Friday, September 14, 2012

observing between clouds (Mew Lake)

10:37 PM, Thu 13 Sep 2012. Clouds were rolling in again. But, overall, it looked like it was slowly improving.

Saw a short meteor in Cassiopeia.

With the C8, I started on M13, the great globular cluster. Not a bad view. Tony took a look.
Instrument: Celestron 8-inch SCT
Mount: Vixen Super Polaris
Method: star hopping; Vixen tracking
11:24 PM. Viewed υ (upsilon) Andromedae. It is a wide double. By itself, perhaps, not terribly exciting, as pairs go. But it has known exoplanets. I could not see the B star; the C star was easy. Again, I thought, not a great one in a telescope. But υ is bright enough to see naked eye in dark skies...

Bumped into Bob. Such a distinct voice. He was doing his usual demo of the sky. We exchanged greetings. He was well. He took a good look at my 'scope.

Bob shared that he learned the basics of astronomy on a 'scope like mine. Cool.

11:26. In Adam's Dob, with the 31mm and OIII filter, we took in the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888, Caldwell 27). It was very cool. Big. Extended. I thought it more like a number 3.

11:40. I viewed Almach. In the C8 with the 36mm eyepiece. Beautiful.

Weird, I thought that I must have looked at this pair before... Checked my life list local copy. Learned that I had viewed γ (gamma) And. But, I realised, the reason I did not have it logged in SkyTools was because I wanted to try splitting B and C...

Linda came by. We exchanged greetings.

11:45. I put the 26mm ocular, increasing the power from 55x to 77. Wow. The primary was yellow or gold. The companion? Was it green? Or light blue? Very interesting colours. It is in the RASC handbook in the "Coloured Double Stars" it is noted as orange and blue.

The park ranger and a guest dropped by. I gave them a view of the colourful double. They were impressed. Asked their impressions of the colours. They too thought the primary was yellow or gold. And they also wondered at the colour of the secondary.

We got clouded out. Horizon to horizon. It looked terminal this time. I did a rapid shutdown of the 'scope.

12:20 AM, Fri 14 Sep 2012. Walked back to the camp sites with Katrina. Wished her a good night. It was very quiet and dark at my site. I covered the bicycle and crawled into the Pingo.

12:51 AM. I heard the wind. It had picked up. I wondered if I should take down the tarp. Then a light rain returned again, sprinkling, on and off. Gnawing at my brain.

I covered wagon and bicycle together! And ironically the rain stopped... I retrieved a box or matches from the car...

1:06. Finally lit my candle lantern.

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