Observing in cold weather

Last night the sky was clear and I decided to make some routine observations. I set my scope up in the yard of my apartment in Sodankylä and I had a look  at Jupiter and the crescent Moon in the western sky – and it was absolutely wonderful sight!

Moon and Venus had been in a beautiful conjunction during couple of days and they were close to each other also this night. Unfortunately I don’t have so good camera that I could take decent photos of these celestial events now.

The sky was relatively dark, because there were no aurorae glowing and flaming in the sky this time. Only light pollution, Moon and light reflected from the sky were diminishing the darkness of the sky. It was also very cold this time, temperature was about -20 °C.

This time I observed Z And and R Tri. The brightness of Z and was about 9.1, which has been a very typical to it during the time that I have been observing the star. I observed this star first time in late july last year and it’s brightness has been almost constantly ~9 magnitudes. Whereas the other star of this session – R Tri had been getting fainter and fainter. Now the star has dropped into it’s minimum – a fact that I checked from the AAVSO website. When I observed this star last time about two months ago, it’s brightness was peaking in it’s maximum around 6 magnitudes. Now it’s brightness had dropped to ~11 magnitudes.

Observing session: #27/11-12
Date: 27/28.1.2012
Time: 19.10-20.20
Place: Sodankylä, Finland
Instruments used: L102/1000 mm
Objects observed: Z And, R Tri
Conditions: NELM: 5.6, SQM: 19.20, -20 °C, clear sky, calm, no aurorae, 20% Moon in west at altitude of 15°


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