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Posts Made By: Carlos E. Hernandez

November 17, 2005 11:58 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Lunar-Mars Conjunction

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez

Thank you all for the kind compliments on my rendering of the Lunar-Mars conjunction. It was a beautiful sight that needed to be recorded. he images posted by Brent and Rick are excellent. Brent's image captures the event like I recorded it with the cloud present which do , as pointed out by Brent, add to the scene.


December 5, 2005 03:25 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Lunar-Venus Conjunction (December 4, 2005)

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez

Ivan and Jim,

Thank you for your kind compliments on my rendition of this beautiful event. I am glad that you were also able to view this event.

Ivan-I look forward to your future images posted here and in the imaging forum.


December 5, 2005 03:32 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

gassendi in daylight

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez


An outstanding image of Gassendi! The rille system is clearly recorded across the floor. Thank you for sharing it with us all.


December 11, 2005 12:33 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

An Impetus For Iapetus

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez


Iapetus is Saturn's third largest satellite (892 miles diameter) and orbits at a distance of a little over 2.2 million miles from the ringed planet (over 9 times the Earth-Moon distance!). Iapetus is in a synchronous orbit (tidally locked) with Saturn (79.3 days).

Iapetus was discovered by Giovanni Domenico Cassini in 1671 who was able to see the satellite at western elongation (10.2 magnitude) but not over it's eastern elongation (11.9 magnitude). Cassini correctly deduced that the leading hemisphere was darker than it's trailing hemisphere (albedo of 0.04 (or 4%) versus 0.60 (60%)). The origin of this discrepancy between the two hemispheres is still debated. It was thought to be due to material from Saturn's outermost satellite Phoebe, but further analysis of the respective surfaces do not match. Another explanation for the discrepancy was active (tectonic) processes within Iapetus producing the dark material. We still do not know the origin to date.

Interesting links on Iapetus may be found at;

I hope that this summary helps.


December 13, 2005 07:11 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Mars Observation (December 13, 2005)

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez

I made an observation of Mars on December 13, 2005 (23:45 U.T.) and December 14 (00:15 U.T.), 2005 under average seeing conditions (5-6/10). Detail was noted over the Martian southern hemisphere between Mare Sirenum and Mare Cimmerium. Elysium was visible over the north-following limb. I welcome any comments that you may have on my observation.

Date (U.T.): December 13-14, 2005
Time (U.T.): 23:45 (left image, Dec. 13, 2005) and 00:15 (right image, Dec. 14, 2005)
CM: 175.8 (left image) and 183.2 (right image)
Ls: 340.1 (Late Northern Winter/Southern Summer)
De: -19.2, Ds: -8.2, p 0.95, 14.8"
Instrument: 9-inch (23-cm) F/13.5 Maksutov-Cassegrain
Magnification: 248x, 290x, and 344x
Filters (Wratten): 30 and 38A
Seeing (1-10): 5-6, Antoniadi (I-V): III
Transparency (1-6): 4-5 (hazy)

23:45 U.T. (Left image, Dec. 13, 2005, CM 175.8, IL/W30): The South Polar Cap (SPC) was very small and brilliant (10/10). Mare Chronium was dusky to dark (3-4/10) and mottled on the CM. Electris and Eridania were bright (7/10), but no cloud or dust activity was noted at this time. Mare Sirenum appeared dark to dusky (3-4/10) preceding the CM. Mare Cimmerium was dusky to dark (3-4/10) and mottled on and following the CM. Memnonia, Zephyria and Aeolis, Aethiopis and Aetheria appeared bright (7/10). Elysium was bright (7/10) over the north-following limb. Phlegra appeared dusky to dark (3-4/10) preceding Elysium. Morning limb haze (MLH), evening limb haze (ELH), South Polar Region (SPR), and the North Polar Region (NPR) appeared extremely bright (9/10).

00:15 U.T. (Right image, Dec. 14, 2005, CM 183.2, W38A): Mare Sirenum and Mare Cimmerium dusky to dull (4-5/10) preceding and following the CM, respectively. Mare Chronium appeared dull (5/10) on the CM. Very bright (8/10) hazes were noted to project from the preceding, and following limbs over Arcadia, Zephyria, and Aethiopis, respectively. A very bright (8/10) cloud was noted over Elysium. Extremely bright (9/10) MLH, ELH. SPR, and NPR were noted as well.

The best of luck in your own imaging and observations of Mars.

Carlos E. Hernandez

January 28, 2006 07:47 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Crescent Moon (January 26, 2006)

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez

Curt and Rick,

Thank you for your kind compliments on my crescent Moon rendition. The scene was beautiful in the early morning sky.

Curt-I look forward to your timely celestial diagrams.


February 21, 2006 11:03 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Mercury on Monday Evening, 2006/2/20

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez


A nice wide angle shot of Mercury in the twilight sky. I observed it the other night in a 12-inch F/5 Newtonian and noted it in approximately a quarter (half) phase, but no other detail. You have to wonder concerning the myth that the Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus never observed the planet from his native land at a magnitude of -1.9?


March 1, 2006 12:45 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Spot the Moon Aged Less than 24 Hours - Feb 28

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez


I did not spot the Moon earlier than 24 hours but I was close. I made a naked-eye observation of a very thin crescent Moon (1.13 days old) at twilight yesterday (06:45 PM EST (23:45 U.T. on February 28, 2006). It was a golden color and looked magnificent against a light blue sky with a multicolored horizon. I hope that you all like it.


March 6, 2006 02:26 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Comet C/2006 A1 (Pojmanski), 2006/3/5

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez


I was able to observe Comet Pojmanski (C/2006 A1) this morning (5 AM or 10 UT) through my 7 x 50 binoculars. The comet was located in the constellation of Delphinus and approximately 15 degrees above the eastern horizon. I only noted the coma at this time. If observed at a higher altitude I may have noted the tail as well? I will continue to observe this interesting comet. The best of luck in your own observations of this comet.


April 1, 2006 10:15 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Moon Occults Pleiades - Americas - Eve - April 1st

Posted By Carlos E. Hernandez


I was fortunate to have observed the occultation of the Moon and the Pleiades (M45) tonight (April 2, 2006 at 01:05 U.T.) under clear weather conditions. The sight was spectacular to behold as I watched the Moon pass over the jewels (stars) of the Pleiades. I made a rendering at the midpoint of the occultation using my 7 x 50 binoculars and I hope that you like it. The stars of the Pleiades (M45) that were visible (not occulted) were, in a clockwise direction, Taygeta (4.28m), Electra (3.71m), Merope (4.12m), Alcyone (2.84m), Atlas (3.59m). and Pleione (5.03). North is to the right and west is at the the bottom.

I hope that you all were able to observe and hopefully image this incredible event.