Saturday, September 27, 2014

long slow aurora (Blue Mountains)

Spotted the thin Moon. Looked about 3 days old to me. Saturn and Mars. Mars near Antares.

7:58 PM, Friday 26 September 2014. Richard arrived. Set up in the GBO. Sported his new computer tent.

I put the front red lights on. For our late arrivals.

Thin Moon.

8:15 PM. Seabrooks. Saturn. Titan, Rhea, Saturn, Dione.

Sara and Nicole arrived.

8:39. Looked at 90 Her. I don't know. At 390 power. The diffraction rings were obvious.

8:49. 3mm in TV101. Maybe I can see it, I thought.

9:08. Peter showed me Caldwell 14 aka the Double Cluster in his Meade SCT. Never heard that classification. [ed: Sir Moore's catalogue.]

9:13. Offered my big Mamiya tripod to Genevieve. She wanted to do a time lapse of the Milky Way.

9:23. Landed at HR 7162 in Lyra. Looked like another tight double—in a busy field. ST3P said it was a sextuplet. But I was not really in the mood...

Helped Genevieve with shooting and focusing. With Vega. Her Canon Rebel does not have live view. So I didn't think the focusing mask would help. That I had brought especially for her. After all this time...

10:18. Nicole's flashlight was not working. From Sky-Watcher. Needed a tiny Phillips. Why would they do that?! Not quick to fix.

10:40. Spotted, briefly, the quasar HS 1626+6433. With Ian. Funny had an easier time seeing star J162639.3+642620 at mag 16.2.

Ian used his 21mm and 13mm in the C14. Good glass.

10:46. Viewed the Splinter in Draco. Thin. Edge on. That'd be a nice one, I thought, to image. Big (er, long) in the 55mm.

11:08. Talked about dew heaters on camera lenses. Complications, if one needed a decent 12 volt supply. Cheap solutions, like coffee cup warmers...

11:33. Set up an image run with Genevieve. Used my heater set up, the PC power supply unit (PSU), the 2" eyepiece dew heater.

Took SQM readings. In the 21s.

12:19 AM, Saturday 27 September 2014. Aurora? A glow to the north and north-east. Found an unused spare CAO camera tripod. Set up my camera in the parking lot. Captured frames. For a possible a time lapse.

12:30 AM. Humidity was 88%. Temp 14.1.

Viewed Hickson 93 in Pegasus. Did not keep good notes...

1:34. Aurora was getting brighter.

2:08. Wild. Dual satellites went through the Big Dipper. Very near the bottom-right star of the pot. Merak? [ed: Yes.] It would be in my photos... [ed: Eric helped me determine the objects, using CalSky. USA 238 and USA 238-B. US Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellites.]

2:10. Imaged from the deck. Brighter. Streaks. Nicole was very happy.

2:35. Finished aurora run.

2:41. Snapped Orion.

3:08. In bed. Downstairs now. Orion room. Very tired. Despite sleeping in. I was sore. All the walking. And stairs. Yard work.

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