Saturday, August 14, 2010

hazed out (Blue Mountains)

Katrina joined me in the THO for the 122 Gerda occultation.

We were tuned to the US time signal station from Colorado. I had the long wire antenna snaking out the window and aimed south.

We talked about various things. For example, getting one's observing chair in a good spot so to be comfortable during the entire time window. Which eyepiece I had chosen. Previous occultation attempts and their results. Right-angle finder scopes and 1x red dot/circle finders. She's thinking about switching from a Telrad to a Rigel, although the Rigel does not use standard batteries. She really likes having both styles of finders. I said that I expected the 1x finder would be best for star parties when you needed to target something quickly.

12:17 AM. I remarked that the eyepiece view was sketchy. I was having a hard time, despite dark adaptation, seeing the stars. Katrina said that clouds near Sagittarius were gone.

We talked about meteors. She had seen 20 so far. She was surprised how low they were. I enjoyed looking at the radiant.

Katrina noticed that where she was standing was affecting the radio.

12:23. I wondered out loud why I do this! I knew the constellation was sinking. I wondered out loud, why I chose to do this.

12:24. I noticed that the stars brightened. A cloud must have moved away.

12:25. I thought them dim again. I switched to the 18mm eyepiece in hopes of improving the view. Nope.

12:27. Murky. I switched back to the 9mm. I thought there were clouds. The bright star lower in the field was much dimmer. I thought it indeterminate. Just seemed to be getting worse.

12:29. I asked Katrina how it looked in the south. She could see all the main stars. But she said it seemed hazy. I told her that I would not be able to call it. If the star went out, I would not see it.

12:32. I said that it was a bust. Offered a view of the eyepiece. She was quiet for a long time. Then she said it was too bad that it wasn't the bright star in the field.

She turned off the radio for me. Thanked me for inviting her.

Katrina was seeing Perseids from within the THO.

She spotted my Turn Left At Orion. She met Brother Guy the first time she went to NEAF and got him to sign her book. Said he was very nice. Very unpriesty.

We headed back to the Observing Pad for more meteors...

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