Friday, August 26, 2005

a return to the Muskokas

Malcolm and I returned to Val and Bruce's cottage, after 2 years, for some relaxation and good times. As promised, I brought the telescope. From the (new) dock, there's very good east and south exposure. I had my new Sky & Telescope's Messier Card on hand but I didn't really use it.
  • seeing: 8 / 10 (good stabililty)
  • transparency: above average
  • time: 10:00pm - 1:00am EDT
  • humidity: low
I trained the 'scope on the Andromeda Galaxy, Messier 31 (M31). I always enjoy it. Bruce's reaction is mild, which, at the time, was off-putting. But it reminds me that people are used to fantastic, rich, colour-enhanced images on TV or off web sites; not a dim, grey, fuzzy object that you need to stare at for several minutes...

There was more I wanted to do this evening but I had trouble thinking clearly and staying focused (sic)... Maybe it was the beer. Yeah, that's it—the beer. I couldn't even find the Ring Nebula. I tried several times, star hopping, to no avail. Admittedly, the 'scope is difficult to use for objects directly overhead.

Still, we looked at Mars (before the Moon rose). I could make out the disk and colouring. Luna rose around midnight and that was a big hit! People (some 8 or 9) enjoyed the power of the 'scope (77x eyepiece) and seeing the craggy details.


Some weather moved in on Saturday thwarting us from another session. Wishfully thinking I left the 'scope out on the dock all day. The wind, at one point, blew the large cap of the main tube. After we moved the boat, I could see it on the lake bottom, just off the dock. Recovered! I tied a leash to the handle with some rope to prevent it from going further... Consider a formal tether device for the future.

No comments: