Saturday, June 16, 2012

one of each (Blue Mountains)

OK. Two planets. And three or four moons. Two passes of the ISS. But one of everything else!

10:24 PM, June 15, 2012. Viewed Mars. Could see the ice cap. Some darkening in the centre.

Earlier, looked at Saturn. Saw 4 to 5 moons. Titan to the far right, one to the right a half ring-width away. Another one to the right closer, above. Then one to the left, same distance, opposite. That was about a hour ago.

10:47 PM. Viewed the pass flyover of the International Space Station! It was cloudy though. Justin very impressed with the tech. Cool.

11:47. I spotted HD 124407 (in Virgo) in the Celestron 14 with the 27mm eyepiece. It was a tight double star. Identical brightnesses. Nearly equal colour. Well... maybe the top one was yellow-orange and the bottom one blue... And, on looking some more, I wondered if maybe the bottom one was slightly fainter. There was a neat z-shaped lightning bolt pattern of stars to the east...

I don't know where I heard about this. I had it on another SkyTools 3 list, the OSC May 2011. But I don't know why. It is a hard to find pair. Requires handsome power.

Windy tonight. The average now was around 24. The peak tonight has been 48.

12:17 AM, June 16, 2012. I had the C14, TV101, and finder scope ready for ISS pass at 12:20... I didn't remember viewing one so late before.

12:24 AM. What a great flyover! We saw great detail on that pass. Good colour. Katrina and Justin enjoyed it. I was pleased with the tracking and accuracy.

12:52. Stumbled across, in Ophiuchus, NGC 6287 (a small globular cluster), 1¼° away, while trying to find IC 4634.

1:09. I didn't know if I was seeing a planetary nebula. Certainly the object was fuzzy, with a bright centre. It just looked like a slightly out of focus star to me. What's everyone so excited about? I should probably go back and try filters, different powers in each 'scope.

1:17. Viewed NGC 4256, an edge-on galaxy in Draco. It was a suggested target from ST3. Thin, needle-like, it reminded me a bit of M82. Was it mottled or dark in the middle? Was there a dark edge, like the Sombrero? It was faint but a good size in the 18mm.


2:32. In bed. I was tired. Weird. I would normally be getting home from work... Probably the early start. And then go, go, go all day.


Image from Aladin.


On reviewing my notes and the SkyTools 3 Pro observing list I made up for the weekend, I saw that I had "checked off" a few other items as "observed." Namely, variable star RR Sco and double star Nu Sco aka Jabbah. But there are no notes. Not in the log file. So, as much as I'd like to cross a few things off of some lists, these will have to wait for another session...

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