This was the first clear day of the Christmas holiday. It started cloudy and unpromising, but got progressively clearer from the east during late morning. After a walk along the canal to exercise the dog and shift some of the Christmas dinner excess I set up at 12.30 just as the sun was clearing the neighbours conservatory roof. At this time of the year with the sun so low in the south I have just an hour and a half window where I can image the sun before it dips into trees after clearing the neighbours buildings.
Pretty much a repeat of yesterdays activity with the main prominence arches still visible in the NE together with the dark surface filament. Much better visibility today and the detail in the proms is sharper.
Frequently terrible seeing today meant that close up images of the prominences turned out less sharp. The sun struggles to clear the low altitude murk in our atmosphere at this time of year and this has a great impact on the quality of the final image. There was an impressive arch in the NE today with a fine dark filament on the limb immediately north of it. Lesser prominences elsewhere and most of those in the east.
At 15.48UT Venus was occulted by the moon low in the south. I missed the start of the occultation while I was at work, but the weather was cloudy at the time so it was not visible. I left work 16.45, looked up and was amazed to see the thin crescent moon and Jupiter clearly on display with Venus hidden by the moons disk. I raced home to try and catch Venus appearing on the western side of the moon at 17.17UT. I was very lucky to catch Venus appearing again right on the edge of the moon, a beautiful sight! The trio of Jupiter, Venus and the Moon were all very close in conjunction and made a superb image. You can see two of Jupiter’s moons top right either side of Jupiter. Canon 350D, Tamron 70-300 zoom, Canon 18-55 zoom. ISO 200, 4 secs.