Observations of the Sun, the Moon, and Planets 2020

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 2020, 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
Jan 1 Moon, Venus MH Explorer 150PDS on AZ4 All of my eyepieces Tested my Explorer 150PDS on AZ4 with all my eyepieces at the "almost half moon". At long 2" focal lengths, I saw the shadow of the secondary mirror, because it was not quite dark yet.

With my 4 mm UWA eyepiece (187.5 x) I tried to identify small craters at Rupes Altai; two craters with 14 km diameter were probably there; then I was able to identify Piccolomini T (8 x 8 km)!

10 mm SW (75 x): Moon fit straight in; 7 mm UWA (107 x): Moon fit straight in (82°), a little better than in the 10 mm Sky-Watcher eyepiece.

Venus seen briefly: colorful and fuzzy, probably not quite round...
Jan 28 Moon, Venus, Neptune MH PS72 on AZ Pronto 7, 10, 16 mm Saw Venus and Neptune at a distance of about 1° (1° 4') (PS72 with 10 and 16 mm eyepieces)

Furthermore, I observed the crescent of the moon with PS72 with 7, 10, and 16 mm eyepieces

On Jan 27, there was conjunction with a distance of about 4'! But the sky was overcast; respectively, we missed the same on Jan 26 (1° 16')...

For the first time, we saw Neptune!

Feb 6 Venus, Neptune, Mercury MH eVscope, LT binoculars   Venus, Neptun with eVscope; Mercury and Venus seen with the naked eye and binoculars Neptune again, now in the eVscope!
Feb 7 Venus, Mercury MH LT binoculars   Mercury and Venus seen with the naked eye and binoculars  
Mar 7 Moon MH

 

Sony RX10 M4 Nearly full moon photographed with RX10 M4 (clouds!) Photo collages below!
Mar 9 Moon, Venus, Uranus (Titania, Oberon) MH PS72 on AZ Pronto, eVscope Sony RX10 M4 PS72: Conjunction of Venus and Uranus (2.5°)
eVscope: Uranus with moons Titania and Oberon

For the first time, we saw Uranus (and two of its moons)!

Photos below!

Mar 23-24 Venus MH PS72 on AZ Pronto, SM-127 on AZ Pronto Sony RX100 M4 Mar 23, 2020: Observed Venus with PS72 and SM-127; it was half; this was better visible with the SM-127 because of less color fringes. With the SM-127, we also briefly observed M 42/43 and M 45.
24.3.2020: Observed Venus (maximum elongation for 2020) with SM-127 only and photographed it with 32mm/Sony RX100 M4. The half-Venus was better visible this day, because the sky was still brighter and Venus was higher.
Photos below!
Mar 26-28 Moon, Venus
Pleiades
MH   Sony RX10 M4 Mar 26: First photographed the crescent moon (too bright), then moon and Venus together
Mar 27: moon and Venus photographed together
Mar 28: moon and Venus photographed together, at the end also with Pleiades
Photos below!
Apr 1-6 Moon, Venus
Pleiades
MH SM-127 on AZ Pronto, C8 on AZ4 Sony RX100 M4, Sony RX10 M4 (tripod) Apr 1: observed moon and Venus with SM-127: Venus half, quite beautiful; half moon
Apr 2: observed the moon with SM-127 and C8; a little more than half moon; in C8 a little bit bigger and brighter; problems with focusing with the C8, moon not as uniformly sharp as with SM-127
Apr 3: observed the moon with SM-127; still a little more than half moon, Golden Handle(!); moon shortly seen in clouds and photographed (RX100 M4); around 11:30 p.m. Venus shortly visible in the Pleiades before setting; took a photo (RX10 M4)
Apr 4: observed with SM-127; half-Venus good, also with RX100 M4; Venus with Pleiades worked only visually; moon good with RX100 M4 and also purely visual; Venus and Pleiades quite good with RX10 M4...
Apr 5: observed with SM-127; moon with RX100 M4 and also purely visually, but already very faint...
Binoculars (LT, OM): Venus and Pleiades, in the Pleiades only the biggest stars ("carriage") visible
Apr 6: observed and photographed with PS72 and SM-127.
PS72: half-Venus seen well with 24, 16, and 4 mm (108 x); at the end with less "color"
SM-127: again observed and photographed with RX100 M4 the now nearly full moon
Photos from April 3-6 below!
Apr 15 (M) Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars MH   Sony RX10 M4 (tripod)

Eye/Sony RX10 M4: Jupiter, Saturn, Mars on a line; observed and photographed at half moon around 5 o'clock in the morning from the cemetery; moon in clouds; only two planets seen, Saturn was faint; on photos mostly all three planets can be seen; half moon only visible with strong underexposure

Photos below!
Apr 23 Venus MH C8 on AZ4 Sony RX100 M4 Crecent of the Venus photographed with C8 and RX100 M4 held to the eyepiece (40 mm, 26 mm) Photos below!
Apr 25-28 Venus, Moon, Pleiades MH SM-127 on AZ Pronto Sony RX10 M4, Sony RX100 M4 Apr 25: Venus and crescent of the moon photographed with Sony RX10 M4 under various conditions; the Pleiades were visible on some photos when it was darker
Apr 26: Venus and crescent of the moon photographed with Sony RX10 M4 under various conditions
Apr 27: Crecent of the Venus photographed with SM-127 and RX100 M4 held to the eyepiece (10 mm); crecent of the moon photographed with SM-127 and RX100 M4 screwed to the eyepiece (32 mm); Venus and crescent of the moon photographed with Sony RX10 M4 under various conditions
Apr 28: Venus and crescent of the moon photographed with Sony RX10 M4 under various conditions
Photos below!
May 5 Venus, Moon MH SM-127 on AZ Pronto; eVscope Sony RX100 M4 About 8 p.m.: Crescent of the Venus observed (various eyepieces (24, 16, 10)) and photographed with Skymax-127 (with RX100 M4 and 32 mm eyepiece); the sickle was fairly thin already.
About 11 p.m.: Moon observed and photographed with eVscope (tracking mode only; screenshot)
Photos below!
May 17 Venus MH SM-127 on AZ Pronto Sony RX100 M4 About 11 p.m.: Crescent of the Venus observed shortly before setting with 16 mm eyepiece and photographed with Skymax-127 (with RX100 M4 and 16 mm eyepiece, camera held to the eyepiece); the sickle was even thinner. Photos below!
May 18 Venus MH SM-127 on AZ Pronto Sony RX100 M4 About 9:30 p.m.: Crescent of the Venus observed with 16 mm and 10 mm eyepiece and photographed with Skymax-127 (with RX100 M4 and 32 mm eyepiece, camera attached to the eyepiece); the sickle was even more thinner. Photos below!
May 19 Venus, Mercury MH PS72 on AZ Pronto Sony RX10 M4

From about 9 p.m. searched for Venus and Mercury, found Venus about 9:30 p.m.
First, I searched for Venus and Mercury in vain for a long time, and in the west there were also clouds. But finally, I discovered Venus. And a little later, halfway through the clouds, I also found also Mercury! For a long time, they played "weather house", but then both were to be seen, until Mercury disappeared at around 10 p.m. Before that, it passed a crane, without which we probably would have never found Mercury so well. Photographed freehand with the Sony RX10 M4.
We also observed with our binoculars, but in the two 10x binoculars it was difficult to see both at the same time - this was only possible in the star field binoculars (2x), in which the focusing was difficult.
This time I observed the Venus crescent in my refractor mainly at 108x in the 4 mm eyepiece (before in the 32 mm and 16 mm eyepieces). In the 32 mm eyepiece, which I use for photos, it was tiny...

Photos below!
May 20 Venus, Mercury MH   Sony RX10 M4 Venus and Mercury about 3.5° distant, Mercury below Venus; took photos with RX10 M4 Photos below!
May 21 Venus, Mercury Erk   Sony RX10 M4 Venus and Mercury about 1.5° distant, Mercury below Venus; took photos with RX10 M4 Photos below!
May 23 Venus, (Mercury) Erk   Sony RX10 M4 Venus and Mercury about 3° distant, saw only Venus (clouds); took photos of Venus with RX10 M4 Photos below!
May 24 Moon, Mercury, Venus Erk   Sony RX10 M4 Crescent of the moon and Mercury about 4.5° distant and Venus about 9° (measured 3.5/5° on photo) distant from moon; took photos with Crescent of the moon and Mercury with RX10 M4.
> Because of the angular differences, this "find" is dubious...
Photos below!
Jun 29 Moon MH PS72 on AZ Pronto   Moon briefly observed with PS72, then clouds appeared (specialties: Vallis Alpes)  
Jun 30 Moon MH SM-127 on AZ Pronto   Observed the moon more intensive with SM-127 and with computer support (VMA): diverse craters (Tycho, Kepler, Copernicus, Gassendi; auch Clavius, Maginus und Longomontanus), mountains (Montes Alpes, Montes Caucasus, Montes Apenninus, Montes Spitzbergen, Mons Pico), and other structures (Vallis Alpes, Rima Hyginus, Rupes Altai, and Rupes Recta.
Astrid saw the beginning of the "Golden Handle", although a Website had announced it for the following night. It would have been observable from 11:30 p.m. on (Website in error)...
 
Jul 1 Moon MH PS72 on AZ Pronto   Moon briefly observed with PS72; Golden Handle already over...  
Jul 9 Jupiter, Saturn MH PS72 on AZ Pronto; TLAPO1027 on AZ4   PS72 compared with TLAPO1027 using M 3, but also Jupiter and Saturn. TLAPO1027 clearly better...  
Jul 18 Jupiter, Saturn MH SM-127 on AZ Pronto   We observed briefly Jupiter and Saturn with the Skymax-127 (32 mm, 10 mm). We also observed the comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) on the Heiligenstein hill
Jul 23 Jupiter, Saturn Erk SM-127 on AZ Pronto  

Observed Saturn (ring) and Jupiter (1 moon to the left, 3 moons to the right) from the balcony (briefly before 1 a.m.) with the Skymax-127 (32 mm, 16 mm).

Also observed the comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) in front of the house; moreover, I observed globular star clusters, mostly in Ophiuchus.
Aug 19, 20, 25 Jupiter, Saturn MH eVscope   Observed Saturn (ring) and Jupiter (various moons) with the eVscope in Live View mode. Photos below!
Aug 27 Moon, Jupiter, Saturn MH PS72 on AZ Pronto; TLAPO1027 on AZ4 16/24, 10/16, 4/7, -/4 mm (PS/TL)

PS72 compared with TLAPO1027 using the moon, but also Jupiter and Saturn. TLAPO1027 clearly better (details elsewhere)...
Saturn up to 100 x (4/7 mm), Jupiter up to 100 x, in the APO also with 4 mm, that is, nearly 180 x. Then clouds appeared...

Also observed some DSO; it was one day after half moon, which was already disturbing around the Milky Way...
Oct 10 Jupiter, Saturn, Mars MH PS72 on AZ Pronto; TLAPO1027 on AZ4 and AZ Pronto; eVscope 26/35, 4/7, 16/10 oder 7; single: 7, 4, 26, 16; 2 x extender with 4 and 7 mm (TLAPO)

PS72 compared with TLAPO10277 using Jupiter and Saturn. TLAPO1027 clearly better (details elsewhere)... Saturn up to nearly 180 x with TLAPO; gets darker already at 10 x with the PS72.
Observed Mars with TLAPO1027 on AZ Pronto around midnight (up to nearly 180 x); a orange-yellow disk, but no details except for perhaps a dark shade at the center. Mars also observed with the eVscope: a small orange-yellow disk (see below).

Jupiter with 4 moons and definite stripes; Saturn seen well with its ring, but even at the highest magification, no Cassini division recognizable.
Oct 11 Jupiter, Saturn MH C8 on AZ4 24 mm, 16 mm Jupiter and Saturn observed with C8 Jupiter with 3/4 moons; stripes hardly to see; Saturn seen well

All observations done in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (MH), except for where noted otherwise.

 

Special Events

January 1, 2020: Searching Visually for Small Craters with Explorer 150PDS

    

Crater Piccolomini T (diameter: 8 km) shown in Virtual Moon for demonstration

 

Description of Piccolomini T in Virtual Moon

February 6, 2020: Neptune

Neptune is is very small in the eVscope and reminds of small blue planetary nebulae.

Neptune - Feb 6, 2020

March 7, 2020: "Moon in Clouds" Collages (Sony RX10 M4)

    

See page Photos of the Moon with RX10 M4 - March 2020

March 9, 2020: Uranus (Titania, Oberon), Super Moon (Sony RX10 M4)

Uranus

Uranus is is very small in the eVscope (not as small as Neptune, however), but if you look closely, you can find the the moons Titania and Oberon.

         

Uranus - March 9, 2020

  Uranus - March 9, 2020, with labels for the moons   The situation shown in SkySafari

Supermoon

         

Processed, sharpened

 

Processed

 

Same photo, processed, sharpened

See page Photos of the Moon with RX10 M4 - March 2020

March 24, 2020: Half-Venus - Maximum Elongation for 2020

    

At the beginning, the sky was still fairly bright, and the Venus stood high in the sky.

 

Later the sky was darker, but Venus stood still quite high in the sky.

Half Venus taken with SM-127 and RX100 M4 - see page Venus Crescent 2020

March 26, 2020: Crescent Moon and Venus

    

Venus and crescent moon (RX10 M4) - 4500 pixels

 

Ditto - 4500 pixels

March 27, 2020: Crescent Moon and Venus

    

Venus and crescent moon (RX10 M4) - 4500 pixels

 

Ditto - 4500 pixels

March 28, 2020: Crescent Moon and Venus

         

Venus and crescent moon (RX10 M4) - 3000 pixels

 

Ditto - 4200 pixels

 

Ditto with Pleiades (faint) - 4500 pixels

April 3, 2020: Venus in the Pleiades

Venus shortly before setting in the Pleiades (RX10 M4) - 3000 pixels - see page Venus Crescent 2020

April 4, 2020: Venus above the Plejades, Half-Venus

    

Venus on top of the Pleiades (RX10 M4)

 

Venus on top of the Pleiades (RX10 M4)

  See page Venus Crescent 2020

Half Venus taken with SM-127 and RX100 M4

   

April 3-6, 2020: Photos of the Moon in Comparison... (Golden Handle on April 3)

    

April 3, 2020: The moon with Golden Handle when the clouds took a break... (RX100 M4*) - 3000 pixels (the smalles craters that I found have a diameter of 7-8 km)

 

April 4, 2020: The moon (RX100 M4*) - 3000 pixels

 

April 5, 2020: The moon (RX100 M4**) - 3000 pixels

 

April 6, 2020: The nearly full moon (RX100 M4***) - 3000 pixels

*) M mode with f/4, 1/200 sec, ISO 125; manual focus at infinity, focused with the telescope focuser; focal length 35 mm (equivalent); **) M mode with f/4, 1/400 sec, ISO 125; the remaining data is identical; ***) M mode with f/4, 1/1000 sec, ISO 125; the remaining data is identical

See page Photos of the Moon - April/May 2020

April 15, 2020: Moon close to Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, which are Arranged nearly on a Straight Line

    

Moon with Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter (from left to right), which are arranged nearly on a straight line (RX10 M4) - 3600 pixels

 

Half moon with Mars and Jupiter; strongly underexposed to show the half moon - 3900 pixels

April 23, 2020: Crescent of the Venus

                   

Crescent of the Venus taken with C8 and RX100 M4 - see page Venus Crescent 2020

April 25-28, 2020: Crescent of the Moon and Venus

    

Apr 25, 2020 - the arrow points to the Pleiades

 

Apr 25, 2020

    

Apr 26, 2020

 

Apr 26, 2020 - the arrow points to Venus

    

Apr 27, 2020

 

Apr 27, 2020

    

Apr 28, 2020

 

Apr 28, 2020

Crescent of the Moon and Venus taken with RX10 M4

April 27, 2020: Crescent of the Venus

         

Crescent of the Venus taken with Skymax-127 and RX100 M4 - see page Venus Crescent 2020

April 27, 2020: Crescent of the Moon

   

2400 pixels

 

2400 pixels

 

2400 pixels

      

3648 pixels

 

3648 pixels

 

3648 pixels

Crescent of the moon taken with Skymax-127 and RX100 M4 - collage (2700 pixels) - see page Photos of the Moon - April/May 2020

May 5, 2020: Crescent of the Venus and Nearly Full Moon

         

Crescent of the Venus taken with Skymax-127 and RX100 M4 - see page Venus Crescent 2020

         

original

 

original

 

original

Nearly full moon photographed with the eVscope (tracking mode) - see page Photos of the Moon - April/May 2020

May 17, 2020: Crescent of the Venus

    

Crescent of the Venus taken shortly before setting with Skymax-127 and RX100 M4 - see page Venus Crescent 2020

May 18, 2020: Crescent of the Venus

         

Crescent of the Venus taken with Skymax-127 and RX100 M4 - see page Venus Crescent 2020

May 19, 2020: Crescent of the Venus and Mercury

         

Venus and Mercury taken with RX10 M4 - see page Mercury and Venus May 2020

May 20, 2020: Venus and Mercury

         

Venus and Mercury taken with RX10 M4 - see page Mercury and Venus May 2020

May 21, 2020: Venus and Mercury

         

Venus and Mercury taken with RX10 M4 - see page Mercury and Venus May 2020

May 23, 2020: Venus Alone (Mercury Hidden behind Clouds)

         

Venus taken with RX10 M4 - see page Mercury and Venus May 2020

May 24, 2020: Crescent of the Moon and Venus/Mercury

         
         

Crescent of the moon and Venus and Mercury/Venus (dubious) taken with RX10 M4 - see page Mercury and Venus May 2020 or Moon and Venus/Planets 2020

August 19, 20 and 25, 2020: Jupiter and Saturn

I observed and photographed Jupiter and Saturn in Live View mode with the eVscope; Saturn was exposed manually.

Jupiter

         

Jupiter - Aug 19, 2020

 

Jupiter - Aug 19, 2020

 

Jupiter - Aug 19, 2020

           

Jupiter - Aug 20, 2020

 

Jupiter - Aug 20, 2020

 

 

   

Jupiter - Aug 25, 2020

 

Jupiter - Aug 25, 2020

 

Jupiter - Aug 25, 2020

   

Jupiter - Aug 25, 2020, processed

 

Jupiter - Aug 25, 2020, processed

 

Jupiter - Aug 25, 2020, processed

Saturn

         

Saturn - Aug 19, 2020, crops

 

Saturn - Aug 20, 2020, crops

 

Saturn - Aug 25, 2020, crops

October 10, 2020: Mars

I observed and photographed Mars in Live View mode with the eVscope (exposed manually).

Mars - Oct 10, 2020, crops

 

References

Links

Books (in German)

On this Website

 

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12.10.2020