Saturday, December 12, 2020

Redpolls and Rough-leggeds + The Conjunction of Saturn & Jupiter


Chris Hadfield @Cmdr_Hadfield tweeted this image recently and I was intrigued to follow up with it. For several nights, its was cloudy at sunset, but just one or two evenings ago - I was pleasantly surprised two see two bright 'stars' above the western horizon just after sunset. To my absolute amazement - I had attempted to view the brighter star (Jupiter) through my recently aquired Celestron 80mm spotting scope and to my amazement - I was able to see jupiter and 4 of its moons though my new scope at 60x magnification. Then, I moved the scope onto the smaller 'star' (the planet Saturn) and to my absolute amazement ... I was able to see a small orb with rings --- yes--- Saturn and its rings through my $300 optical instrument!

I attempted to digiscope the scenes but I was unable to get any photos worth posting. I just thought I would mention though in case any readers have a decent 60x scope and had never attempted viewing these two planets through their scopes. 

Back to birding though - I had recently viewed a small group of about 20 Common Redpolls in Essex. Common Redpolls are one of my favorite winter finches. 

Common Redpoll on Evening Primrose

This afternoon - I went for a drive out in Essex, hoping to see a Rough legged Hawk --- and to my amazement I found one!  I had stopped my car to take a photo of a small flock of Eastern Bluebirds - and they flushed shortly after. As I was about to leave, a hawk flew by - a Rough legged! Sadly, many of these photos are over-exposed, and a little blurry... par for the course of course. 

Good birding, 

1 comment:

  1. That is cool! I have the same scope and never really thought about using it to look for planets. If the weather cooperates, I think I'll give it a try.



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