By Michael Amato
During the morning of April 4, my brother Anthony and I located our white light solar filter that we completely forgot about. After we affixed it to our 5″ MAK, we observed the Sun’s face and it was impressive. There was a huge sunspot # AR2978 on the Sun’s face and the facula around the Sun showed up nicely. We also observed some white splotches just emerging on the Sun’s face. The white areas may be the beginning of new sunspots rotating on the Sun’s face. We also viewed dark shading around the edge of the Sun, which is the photosphere. Next month we will remember to take the Televue eyepiece so we can see granulation on the Sun’s surface. Also, early this morning before dawn, I was able to enjoy the conjunction of orange-colored Mars with the yellow-shaded Saturn. They were just three tenths of a degree apart.
Before dawn on April 30, Anthony photographed the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. I viewed the conjunction from my condo with my 5.1″ short tube rich-field Newtonian at both 25X and 50X. It looked like two headlights in my scope. We had a great morning!
On Sunday evening, May 15, the clouds miraculously cleared allowing Anthony to take this image of the total lunar eclipse. Through my binoculars, I was able to give a Danjon Scale rating of L=2, meaning it had a deep coppery color. The image was redder looking than looking at it with the naked eye or binoculars. The fact that this was a super Moon added to the enjoyment.
On the morning of May 29, Anthony and I were able to observe the Jupiter Mars conjunction. Anthony’s image shows Jupiter as being the brighter planet. We both noticed Mars was quite yellow looking and I think this means there is dust activity on Mars.