Saturday, September 01, 2012

Saturn and some doubles (Blue Mountains)

8:28 PM. Started observing early.

Viewed Saturn and Titan in the C14 and TV101. Very nice views. Good detail at the beginning before it got too contrasty. The equatorial belt was very bright. Hints of the Cassini division. Elaine and Tony liked the view.

Was willing to give up the big 'scope to Tim. But he hung with the imagers to see what they were doing. And spent some time helping Elaine and Tony with their setup and learnin'.

This meant I could try for some of the "early" targets suggested by SkyTools...

8:49 PM. Viewed Σ1881 (Struve) aka HD 130256. It was easily split in the C14 with the 27mm at 145x. I felt the stars were white and orange.

9:06. It was already dewy... Oh oh.

9:14. Millie and I were discussing the ability to see tight doubles. She remarked, again, she could not split pairs tighter than the Double Double in Lyra. That meant 2 seconds of arc was about her personal limit. I decided to view η (eta) Lyrae so to compare or check.

The seeing seemed very bad. And I wondered if the big black Celestron tube was still hot from the daytime use.

9:27. Tried to dump out some heat. I removed the mirror diagonal and tried the 'scope nose down. Tim suggested removing the HyperStar. Huh? We have a HyperStar?! I didn't know that. It would obviously be fast at dumping the warm air. But I was a little nervous about that. Rather do it in the daytime...

Looked at the Double Double at 391x (with the 10mm) and then 217x (in the 18mm).

Millie still did not want to adjust the collimation of her Ritchey-Cretien.

I remember the bees nest on the generator shed. I fetched a flashlight, some work gloves, and a thin stick. Pried the nest from the louver and punted it into the yard. Returned to the GBO.

9:48. Slewed to 65 UMa. Haas was suggesting we rate the A and C stars. I saw the very faint C companion. It was at a 90° angle to the nearby bright star. Turned out that was the D star. Ooh, neat, a quad system.

An interesting system, despite the mushy view.

10:02. Tried to split Σ2303 aka HD 168459 in Ser. Could not do it. I wondered if the pair was very tight but ST3P said they were 1.6" apart...

10:11. Tried θ (theta) CrB again.Could not split it in the TV101 or C14. Even at 391x. No joy.

10:20. Tried to break apart 41 Oph. No joy at 145x or 217x. The seeing was going away. We saw clouds rolling in.

10:23. We checked the ADDS web site. The clouds looked temporary. We retreated to the house.

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