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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.

Sun (Sun, est. to be in Aries)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 62-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Time: Mon Apr 14 15:45:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1909

This morning I observed the sun with my Sun Spotter Solar Telescope. There are four or five sunspot groups going all along the face of the sun. two of the groups, #2034 & 2035, are pretty impressive & they may send a CME our way. As always, I'm hoping for an aurora.

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.

Jupiter (Planet, est. mag -2.5)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: good   Seeing: fair
Time: Mon Mar 10 00:30:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1903

This evening I observed a nice conjunction between Jupiter & the moon. They were about two degrees apart & it was a great sight.

Sun (Sun)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 62-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Seeing: fair
Time: Sat Feb 1 17:00:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1902

Today I observed the sun with my Sun Spotter Solar Telescope. There is a complex sunspot group AR 1967 which could send a CME in our direction during the next few days. Also a smaller sunspot group AR 1968 is just above 1967. It's possible 1968 will get bigger also.

Jupiter (Planet, est. mag -2.5)
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 Jan 15 02:55:00 2014 UT   Obs. no.: 1901

This evening I observed Jupiter & the moon about 5 degrees apart in the sky. It was a nice sight.

Jupiter (Planet, est. mag -2.4)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: Milford, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Thu Dec 19 04:10:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1900

Tonight I observed the nice conjunction of the moon & Jupiter. They were about three degrees apart.

Satellite (Satellite, est. mag -2)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: Milford, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Nov 20 01:19:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1899

This evening my friend Steve & I observed rocket launch from Wallops Island, Virginia. It took four minutes for the rocket to appear from where we stood at the beach in Southern Ct. We watched the first stage power the rocket upwards until the first stage cut off. The second stage continued power the rocket upwards until we watched the second stage cut off. We then watched the rocket head into orbit for as long as we could see it. It was a great time!

Sirius B (Star, in Canis Major)
Observer: Attila Schne (e-mail: yolo@chello.hu, web: http://www.ebeamguns.com)
Instrument: 11-inch other   Location: Veszprem, Veszprem, Hungary
Light pollution: light   Transparency: good   Seeing: excellent
Time: Sun Oct 27 02:20:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1898

Using my 11" Yolo telescope. I was able to observe the faint pair of Sirius at 400x. It was visible very easily, even when the Sirius was in the middle of the field of view.

Jupiter (Planet, est. mag -2)
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: Fri Oct 25 03:00:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1897

This evening I watched Jupiter & the moon rise together. They were about six degrees apart with Jupiter lower left of the moon.

Moon (Moon)
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: Fri Oct 18 23:50:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1896

This evening I was able to watch the penumbral eclipse of the moon. It was very easy to see the darkening of the moon with my naked eyes but my 10X50 binoculars really made the view of the eclipse great.

Venus (Planet, est. mag -4.4, est. to be in Scorpius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Oct 15 23:30:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1895

Last evening, my brother Anthony, my friend Steve & I observed the conjunction of the planet Venus & the first magnitude star Anteres. These two objects were about two degrees apart. We then turned our six inch dob on Venus where we were able to see dark areas on the slightly less than 50% lit planet's face. We were also able to view M11 the wild duck cluster. It was one of the most impressive open clusters I have seen. We also were able to see the core of M31 The Andromeda Galaxy. Finally we enjoyed viewing the triple star system of Mizar, Alcor & Mizar's close double companion. a great night of viewing.

Epsilon Lyr (Multiple Star, in Lyra)
Observer: Richard Pattie (e-mail: exmedia123@gmail.com)
Instrument: 5-inch other   Location: Laguna Beach, California, USA
Light pollution: severe   Transparency: good   Seeing: excellent
Time: Mon Sep 30 01:34:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1894

I am new to viewing doubles and still fairly new to amateur astronomy. After reading other accounts of viewing Eps Lyr my report might stretch credulity, but I swear this was just the way it happened. I live in a heavily light-polluted area, but the air was uncommonly still that night. Using an Orion 5" mak-cass on an SE 6/8 mount, I went to Epsilon Lyrae 1, a double star I had not seen before. I was using a good 13mm eyepiece and, because the air was so stable, it looked like each individual star might also be a double! Added a Barlow, and at 6.5mm was able to confirm my suspicion. This should have been the absolute magnification limit, but I was on a roll, so I swapped in an ES 4.7mm ep and was rewarded with four perfectly still, perfectly round stars with a single diffraction ring around each, the fabled Airy disk. That was at 328x with my little 5" scope! I may never see these exact conditions again, so thought I'd report it. I did look it up afterward, and Epsilon Lyrae 1 is also called the "double-double." Incredibly, the two systems orbit each other. The separations are 2.2" and 2.4" respectively, which confirms that the resolution in my area was extraordinarily good.

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.

Other (Other, est. mag -3)
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: Sat Sep 7 03:30:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1892

This evening I watched the Ladee rocket go by my condo after it took off from Wallops Island for the moon. It burned brightly during the first stage & then I couldn't see it anymore after the first stage flameout. It was impressive.

Moon (Moon, est. mag -8)
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 Jun 23 01:30:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1891

On both Saturday & Sunday nights, I was able to observe the super moon which was at it's closest point to Earth in the moon's orbit. Since I enjoy watching full moons rise, I was able to easily see the largeness of this super moon. It was great to see this!

Venus (Planet, est. mag -3.8)
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 May 27 01:00:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1890

On Sunday evening, my brother Anthony & I oberved the close triangle of Venus, Jupiter & Mercury. Mercury had a slight pinkish tinge to it while Jupiter looked yellow & Venus was white. We then turned around to view Saturn & Spica side by side. Saturn looked a little brighter than Spica. Finally, we looked down toward our feet & saw Earth.

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.

Moon (Moon, est. to be in Taurus)
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: Tue Apr 16 00:00:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1888

On the night of 4/15, my friend Joe & I observed a nice triangle in the sky of the crescent moon, Jupiter & Sirius. This triangle covered a large swath of the western sky. A nice sight.

Meteor (Meteor, est. mag 0.0, est. to be in Gemini)
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: Fri Dec 14 03:15:00 2012 UT   Obs. no.: 1887

On Thursday evening, I watched the Geminid Meteor Shower for thirty minutes. I counted five meteors, the brightest being around 0 magnitude & bright yellow. Ultimately, the cold weather forced me back inside.

Meteor (Meteor, est. mag -1, est. to be in Orion)
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 Oct 21 06:30:00 2012 UT   Obs. no.: 1886

Early in the morning, my friend Joe Cseh & I observered both the Orinid & Taurid meteor showers. The Orinids were fast & faint except three of them which were fairly bright of about -1 magnitude. The Taurids were faint & slow moving. No bright ones were seen. In two hours we observed about 10 Orinid & about 3 or 4 Taurids. We also froze to death.

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