Saturday, July 09, 2011

outer planets (Blue Mountains)

Looked for Mercury. Couldn't find it with Kiron's bins. He took over and found the elusive planet. Then he and Phil spotted it naked eye. Finally, I just caught it. Not easy. And, sadly, there was no chance of seeing it near the Beehive.

9:54 PM, 8 July 2011. We viewed Saturn. Titan was far to the east. A faint moon was on the east side, near the ring (Tethys, said ST3). And I saw two moons to the west (Rhea and Dione).

10:14 PM. There were lots of mozzies tonight. Since Dietmar was taking power from inside the warm room to supply his DSLR while he shot the sunset, we had to leave the outer GBO door open.

I tried burning string to discourage the mosquitoes.

10:40. We viewed the Straight Wall. I wondered if it was a little late in the lunar cycle. Regardless, it was interesting. Rupes Recta showed as a deep and long shadow.

10:46. I put in the 2" neutral density filter. It was much better.

Kiron headed off to find the Apollo 11 site. That is a neat target.

11:07. I visited Phil at the pad. He was flying his Obsession on this evening. He was fine tuning the collimation.

That reminded me that Neal was looking for some help with his Lightbridge. It occurred to me to send him an invite.

11:21. We looked at the Apollo 11 site. Couldn't see footprints... I dunno...

11:29. Tried to view η (eta) Sco. This can't be possible in Canada! I even jumped the gun, before crossing the star was to cross the meridian. The view was crappy. I tried the 10mm, 18mm, 27mm. Bah. There's something there. Perhaps there are orange and blue stars?

[I didn't realise at the time that SkyTools3 does not show this as a double star. It says it is a variable. Also, it is not listed in Haas's book. Went back to my "original" spreadsheet. Oh. There's no η on the list; but there's ν (nu)! Oops. Looks like I made a mistake when assembling the observing list in ST3! So sorry. Was looking at the wrong star the whole time! The bad news is that, in going to the incorrect area, I missed a chance to see a double. The good news is that ν is much higher in the sky for viewing in the Great White North.]

12:02 AM, 9 July 2011. Viewed NGC 6791. It is a very faint and small open cluster. I found even found it difficult to see in the C14.

1:52 AM. I looked at Veil Nebula in Phil's Obsession (with nebula filter). Incredibly bright. Like a woman's scarf, diaphanous, thieved by the wind. Initially he was on the East fragment (NGC 6992, Caldwell 33). He left me find the West (NGC 6960, Caldwell 34)! That was fun.

3:07. Millie packed up from the observing pad then came into the GBO to visit. She asked to see Jupiter. We enjoyed the view but found one moon is missing.

3:35. I viewed Uranus. I tried to see some moons without success. Started with the 27mm. Tried the 18mm but it was not good. Offered the view to Kiron.

Checked conditions.

slight wind 6.4
humidity 93
baro 1011.0
temp 15.4
dew point 14.3

3:59. I took a SQM reading: 20.7-ish; 16°.

My back was very sore again.

No comments: