Boon Hill Amateur Astronomy   

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Sunspot activity 2022

Posted by dbock1 on March 20, 2022 at 12:00 AM

The Sun's activity has been increasing for some time, so I've setup my Celestron 6" f/10 SCT with a white light solar filter.

Here is a couple of images from two days. February 8th and 9th. 2022

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) - July 23, 2020

Posted by dbock1 on August 1, 2020 at 12:05 AM

While at the Boon Hill Observatory I setup to take images of Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

Data taken on 7/23, 2020

Location: Boon Hill Observatory

Processed 7/26, 2020. First stack of 9 x 90 second frames (cropped)

Stacked on the core only so there are trailing stars.

No darks, so there is a lot of noise.

Canon T3i, 75mm @ f/4.5, ISO 1600, 90 second subs

Ioptron SkyTracker

Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) May 2020

Posted by dbock1 on May 12, 2020 at 12:30 AM

Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) is coming north right now in May 2020. Here is a video of it's path from May 12 - 30, 2020 in the morning sky.

It will also be visible in the Evening sky after the 25th of May as it moves north. This is f rom Michigan skies, i.e. 42+ degrees north latitude.

Comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto

Posted by dbock1 on March 3, 2019 at 2:00 PM
I managed to capture images of Comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto on February 18, February 22, and March 3, 2019. Those were the last clear nights we've had. You can review a few comet images at the flickr account.

Lunar Eclipse January 20-21, 2018

Posted by dbock1 on December 24, 2018 at 11:50 AM

We have a lunar eclipse coming up on January 20, 2018 that will be visible in North and South America.

It will start the evening of the 20th and run overnight into the morning of the 21st.

From Detroit, Michigan the Partial eclipse starts at about 10:33pm, with totality begining about 11:41pm on the 20th. Mid eclipse is at 12:12 am on the 21st, and totality ends at 12:43am. The partials finish up at 1:50am on the 21st.

So this will be well positioned overhead for us in Michigan. All we need is clear weather.

You can practice taking pictures of the moon over the next 4 weeks to get some practice in. Exposures, etc. for the various phases are a good indicator for the partial phases of an eclipse. With digital cameras, the feedback is immediate, but it is always good to practice ahead of time, to make sure you have all your equipment you need, and it is in running order.

Comet 46p/Wirtanen

Posted by dbock1 on December 13, 2018 at 8:25 PM
We're just a couple of days from closest approach of Comet 46P/Wirtanen. Comet 46P/Wirtanen is a small short-period comet with a current orbital period of 5.4 years. This happens to be a favorable pass for us. If you get clear weather, get out and observe it with binoculars. December 13 to the end of the month. Closest approach is the 15th/16th. Enjoy

The Michigan Nebula

Posted by dbock1 on November 1, 2018 at 9:20 PM
We're heading into late fall and winter now, so the usual Michigan Nebula will be upon us for about 95% of the next 5 months. I hope we get more than a handful of clear nights during that time, but that is about what we usually get. A handful. In the meantime, we'll attempt to get to as many meetings as possible in the multiple clubs we belong to, during this winter. Doug Bock

2018 Boon Hill Fall Star Party

Posted by dbock1 on September 10, 2018 at 10:55 PM
I'm hosting a star party at Boon Hill, near Cadillac, MI, from October 4th to the 11th, 2018 Rustic camping, so you'll need to bring everything. We have a cabin for warmup. Doug Bock

The New NCO Observatory is up - August 22, 2018

Posted by dbock1 on August 22, 2018 at 9:05 PM
The new observatory was completed on August 22, 2018. It is a 10x10 building with a powered roof. The 10" f/8 RC is installed again, and ready to be used. Here is a time lapse of the 3 day build.

NCO teardown August 4, 2018

Posted by dbock1 on August 5, 2018 at 8:20 AM
On August 4, 2018 we had a crew out to tear down the two observatories here at the Northern Cross Observatory complex. The dome was 40+ years old, and the roll off 34 years old. The dome had rotted away about a decade ago, and was no longer in use. The outriggers of the rolloff have degraded and were at risk of collapsing. The roof itself was getting too difficult to open as well.

So we took them down.

The plan is to have a new one built in a couple of weeks on the old platform, then put the imaging system back into the observatory. The new building will have a powered roof, and hopefully will out last me. ;)

Here is a video of segments of the tear down.


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