Tuesday, July 05, 2011

grey clouds (Blue Mountains)

8:44. I finally reached focus in the RASC Tele Vue 101 'scope on Saturn with the 55mm eyepiece. Saturn was tiny, so small that it is hard to make out the shape. But I thought, that's what it would look like in binos. I showed Kiron. He could tell it was not round.
Celestron 8-inch SCT on Vixen Super Polaris by star hopping;
Tele Vue 101 refractor on Paramount ME by Go To;
Oberwerk 100mm binoculars on tripod
We installed the new frame on the GBO laptop LCD. Perfect fit. Kiron's custom frame with Velcro pads worked good! No light leakage! Lovely deep red, the Lee Filters #42.

[ed: Nope. The red film product number is 026, not 42. Lee Filters 026!]

Kiron was looking at the waning gibbous Moon with my Celestron 8" SCT.

9:20. Using Virtual Moon Atlas on our computers, I was able to identify the bright crater near Mare Crisium: Proclus. It is 29 kilometres in diameter and 2400 metres in height. I also noticed the small crater in the mare, just above Pierce. That's Swift. 12 km by 1860 m.

We turned to Saturn.

10:11. We had been trying to see some of the faint moons around Saturn. No issues with Titan, Rhea, Dione. I thought, when the sky was still bright, that I saw Mimas. Wishful thinking maybe?

We found that the C8 tracking was holding up. So, without doing a precise polar alignment, it was working OK.

10:18. I decided to conduct an experiment. I moved the floor fan into the observatory proper. I put it near the LCD monitor and aimed it toward the west window of the warm room. So to force the outside air in... It sorta worked.

The view of Saturn was getting worse.

10:31. From my huge auto-generated list of stuff to try and see in SkyTools 3 Pro, I chose HD 125796 in Bo├Âtes. While tight, it was an easy split. ST3 said that they are 1.56" apart. They were equal brightness and colour to me. Both faint stars. It was not noted in double stars for small telescopes.

I looked through huge CAO binos at Moon, the 100mm Oberwerk, with the low power oculars. Wow! Very 3D. I love that. I always get a chill when I sense a large orb floating in the inky blackness of space.

10:39. I went to PPM 103051 in Boo. What? I saw some crazy faint stars. Mag 10 and 12 was the report from SkyTools. Why would this be included in the list? I generated this using the option to add "appealing" double stars. Come on. One would need much darker skies for a target like that. Nothing appealing about it.

Kiron quickly found Mizar A and B, Alcor, and Sidus Ludovicianum.

I switched to Sky and Telescope summer double-star list.

10:50. Targeted 38 Lyncis. At first, I wasn't sure what was going on, I didn't see a double. But at higher powers, I think I saw a kidney shape with two colours: one side was blue-white; the other side was orange. I wondered if this was a bad time to view it as Lynx was setting. It was pretty low. I kept looking, kept trying to split them. Clearly, they were very tight. The Sky and Telescope table said 2.7" separation. But I felt that it must be tighter than that.

Sissy Haas has this to say: 2.6 arc-seconds apart (as of 2004). A binary system. A showcase pair. A brilliant lemon-white star touching a smaller green-white star. Webb differs slightly with the colour assessment: greenish white and blue.

It deserves to be re-examined in better skies... High elevation.

Clouds were moving in. I started chasing sucker holes.

11:01. Viewed the Garnet Star. Lovely, as usual. Showed Kiron. He enjoyed the sharp colour.

I checked my blog companion page, to check the calendar. WTF? I saw the old Yahoo!Calendar, now sparse, with little current data. What was that doing there? I had stopped using the Yahoo system for my astronomy events calendar when they upgraded it, when they caused all my other dependent tools to break...

Guess I forgot to update this page. Kinda stupid. I made a note to add my up-to-date Google Calendar.

11:20. Grey clouds covered the sky. We were stymied. We closed up.

11:51. I checked the conditions.

wind: 9km
hum: 73
temp: 22.9
clouds: lots

The first clouds in days... We've had a pretty good run.

No comments: