Mars occultation

We got up this morning at 4:30am to be greeted by cloud cover, but within 15 minutes it had cleared, allowing us to see the occultation of Mars by the Moon, starting just before 5am from Leeds. This is a quick and dirty upload, and a rather poor animation; more later perhaps.

The photos were taken through an ETX125 telescope with an attached Canon 7D camera, controlled from a Pixel 6a mobile running the excellent DSLR Controller app. There’s just a suggestion of surface detail on Mars.

Andromeda Galaxy

This picture is a tiny detail from an unzoomed shot taken with Admin1’s new phone — a Pixel 6a — from the light-polluted suburban environment of our garden. The inset in the green circle is a screen grab from Stellarium, a wonderful sky simulation program available for Linux and Windows. It shows that the faintly elongated blur at centre-left is, indeed, the Andromeda Galaxy; all the surrounding stars are correct. Our galaxy will collide with Andromeda soon. (OK, in about 5 billion years; no worries.)
It’s amazing that a small phone can capture  something like this.
Today 2022 became our best year ever on the solar panels, and Admin1 is reading The Blood Divide by AA Dhand.

Cloud of the Day: Elephants on Parade

A sublime cloud photo, taken in Sheffield Park (which seems to be in Sussex, not Yorkshire) by the inestimable Beth.
November was, on average, exactly the same as November 2021 by day, but slightly warmer by night and was one of our wettest months ever: 144.3 mm and the third least sunny November of all time.
Admin1 is reading One Way Out by AA Dhand. Admin2 is reading Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra, a rich and captivating book which requires rereading with a Hindi dictionary at hand.

Fog on the Lake

Taken on Admin1’s new phone, a view over the rooftops to a misty Gledhow Valley Lake, looking like a Chinese painting.
Sadly Gez had the corona so we missed our family meal and did the quiz over the phone: 12 points, including several contributions from the invalid. Yay!
Admin1 is reading Going Postal by Sir Terry Pratchett. Admin2 is reading The Dark Remains by William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin.


All day we have been veiled in fog. A man came round to cut off the top of the laurel tree in the centre of the picture so the sight has changed and Admin1 has animated the picture on the webcam so the site has changed too.
Admin1 is rereading Wyrd Sisters by Sir Terry Pratchett. Admin2 is reading Vacant Possession by Dame Hilary Mantel, which is also wyrd.
We scored 9 on the GSQ.

Moon, Clouds, Planet

The moon shining down in a misty sky. This morning was properly foggy.
We had our family meal of chicken, bacon and broccoli and apple meringue (we are constantly trying out new recipes to get shot of our glut of apples) and scored a magnificent THIRTEEN on the GSQ.
Admin1 is rereading Monstrous Regiment by Sir Terry Pratchett. Admin2 is rereading Beyond Black by Dame Hilary Mantel, which is beyond brilliant.

Brolly Poor Show

Storm Claudio came in the night, uprooted our garden parasol and tossed it down onto the lawn far below among the autumn leaves.
Admin1 is rereading Maskerade by Sir Terry Pratchett. Admin2 is reading Widowland by SJ Carey; The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Man in the High Castle meets Nineteen Eighty-Four, set in 1953 when the new king is about to be crowned.