH more clear skies up north so that I can get som sky-time for the final preparartions.

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