La Palma – 11th & 12th nights (Mercury and Venus)


Of course I am not observing the two inner planets with Mercator, but I just wanted to show how beautiful they are on the evening sky. The picture is from the 29th of March, and Mercury is climbing even higher above the horizon these days, so I think there is a good chance that it may be visible from Leuven too! On the 4th of April, they will be only 3 degrees apart, and still more than 10° high 30 minutes after sunset – at that time it should be easy to catch them with the naked eye.

Yesterday I had a quite bad headache during the night – probably because I could not sleep more than 5 hours on the day before – that’s the reason for not posting anything. (Of course all my painkiller pills were down in the Residencia…) Anyway, the weather was almost as good as on the 10th night (which was the best night of the observing run, despite the full Moon), so I had to concentrate to get as many measurements as possible. I have to admit, that this was much harder then on the previous nights. But I managed. And finally I could sleep 8 hours afterwards!


Now I am a bit sick and tired of working on my pictures (tons of raw images, and I like playing with Photoshop, but now my eyes hurt), so I need to stop doing it for some days… I will upload those which are already processed to flickr as soon as possible. But you won’t find this panorama there, because the stacking of the original images is not perfect (though it is barely noticeable on this small version), and I just don’t like the fact that it is not perfect :( And to make something like this, I would need the 303 SPH VR head for my Manfrotto tripod – but I am not going to spend another 500 Euros on photo equipment soon…

This is my last night at the telescope and I had 100% clear weather (except one hour, when I could not measure anything because of thick cirrus clouds), so I am quite happy. But usually it is clear when I am at the telescope, so I am not surprised at all :) Of course this may be only a strange coincidence, or – which is much more likely to be the case – the result of my weather-influencing superpowers…

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