Sunday, August 24, 2014

brief observing (River Place Park)

Needed to wind down. Calm down. I was stressed, upset, tired, anxious. Headed up the hill. No more repairs, OK?

11:42 PM, Saturday 23 August 2014. Arrived the dos Santos site. Enjoyed a beverage. Fired up SkyTools.

It was a nice sky. Not great transparency but still...

12:08 AM, Sunday 24 August 2014. Malcolm dropped off some paperwork to Elaine. I thanked him for inviting me to Starfest.

12:53 AM. The C11 pointing seemed to be off. Tony had said it was great late last night after he redid it. Not now. I starhopped to the Saturn Nebula (NGC 7009, Caldwell 55). Viewed at low power (32mm?) in the C11, then with 13mm. It was oblong. Bluey-greeny. A little unsatisfying. Phil taught it was too much power with the 13.

1:32. Tried to view Stefan's Quintet. Nothing was visible to me.

Wanted to view some target and considered a nearby star. But I quickly grew frustrated. The SAO targetting method in the Celestron (and SynScan) is ridiculous. The interface in the hand controllers is stupid! Why they make you enter the first four digits only is beyond me. And then, invariably, the star you're interested in not listed. Found a note in the documentation that said it only works for stars above mag 8. Useless.

I re-did the star-alignment. And I added one calibration star. Now it was pointing well.

1:47. Re-viewed Neptune. Definitely on it tonight.

I thought the collimation off. When defocused, I saw crescents.

More white lights... Worse this year.

Phil went back to camp. Andres came by and chatted with the dos Santos. At one point, they discussed the internet trouble. Andres said it was working fine. I argued that it was definitely not working. And I wasn't the only one. Hate that attitude. Katrina headed to camp.

Suddenly, we were clouded out. Such much for that. 'Scope was pointing well, finally. Optics were dry. I was settling into an observing plan. I hadn't had a chance to try the O-III filter. Didn't view any cool flat galaxies with Tony. I sent the 'scope to home and powered down. Said goodnight.

In a moment of inspiration, I grabbed my towel and toiletries. It was the perfect time for a long, hot shower.

Back at camp, grabbed my candle lantern. Mostly for ambiance.

2:39. Comfy in my sleeping bag. Starfest was all but over.

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