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Observations made in the constellation Virgo:

Sun (Sun, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 62-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Sep 5 14:45:00 2017 UT   Obs. no.: 2028

This morning I looked at the two giant sunspots AR2673 & AR2674. AR 2673 just sent an CME towards Earth & we should get good auroras on the 6th or the 7th. These spots can be seen with ordinary eclipse glasses now. I just viewed them with mine.

Sun (Sun, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 62-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Mon Sep 4 13:30:00 2017 UT   Obs. no.: 2027

This morning, I observed the sun with my Sunspotter Solar Telescope. Sunspots AR2673 & AR2674 are growing rapidly & either group could unleash a powerful CME towards Earth. If this happens, Auroras will occur.

Jupiter (Planet, est. mag -2.2, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: East Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: good   Seeing: good
Time: Fri Jun 30 15:30:00 2017 UT   Obs. no.: 2010

Last evening, my co-worker Suezie & I got to view the conjunction of Jupiter & the moon as we left work. They were about three degrees apart. As an added touch, there was lightning from a distant thunderstorm also. It was quite a sky show.

Jupiter (Planet, est. mag -2.7, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: good   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Apr 18 00:45:00 2017 UT   Obs. no.: 2004

This evening, My brother Anthony & I observed Jupiter with our 5" MAK & 12'5 Televue eyepiece. Three belts were visible on Jupiter's face. The North Equitorial Belt was big & very lumpy looking with its festoons. The South Equitorial Belt was also obvious & smooth. The big surprise was how pronounced the South Temperate Belt was. It's been many years since I saw that belt that easily. All four of Jupiter's moons were out with three on one side & one moon on the other side. We also had the pleasure of simply looking at Jupiter & Spica which was below Jupiter with our naked eyes.

Jupiter (Planet, est. mag -2.5, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: good   Seeing: good
Time: Mon Apr 10 03:00:00 2017 UT   Obs. no.: 2003

This evening I saw the moon & Jupiter about 5 or 6 degrees apart in the south. Spica was also nearby.

Sun (Sun, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: Orange, Connecticut, United States
Transparency: good   Seeing: good
Time: Thu Oct 23 21:45:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1935

Just before sunset, my brother Anthony & I were able to view the beginning of the partial solar eclipse with eclipse glasses. The sun showed a little chunk taken out on its left side before it set. That's all we in the northeast could see.

Sun (Sun, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 62-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Transparency: good   Seeing: good
Time: Sun Oct 19 05:03:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1934

I just viewed one of the largest sunspots I've ever seen with my Sunspotter Solar Telescope. If we don't get a great aurora from this, we never will.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -.4, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sun Jul 6 01:00:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1924

This evening a group of friends & I enjoyed the fireworks at the West Haven beach. Before the fireworks started, We were able to view the close conjunction of the moon, Mars & Spica. Mars was only .2 of a degree just above the moon while Spica was just 1.5 degrees left of the moon. The fireworks erupted right in front of the planet Saturn, which has its own conjunction with the moon on Monday evening July 7th. That will also be a nice sight.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.5, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 16-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: Branford, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: light   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Sun Apr 20 01:00:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1910

Last evening, my brother Tony, my friend Steve & I went to a local star party in Branford, CT. I did a lot of my viewing in the 16" scope with Mars the prime target. Even in the 16" Mars' shrinking polar cap was difficult to see. However, the dark albedo features were easy to see. If I had a map of Mars, I would have been able to identify what I was looking at. During this apparition, I've only been able to see limb haze just once. Even with this large scope, We could not see limb haze. I see this as a subtle change in Mars' climate. We then turned the scope on Jupiter, who's belts really showed very clearly. I saw one knot on Jupiter's North Equitorial belt but I did not see any festooning. The belts & polar regions of Jupiter were magnificent. Since there were a lot of cirrus clouds, we looked at a couple of double stars. In Leo, one double star who's name I can't remember showed two beautiful yellow components almost touching them. We also split Mizor into a larger & smaller blue component which was also very striking. Finally, we closed the evening by viewing M44, an open cluster. Within the cluster, there were many double & triple stars which I believe will always be together, even as the cluster starts to Separate. A great Saturday night of viewing.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.5, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sun Apr 13 03:45:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1908

Last evening I observed Mars with my 127mm MAK. I was able to see a dark area on Mars which I believe was Syrtis Major. It showed vividly during a few moments of good seeing. I also saw some limb haze on one side of Mars. This was my first view of limb haze during this apparition. As for the north polar ice cap, it is shrinking fast. All in all, this was my best view of Mars so far.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.5, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Apr 9 03:45:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1907

This evening, I observed Mars with my 127mm MAK. With Mars being at its closest now, I am starting to see some features on Mars' surface, I'm able to see Mars' polar ice cap & now, I am also able to see Mars' south polar hood. I am also seeing a lot more albedo features on Mars also. I love this planet.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.6, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sun Apr 6 02:30:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1906

This evening, I observed Mars with my 127mm MAK. I am still able to see the shrinking north polar ice cap along with some albedo features. I also used my 10X50 binoculars to compare & contrast the different colors of Mars & Spica. The orange of Mars & the blue color of Spica are great to look at in binos.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.6, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Mar 19 02:45:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1905

Last night, my friend Steve & I took a ride to a fairly dark sight to view Mars, the moon & Spica rise together. Spica was to the upper right of the moon & Mars was to the upper left of the moon. It was a great sight.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.6, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: poor
Time: Sun Mar 16 04:30:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1904

Last evening, my brother Anthony & I observed the Planet Mars with my 127mm MAK. We were able to see the shrinking north polar ice cap. With seeing being poor, we were only able to see a few albedo markings. I'm planning on viewing Mars for the upcoming apparition many times. Spica is very close to Mars & I intend to look at both with my binoculars to compare & contrast their different colors.

Venus (Planet, est. mag -4,3, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sun Sep 8 23:45:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1893

This evening I observed the close conjunction of Venus & the moon. They were about 1.5 degrees apart & it was a glorious sight.

Saturn (Planet, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed May 15 01:45:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1889

This evening, my brother Anthony & I observed Saturn in my 127mm MAK. We were able to see one belt on Saturn's northern hemishere. We were also able to see Saturn's moons Titan, Rhea & a third moon which we could not identify.

M84 (Galaxy, in Virgo)
Observer: Joe Caggiano (e-mail: jcaggiano@mindspring.com, web: http://home.mindspring.com/~jcaggiano/)
Instrument: 70-mm binoculars   Location: Promised Land State Park, Pa, USA
Light pollution: none   Transparency: excellent   Seeing: excellent
Time: Sun Apr 22 06:00:00 2007 UT   Obs. no.: 1643

These are the galaxies at the heart of the Virgo Cluster. They span about 1 1/2 anchored on the western end by M84 and M86, both around 9th magnitude. Also visible were about a half dozen others but because of their faintness, I am not positive of their identity.

Jupiter (Planet, est. mag -2.1, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 50-mm binoculars   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Mon Jun 19 01:00:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1546

This evening, My brother Anthony and I observed the conjunction of Mars and Saturn. We also took a bino view of both Jupiter and Mercury. The first thing we did was admire Mars being less than a degree over Saturn. Mars and Saturn were only a little further apart than they were on Saturday evening. Next, we checked the colors of each planet through our binos. Jupiter looks white with possibly a little yellow tinge to it. Saturn looks just plain yellow while Mars just above it was its usual ruddy color. By the way, this means there is no global dust storm occuring on Mars. Finally, we hopped to Mercury were we found its color to have a pinkish tinge to it. Last but not least, my brother and I drew a imaginary line from Jupiter to both Mars and Saturn and then finally to Mercury. This is the ecliptic.

Satellite (Satellite, est. mag 6, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Joe Caggiano (e-mail: jcaggiano@mindspring.com, web: http://home.mindspring.com/~jcaggiano/)
Instrument: 6-inch equatorial reflector   Location: Glenside, Pa, USA
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Jun 7 03:11:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1538

Viewed the moon last night in order to get a nice picture of Copernicus. I succeeded in some nice detail to both craters Plato and Copernicus. While aligning the moon in my 6x spotting scope, I spotted a satellite heading due South that JUST missed the moon by less than a single degree to the west. I followed it for about 20 seconds before it disappeared again.Both shots were through my 6" newt, a 2x barlow to slow down the scope. Taken with the Meade LPI.http://home.mindspring.com/~jcaggiano/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/plato.jpghttp://home.mindspring.com/~jcaggiano/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/copernicus.jpg

M104 (Sombrero Galaxy) (Galaxy, in Virgo)
Observer: Sriram.M.Gubbi (e-mail: sriram_gubbi@yahoo.co.in, web: http://dino.lm.com/artists/display.php?name=sriram_gubbi)
Instrument: 6-inch other   Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: good   Seeing: good
Time: Tue Jan 3 03:45:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1467

I could see the galaxy without any difficulty but I could not make out its elliptical shape. I could barely see the dark dust lane.

Venus (Planet, est. mag -3.7, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Sep 7 23:45:00 2005 UT   Obs. no.: 1305

This evening, I observed Venus with my 127mm MAK. Venus is now about 65% waning gibbous. I was able to observe several albedo features at the terminator in both the northern and southern hemisheres. The largest albedo feature in Venus' clouds was in the northern hemishere.

Venus (Planet, est. mag -3.7, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Tue Sep 6 23:45:00 2005 UT   Obs. no.: 1302

This evening, my two friends, Joe Maltese and Cindy Dodd joined me to observe the conjunction of Jupiter and the moon and Venus and Spica. In the western sky at sunset, Venus was on the left side and Jupiter was on the right side. The sliver cresent moon was just below Jupiter while the star Spica was just below Venus. The display of Venus, Jupiter and the moon in the western sky was dazzling. Spica could only be glimpsed below Venus but it still added to the fine show.

M49 (Galaxy, in Virgo)
Observer: Akarsh Simha (e-mail: akarsh_simha@fastmail.fm)
Instrument: 8-inch equatorial reflector   Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Fri Jun 10 16:00:00 2005 UT   Obs. no.: 1317

I am slightly doubtful if I've seen the right thing, but it is apparent that I have indeed. Only the small central brightness was clearly visible. Averted vision was required. It was in a field practically devoid of stars.

M87 (Galaxy, in Virgo)
Observer: Joe Caggiano (e-mail: jcaggiano@mindspring.com)
Instrument: 70-mm binoculars   Location: New River, West Va., USA
Light pollution: none   Transparency: excellent   Seeing: excellent
Time: Sat May 28 04:00:00 2005 UT   Obs. no.: 1238

In my previous log, I claimed I had seen Comet Temple 1. I now believe what I had seen was actually the giant galaxy M87. Panning through star atlases, it has come to my attention that the comet is presently in the Virgo region. Just off from this region is the Coma Berences Galaxy Cluster with M87 being the brightest and the largest. At @ 65 million light years, it is recorded in various books of mine as being easily visible in binos. Also, pictures in these books shows that it is a giant orange sphere due to it's stars being very ancient. It is predominatly populated by Orange Giant type stars. With what I have read and seen, I must alter my log. Sorry for the misinformation.

Comet (Comet, est. mag 9, est. to be in Virgo)
Observer: Joe Caggiano (e-mail: jcaggiano@mindspring.com)
Instrument: 70-mm binoculars   Location: New River, West Va., USA
Light pollution: none   Transparency: excellent   Seeing: excellent
Time: Sat May 28 04:00:00 2005 UT   Obs. no.: 1237

Went White Water Rafting down in West Virginia this weekend. The trip was phenominal! I decided to take my 70mm binos just in case the sky was clear. Was I ever so glad I had. The view was perfect. The town we were in was in the New River Gorge located 500 miles south of Philadelphia. I have never seen such a dark sky. There were so many stars I was actually having a hard time finding the constellations due to so many being visible. Limiting magnitude was probably better than 6.5. Using just the binos, I found more galaxies in 3 minutes than I have with my 6" telescope since it was bought over a year ago. Starting out in the Big Dipper, I "immediately" spotted both M81 and M82. Both were slanted at opposing 45 degree angles from one another with M81 on the right and M82 on the left. I could clearly see the spiral structure. I have tried time and again to see this pair from my home in Pennsylvania but to no avail. After catching my breath, I moved on to M101. This was another target I had tried in vain to seek for over a year. Also spotted this one immediately. At first glance, it appeared to have a rectanglular form. By using averted vision I picked up its elongated whirlpool shape. It was dim yet still easily visible. It's size was massive. Oddly enough I had completely forgotten to check for M51 (DOH!) I completed my viewing with Comet Temple 1. Viewing the star that appears to be Virgo's "Heart" I spotted an orange fuzzball (yes, I actually saw it's color!!!) that was a near perfect circle as if the comet was heading straight for me. There was no noticeable tail as if the comet was going to a particular side. Just a hazy large orange glow. My brother confirmed the color and the near perfect circle as if it waqs a planetary nebula in time exposure pictures. Next year we are planning to run a white water trip down the lower river basin. I think I will pack my 6" scope when we do. All in all, probably the best night of observing in my life!!! All this time I thought my telescope did not have enough aperature. All I really needed was an completely dark sky.

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