Observations of the Sun, the Moon, and Planets 2018

Conditions | Observation Overview | Remarks | References

It was not until 2018 that I began to observe the moon a little more in detail and to document my "more important" observations. On this page, I collect, somewhat unsystematically, my observations of the moon, the sun, and the planets from 2018, which might be of interest to other beginners and are therefore described here.

Note: Older observations are listed on the "Astronomy" overview page. The same applies to deep sky observations.

 

Observation Overview

Date Objects Observed Location Devices Used Eyepieces and Cameras Used Remarks Further Remarks
Feb 22, 2018 Moon   Skymax-102/127 not documented; Ricoh GR Infinity 76
Skymax-102/127 with GR and 1:50 method for the moon
"Children telescope" tested once again

Photos

Feb 23, 2018 Moon   Skymax-102/127 24 mm, 32 mm; Ricoh GR Skymax-127 with Leica M at T-mount: Covering of Aldebaran; later also Ricoh GR 1:50 for the moon (Plato)
Skymax-102 visually and with Ricoh GR 1:50 for covering of Aldebaran and later the moon (Plato)
Half Moon, covering of Aldebaran, Plato at the terminator

Photos

Feb 24-26. 2018 Moon   Skymax-102 not documented; Ricoh GR Skymax-102 visually and Ricoh GR 1:50 for the moon Saw the "golden handle" (Montes Jura) on February 25.

Photos Feb 24 - Photos Feb 25 - Photos Feb 26

Feb 27, 2018 Moon   Skymax-102/127 24 mm, 32 mm; Ricoh GR and Leica M Skymax-102 with Ricoh GR and Leica M, both 1:50 with 24 mm, later fix at 32 mm
Skymax-127 with Ricoh GR and Leica M, both fix at 32 mm
Tests with camera fixed to eyepiece (Leica M); Ricoh GR fixed using Digiklemme 1

Photos

Feb 28, 2018 Moon (two days before Full Moon)   Skymax-102/127 32 mm; Leica XV Skymax-102 with Leica XV fix at 32 mm, about 50 mm focal length, 1600 ISO, -2 EV
Skymax-127 with Leica XV fix at 32 mm, about 50 mm and 35 mm focal length, 1600 ISO, -2 EV2
Tests with camera fixed to eyepiece (Leica X Vario)

Photos

Mar 7, 2018 Venus, Mercury   TS and LT binoculars;
Heritage 100P
  Venus and Mercury seen with both binoculars,
Venus also seen in Heritage 100P
First sighting of Mercury; saw only one planet at a time because of clouds
Venus seen nearly full, that is, not as a sickle, in Heritage 100P
Mar 12, 2018 Venus, Mercury   TS and LT binoculars;
Skymax-102
10 mm, 4 mm Venus and Mercury seen with both binoculars.
19:15 a second round with many photos; both planets also seen in both binoculars until Venus disappeared in the clouds at the horizon.
After that a short look through the Skymax-102 (10 mm, 4 mm) at Mercury
At times both could be seen, before Venus entered the clouds at the horizon (Mercury later as well …) (before 19 o'clock).
Both just fit the view of the binoculars, but Mercury was then fuzzy: Venus at the bottom at "7", Mercury on top at "1".
Mercury in Skymax-102: Rainbow-colored, fuzzy disk that quickly moved out of the field of view…
Mar 14, 2018 Venus, Mercury   TS and LT binoculars   Venus and Mercury seen with both binoculars. Both just fit the view of the binoculars, but Mercury was then fuzzy: Venus at the bottom at "7", Mercury on top at "1". No clouds, we were able to see Venus disappear at the horizon.
Mar 18, 2018 Venus, Mercury Kellinghusen Eyes   Venus and Mercury seen with naked eyes Saw both during a walk.
Mar 19, 2018 Venus, Mercury, Moon Erkerode Eyes 24 mm Ash-gray crescent of the moon, Venus, and Mercury seen with naked eyes In the car driving to Erkerode and in Erkerode (there, Venus was nearly hidden, everything was behind trees...)
Mar 20, 2018 Venus, Moon, Jupiter Erkerode Eyes; TS and LT binoculars   Crescent of the moon and Venus seen with naked eyes
Jupiter (1 a.m.) seen in binoculars
Saw moon and Venus from within the car, but no Mercury… (about 19 o'clock)
Jupiter: Astrid may have seen moons, Gerd did not...
Mar 21, 2018 Venus, Mercury, Moon   Eyes; TS and LT binoculars   Crescent of the moon, Venus, Mercury seen with the naked eye and with binoculars clear skies, last sighting of Mercury with the naked eyes (and as such...)
Mar 24, 2018 Moon (Half Moon)   Explorer 150PDS 10, 7, 4 mm; 7 mm with 2x focal extender; Ricoh GR Half Moon with Explorer 150PDS and Ricoh GR in 1:50 mode Photos of the moon in diverse magnifications (sizes)

Photos

Mar 25, 2018 Moon (after Half Moon)   Skymax-127 32 mm Shortly after Half Moon with Sony RX100 M4 mounted fix to the 32 mm Digiscope eyepiece Moon photos done with hand control and on the Heritage 100P Dobsonian base

Photos

Mar 29, 2018 Moon (two days before Full Moon)   Skymax-127 32 mm; Sony RX100 M4 Two days before Full Moon with Sony RX100 M4 mounted fix to the 32 mm Digiscope eyepiece Moon photos done with hand control and on the Heritage 100P Dobsonian base

Photos

Jul 27-28, 2018 Total eclipse of the Moon (Blood Moon)   Skymax-102 on Revue tripod 32 mm; Sony RX100 M4 Total eclipse of the Moon with Sony RX100 M4 mounted fix to the 32 mm Digiscope eyepiece Moon photos done with hand control and on Revue tripod

Photos

Aug 2, 2018 Jupiter, Saturn   Skymax-102 16 mm, 10 mm, 7mm (Saturn only)

Jupiter > 3 moons; Saturn > nice ring  
Aug 3, 2018 Jupiter, Saturn   Skymax-102/127 32 mm; Sony RX100 M4

 

SM-102: Jupiter > 4 moons; Saturn > nice ring
Skymax-127: Saturn > nice ring
Sony RX100 M4 mounted fix to the 32 mm Digiscope eyepiece
Photos of Jupiter only with Skymax-102, photos of Saturn taken with both tubes

Photos

Aug 5, 2018 Jupiter, Saturn, Venus   Skymax-127 32 mm; Sony RX100 M4 SM-127: Jupiter > moons; Venus > crescent; Mars > orange disk
Sony RX100 M4 mounted fix to the 32 mm Digiscope eyepiece
Photos of Jupiter, Mars and Venus taken with Skymax-127

Photos

Aug 10, 2018 Jupiter, Saturn, Mars   Skymax-127 32 mm, 16 mm Saturn > nice ring; Jupiter > 3 moons; Mars with the naked eye  
Aug 11, 2018 Jupiter, Saturn, Mars   Skymax-127 32 mm, 16 mm, 7 mm, 24 mm Saturn > nice ring; Jupiter > 4 moons; Mars with the naked eye  
Aug 14, 2018 Jupiter, Saturn, Mars   Skymax-102, Heritage 100P 16 mm, 10 mm, 7 mm, 4 mm (Heritage 100P only) Saturn > nice ring,; Jupiter > 4 moons, Mars
Heritage 100P (also 4 mm eyepiece): Jupiter > 4 moons; Saturn; Mars
 
Aug 15, 16, 18-20, 2018 Moon, Saturn, Mars   Skymax-102/127 on AZ Pronto 32 mm; Sony RX100 M4 Primarily photos of the moon at various stages (SM-102 and SM-127)
Skymax-127: Saturn and Mars; Saturn photos with 10 mm eyepiece, SM-127, Sony 1:50 (Aug 19); on Aug 20 Mars observed briefly
Sony RX100 M4 mounted fix to the 32 mm Digiscope eyepiece, other photos using 1:50 method (Saturn, SM-127 on Aug 19, 2018)

Photos

Aug 21, 2018 Moon   Skymax-102/127 on AZ Pronto 32 mm; Sony RX100 M4 Further photos of the moon - golden handle (Montes Jura)
handle also observed with16, 10, 7, and even 4 mm eyepiece (dead magnification)
Sony RX100 M4 mounted fix to the 32 mm Digiscope eyepiece

Photos

Aug 22, 2018 Moon   Skymax-102/ 127 on AZ Pronto 32 mm; Sony RX100 M4 Last photos of the moon in this series Sony RX100 M4 mounted fix to the 32 mm Digiscope eyepiece

Photos

Sep 12, 2018 Moon   PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto 24 mm, 16 mm, 7 mm, 4 mm, 2/3 x focal extender Crescent moon (3rd day)
PS72: Mars (108 x), Saturn (108 x)
Heritage 100P: ditto
PS72/100P: often the same with similar magnifications observed (7mm > 16+2x FE; 4mm > 7+2x FE; both used with 24 and 16, 7, 4 mm)
100P: All in all, the PS72 seem sto have more contrast and sharpness; at high magnifications the 100P may show a brighter view (larger exit pupil), DSOs are perhaps a little bit brighter than in the PS72
Sep 15, 2018 Moon
Saturn, Jupiter
  PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto, TS binoculars 24 mm, 16 mm, 7 mm, 4 mm, 2/3 x focal extender Half moon (nearly)
PS72: moon boserved at magnifications of up to 324 x (4 mm+3x FE)
Mars (108 x and more), Saturn (108 x)
Heritage 100P: ditto, as the day before

Nearly half moon (6th day)
Heritage 100P: high magnifications at the moon do not seen as sharp as those with the PS72; but since the focuser is fiddly, it might be the cause of this...

Sep 17, 2018 Moon (Half Moon)
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars
Sumène, France PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto UWA 4 mm, 7 mm, WA 24 mm I started with the half moon - the chain of the craters Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus, and Arzachel was beautiful
Planets: Then I observed Saturn, Jupiter (2 x 2 moons to the right, that is, left), and Mars
"Officially," it was half moon, but the moon was already over it
Sep 19, 2018 Moon Sumène, France PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto UWA 4 mm, 7 mm, WA 24 mm; Panasonic TZ202 I observed the moon at up to 108 x.
I also tried photos with my Panasonic TZ202 using the 7 mm eyepiece and with a focal length of 24 and 28 mm, as well as with AF and MF
Between half and full moon; later in the evening, the moon made the Milky Way invisible...

Photos

Sep 20, 2018 Moon
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn
Sumène, France PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto UWA 4 mm, 7 mm, 16 mm Moon: craters at the terminator seen well
Planets: Mars, Saturn, Jupiter seen well
Moon further waxing, getting brighter and brighter
Sep 22, 2018 Moon Sumène, France PS 72/432 UWA 4, 7, 16 mm, WA 24 mm Moon already close to full moon (full moon was on Sep 25 very early)  
Sep 28, 2018 Moon Sumène, France LT and TS binoculars   Moon: beautiful craters to the right (only TS and LT - PS72 already stowed away, observed moon last...) The waning moon made the Milky Way slowly disappear again
Oct 4, 2018 Saturn Sumène, France PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto ??? Ring seen well  
Oct 5, 2018 Saturn, Mars Betz, France unknown telescopes ??? Saturn: Ring seen well; Mars large but without structure Betz: Diverse telescopes; planets a little disappointing
Oct 12, 2018 Moon
Mars, Saturn
  PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto UWA 4, 7, 16, 24 mm, 3 x focal extender Crescent of the moon (Mare Crisium)
Mars and Saturn observed, also at higher magnifications, particularly Saturn (4mm/3 x = 324 x, 7mm/3 x = 185 x; 4 mm = 108 x)
Crescent of the moon (waxing)
Oct 13, 2018 Moon   PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto, 100P UWA 4, 7, 16, 24 mm PS72 und 100P: Crescent of the moon (Mare Crisium already fully visible) Crescent moon (waxing)
Oct 14, 2018 Moon   PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto, Infinity 76 UWA 4, 7, 16, 24 mm Infinity76: Crescent of the moon
PS72: Crescent of the moon
Crescent moon (waxing)
Nov 16, 2018 Moon   PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto UWA 7 mm PS72: Half moon; Sony RX 100 M4, 1:50 method Half moon (a little more)

Photos

Nov 17, 2018 Moon   PS 72/432, Skymax-127, both on AZ Pronto 32 mm; UWA 4, 7, 16 mm; 3 x focal extender (PS72); Sony RX100 M4 PS72: Half moon; Sony RX 100 M4, 1:50 method and projection method (3 x focal extender)
SM127: Half moon; Sony RX 100 M4, 1:50 method and projection method
Half moon (even a little more); observed Pitatus and Hesiodus (light rays) in particular (visually)

Photos

Nov 18, 2018 Moon   PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto 32 mm; UWA 4, 7 mm visual; 3 x focal extender (PS72); Sony RX100 M4 PS72: Half moon; Sony RX 100 M4, projection method (3 x focal extender) Half moon (and even a little more)

Photos

Nov 20, 2018 Moon   PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto 32 mm; UWA 4, 7 mm visually; 3 x focal extender (PS72); Sony RX100 M4 PS72: More than Half moon; Sony RX 100 M4, projection method (3 x focal extender) More than half moon

Photos

Dec 20, 2018 Moon   Sony RX10 M3 Sony RX10 M3 Sony RX10 M3 at 600 mm (and some other focal lengths); results compared with Clear Image Zoom results ; free hand shots Much more than half moon

Photos

All observations done in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau, except for where noted otherwise

 

Special Events

February 23, 2018: Moon Covers Aldebaran

On February 23, 2018, the moon covered Aldebaran for about an hour at the early evening sky (about 17:50 to 18:50 o'clock in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau). I attempted to take photos of this event.

Photo: Aldebaran is visible again...

You can find the photos on the following page:

February 23, 2018: Crater Plato in Direct Sun Light

Photo data: February 23, 2018, Sky-Watcher Skymax-102 telescope, Ricoh GR held to the eyepiece

More information on page Sections of Moon Photos

February 25, 2018: The "Golden Handle"

When the Jura mountains appear at the terminator and are lighted by the sun while still extending "into the darkness", this phenomenon is called the "golden handle." This took place on February 25, 2018.

    

Photos: Two versions of the "Golden Handle" (Montes Jura, top left)

March 10-25, 2018: Mercury at the Evening Sky (Together with Venus)

Mercury was already visible in the evening sky in March this year (about March 1 to 21, 2018). We saw Mercury for the first time on March 7 and for the last time on March 21. After that, Mercury became so faint that it could no longer be seen with the naked eye. But even before, Mercury was not always easy to find, because it was still too faint against the bright evening sky or was covered by clouds. Fortunately, the brighter shining Venus was nearby and a good aid to find it. But since Venus was still nearly "full," it was not as bright as when it is closer to the earth and is a sickle.

    

Photos: Mercury and Venus indicated by arrows (Mercury on top, Venus below) on March 12 (left) and 14 (right), 2018

More information on page Mercury and Venus March 2018

July 27-28, 2018: Total Eclipse of the Moon (Blood Moon)

On July 27, 2018, a total eclipse of the sun could be observed in Germany. We observed and photographed the lunar eclipse (using the Sky-Watcher Skymax-102 with Sony RX100 M4 attached and TS binoculars) on the Heiligenstein (a vineyard near Mühlhausen/Kraichgau).

I created a collage from selected photos shown above:

Total Eclipse of the Moon, July 27, 2018

More information in page Total Eclipse of the Moon (Blood Moon)

August 3 and 5, 2018: Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter

The following photos were taken on August 5, 2018 with the Skymax-127 (half size - easier to see stripes):

              

Photos cropped but not processed; the left 5 photos were taken with ISO 1600, the right one with ISO 800

         

Photos made lighter

Saturn

The following photos were taken on August 5, 2018.

              

Skymax-102 (brighter versions)

         

Skymax-127 (brighter versions)

Mars

              

Photos cropped but not processed, except fot the right-most one (ISO 800)

Venus

              

Photos cropped but not processed (ISO 800)

More information on page Jupiter, Saturn, and More - August 2018

August 19, 2018: Saturn da capo...

The followings photos of Saturn with its ring were taken on August 19, 2018 (magnification of 150 x, camera focal length of 70 mm (equiv.), scaled down).

           

Skymax-127, 150 x, ISO 1600, 1/30, F2,8, 70 mm (brightened)

     

Skymax-127, 150 x, ISO 1600, 1/30, F2,8, 70 mm (brightened)

More information on page Jupiter, Saturn, and More - August 2018

August 21, 2018: Golden Handle da capo...

         
3200 Pixels - Skymax-102 (50 mm)

 

3200 Pixels - Skymax-102 (50 mm)

 

3200 Pixels - Skymax-102 (50 mm)

      

3600 Pixels - Skymax-127 (50 mm)

 

3600 Pixels - Skymax-127 (50 mm)

 

3600 Pixels - Skymax-127 (50 mm)

More information on page Photos of the Moon August 2018

August 15-22, 2018: Different Stages of the Moon

         

August 15, 2018

 

August 16, 2018

 

August 18, 2018

   

August 19, 2018

 
August 20, 2018
  August 21, 2018
       

August 22, 2018

       

More information on page Photos of the Moon August 2018

September 19, 2018: Moon Photography with New Telescope and New Camera

On September 19, 2018, I took photos of the moon in Sumène, France, using the 1:50 method, a 7 mm UWA eyepiece (magnification of about 60 x), and the Panasonic TZ202 camera. This was new in two respects: I used a new telescope and a new camera. I took two short series at ISO 400 and with manual focus, one with a focal length of 24 mm (equiv.), and another one with a focal length of 28 mm (equiv.). Here are two samples, one from each series:

Taken with 24 mm focal length (2000 pixels version) Taken with 28 mm focal length (2000 pixels version)

More information on page Omegon Photography Scope 72/432 ED OTA Information (2.8" Refractor)

November 16-18, 20, 2018: Moon Photography

Note how the look (shading) of certain structures changes during the three days because the sun rays hit the moon at different angles and the terminator is moving westwards.

    

Nov 16, 2018 - PS72 (rotated a bit...)

 

Nov 17, 2018 - PS72

 

Nov 17, 2018 - Skymax-127

 

Nov 18, 2018 - PS72

 

Nov 20, 2018 - PS72

  Nov 20, 2018 - PS72

More information on pages Photos of the Moon November 2018 and Photos of the Moon November 20, 2018.

December 20, 2018: Moon Photography with Sony RX10 M3

Here, I present photos of the moon that I took on December 20, 2018 using the Sony RX10 M3 with either optical zoom or Clear Image Zoom. This is a "highlight" insofar, as I just used a camera to take photos of the moon...

    

2000 Pixel - Clear Image Zoom, 1200 mm

 

2000 Pixel - optical zoom, 600 mm

    

2000 Pixel - Clear Image Zoom, 1200 mm

 

2000 Pixel - optical zoom, 600 mm

    

2000 Pixel - Clear Image Zoom, 1200 mm

 

2000 Pixel - optical zoom, 600 mm

 

More information on page Photos of the Moon December 20, 2018.

 

References

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On this Website

 

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08.03.2019