Neptune in Aquarius

I’ve spent the last two nights over at the society’s new observatory. It’s not yet ready to be officially opened, but it’s getting there. Last night it was quite clear, and although there are issues with the scope, (which are hopefully solvable), it was good to see the sky clearing around 00.30 and the winter constellations rising. There’s a good chance it’ll be clear again tonight, so I may be writing up a binocular report soon.
Anyway, I was at the observatory with another society member, and we were looking for Neptune. The Moon was right by it, and only a few days away from full, so the planet was lost to the Moon’s glare. But I do have some pictures taken with my DSLR from earlier in the week. I’ve been watching Neptune for the past three or four weeks. It’s heading ‘eastwards’.
Here’s the star field view, which I find by star-hopping from the two rightmost stars in the square of Pegasus. Find those, then go down the same distance down, then go a bit further down . . . (not very scientific, I know, but it works for me..) and here’s the view…


That’s with a 2.5 second exposure, f3.5 6400 ASA. A bit grainy, but it picks Neptune up…


Zoomed in, and compared with a screen capture from Stellarium, the faint dot is confirmed as the remote planet…


Cropped image from DSLR 50mm lens 18/102018 2.5 seconds f3.5 6400 ASA


Stellarium screencap for 18/10/2018

Neptune is mag 7.9 through November. I’m hoping to get more photos to show its movement. I did the same with Jupiter earlier in the year, but now I have a better lens to do it with, (a 50mm Canon EF, it says on the side). As I said, it was lost to the glare of the Moon last night, and in the city it’d almost certainly be lost to the streetlight haze. The photos above I took from the A41, about seven miles from the city. I haven’t bothered putting the small 4″ on Neptune. Uranus displays only a small disc through a much larger telescope, so I doubt I’d see a disc through the little Skywatcher. The society’s 16″ mirror, on the other hand, might well present us with a disc, as soon as the mirror is cleaned!

One last shot of the Moon and Mars on the 18/10.2018. A very pretty sight indeed!