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Five Planets, Fourteen Meteors, and a Sunspot, January 4, 2011

16 Mar 2014, 03:27 UTC
Five Planets, Fourteen Meteors, and a Sunspot, January 4, 2011
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Just two mornings after my first extended observation in two months, I woke up at 2 AM on Tuesday, January 4. I checked Accuweather’s most recent satellite images, and although they showed cloud cover over Valparaiso, they were about an hour old. It looked like the clouds were moving out, so I looked outside and saw a clear sky. It was also much warmer than Sunday morning, 30˚F, with only a 22˚ wind chill factor. The combination of warmer conditions and being out earlier gave me considerably more observing time than Sunday.While I was out, I thought the session was very similar to Sunday. I observed most of the same targets, spent time getting video of the planets, and stayed out until daybreak. Really though, there was no comparison between the two nights. The global peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower was around sunset, so I spent quite a bit of time just watching for meteors. I also viewed more targets, although it was still cold enough that I didn’t feel like having to look through star atlases. That limited my observing to the easiest of targets, although really, since they tend to be some of the brightest, are the ...

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