Monday, January 10, 2011

that was fun (Toronto)

Just got home from a City Observing Session at Bayview Village Park. Joined RASC members Maia, Stu, Don, and Tony. Maia had a few students show up. Margie and Bob popped by for a few minutes (with lightweight clothes and sans toques). They didn't stay long. Skies were not great, it was chilly (-8°C), but we still got a surprising amount of observing in.

I asked Grace if Tony could come out and play. It was a treat to have transport to and fro. Tony asked me to drive so he could relax.

I was very glad to see Don. He had brought out his Meade ETX 125 PE and tripod to let me experiment. I grilled him on features, pros and cons. It was good to try it. I enjoyed the views. I think the aperture is appropriate. The bad news though is it looks like it cannot be equatorially mounted on a table with little legs. At least, not with the PE version.

We viewed Jupiter and its four moons all on one side, like a little Double Double arrangement. We viewed the Moon. I tagged M42 (Messier 42) in the 125. Maia's 8" Dob offered up a crisp, clear view. Stu put a nebula filter in his refractor which really showed off the gas. M43 (Messier 43) popped. We all took in various double and multiple stars: Castor, Polaris, Rigel, σ (sigma) Orionis. We wrapped up on Uranus and Jupiter together in a 2° field by Stu.

Saw four (of the five) stars that make up σ Ori. Saw three (of the four) stars of Struve 761.

Tony picked up coffee and tea for the crew! Helped warm our hands. Very handy given that one of my chemical heat packs had already been triggered. (Should have checked 'em before departure.)


We couldn't remember some of the star names in Orion. I used SkyTools3 to dig for details...

left most of belt: Alnitak
middle: Alnilam
right: Mintaka
left knee: Saiph

Sent on to the crew.


The new Baffin -100°C boots were amazing!

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