A fog bow in arctic conditions

Observed phenomena: Fog bow
Light source: Sun

Date: 27.2.2012
Time: 10:30
Observing place: Satovaara, Sodankylä, Finland
Observing method: Photography
Technical information about photographing equipment: Olympus μ 1030 SW

On 27th of February 2013 while working in the wilderness of Sodankylä, Finland, I observed a really bright and magnificent fog bow! The temperature was about -20 °C, and yet the fog bow was visible! On that morning, the whole landscape was enveloped in thick fog and it was white everywhere! The landscape was absolutely beautiful and fantastic, it was just like a some kind of a winter-wonderland!

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Get-together of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter, February 2012

Type of event: Conjunction
Celestial bodies in conjunction: Moon, Venus and Jupiter
Date: 25.-27.2.2012
Observing place: Levi, Kittilä, Finland

In late february 2012, the Moon, Venus and Jupiter approached to each other in the celestial sphere. Between 25th and 27th of April these celestial bodies were in a beautiful alignment in the sky!

Unfortunately the capabilities of my small pocket camera are quite limited, and I couldn’t take any fancy photos of this celestial get-together. Actually only the Moon and Venus are visible in the photo. Jupiter was a little bit too faint to visible in this photo. Nevertheless, here’s one shot of this occurrence!

Moon, Venus and Jupiter in the sky of Levi, Finland 25th of February 2012
Moon, Venus and Jupiter in the sky of Levi, Finland 25th of February 2012

Massive aurora outburst!

Couple of nights ago, there was a huge aurora outburst going on! It was a magnificent all-sky show with lots of bright aurora belts and rays! The aurora belts were moving rapidly in the sky. Once in a while the activity ceased but then started to go up again! The aurorae were there in early evening and they were still there when I had a last look at the sky just before midnight when I went into bed.

Besides aurorae, I observed also Z Uma, which had been getting considerably fainter now! Two weeks ago it’s brightness was 7.8 but now it had dropped to 8.8! it would have been fun to observe even more, but I decided to give up because of poor conditions. There was some some haze in the sky and although the aurorae were a stunning sight, they also had a negative effect on the quality of the sky.

Observing session: #30/11-12
Date: 15/16.2.2012
Time: 18.30-19.50
Place: Sodankylä, Finland
Instruments used: L102/1000 mm
Objects observed: Z Uma, aurora borealis
Conditions: NELM: 4.3, SQM 18.25, clear sky, some haze in the sky, calm, no Moon, -19 °C, bright and active aurora show going on!

Observing in coldest weather so far

Few days ago the sky was clear and I went out for observing. It was also rather cold, -23 °C! It had been much colder just few days earlier here in Sodankylä, when the temperature dropped to -40 °C but unfortunately I was then in Turku and I missed the extreme temperatures! In Turku it was then only -25 °C at its coldest.

This time I observed few stars that I hadn’t been observing for long time: U Umi, R Cyg and T Cas. U Umi’s brightness was 10.6 and it is getting brighter. R Cyg is still in it’s minimum and it was beyond the reach of my telescope, it’s brightness was <11.2. T Cas is also getting brighter, now it’s brightness was 8.8.

Although it was cold, it still wasn’t too cold, and I would have wanted to observe even longer, but clouds came before eight in the evening and they forced me to stop observing.

Observing session: #29/11-12
Date: 8/9.2.2012
Time: 18.00-19.45
Place: Sodankylä, Finland
Instruments used: L102/1000 mm
Objects observed: U Umi, R Cyg, T Cas
Conditions: NELM: 4.3, SQM 18.34, clear sky, calm, 99% Moon rising in the eastern horizon, -23 °C, clouds came suddenly at ~19.45 and forced me to stop observing.

Aurorae behind the clouds

Some days ago I went out to see, if it would be possible to do any observations. But unfortunately I wasn’t happy to see that thick veil of clouds was covering the sky, only Moon was barely visible. I tried to see, if It would have been possible to make any lunar observations with my telescope, but I had to give up with that because the clouds were too thick. Then I just was standing there in the yard of my apartment and watching the sky..when suddenly I saw something moving! I continued gazing the sky, when a bright aurora belt started to flame around the zenith! It wasn’t visible for long time, but anyway long enough that I could be sure that there really was aurorae! I’m sure that there must have been a great aurorae show going on behind the clouds!

Observing session: #28/11-12
Date: 30/31.1.2012
Time: 21.20-21.45
Place: Sodankylä, Finland
Instruments used: naked eye
Objects observed: none because of poor conditions
Conditions: thick veil of clouds covering the sky, only 47% Moon in western sky at altitude of 27° was barely visible. Some very bright aurorae were also visible through the clouds for a short period of time. -21 °C

The new committee of Porin Karhunvartijat has had it’s start-up meeting

The new committee of Porin Karhunvartijat (which was elected in the association meeting in December last year) has had it’s start-up meeting. The meeting was organized 4.2.2012 in the Ulvila observatory. People in the committee are the same than last year except one new member of committee, Raimo Peltomäki. The new committee is:

  • Kari Laihia, president
  • Jorma Niinisalo, deputy president
  • Juha Ojanperä, secretary
  • Mika Neittamo, treasurer
  • Raimo Peltomäki, member of board

In the meeting, members of committee discussed for example about the financial situation of the association and other current topics in our association.

The members of the committee of Porin Karhunvartijat. From left: Mika Neittamo, Kari Laihia, Jorma Niinisalo, Raimo Peltomäki. Juha Ojanperä was behind camera.