Sunday, September 28, 2014

third night (Blue Mountains)

Many started off the evening visually enjoying or imaging the Moon and Saturn. A mere 3 degrees apart. I said, "Saturn is in the arms of the Moon." Peter agreed.

7:39 PM, Saturday 27 September 2014. Reconfigured the telescopes for night use. Coralie helped me.

7:41 PM. I still had no sense of a plan...

Loaned Nicole a USB cable from my "kit."

Amazing weather.

9:08. Helped the Wyrwicz family view through the C14. 51 Pegasi, an exoplanet system.

Everyone looked at Saturn for a time. In the cradle of the Moon...

Nicole said "Everything's perfect." We all waited for the other shoe to drop...

10:02. Confirmed Neptune and Triton.

10:15. Tried to split HR 7075. A pale yellow system. 1.00", no joy. 55mm, 27mm, 10mm. Also tried the 3mm in TV101.

Uh huh. See?! Nicole forgot to recharge her battery. I suggested the N11 power supply. We discussed amps.

11:09. Helped daughter and grandmother. We viewed the Swan Nebula, aka Omega, aka Messier 17 (M17). I was surprised that it was visible at all, given the low cloud in the south-west.

11:11. Helped Genevieve with photos of the Ring Nebula (Messier 57 or M57). About 30 lights; 15 darks.

I ramped up to image after her. Ian MacGyvered a piggyback camera mount for me.

Ian was helping the girls knock off items from the Explore the Universe certificate.

1:28 AM, Sunday 28 September 2014. Tired, yawned.

1:48 AM. Split χ (chi) Ceti. Yellow and blue stars. Both a pale colour. Almost wondered if primary was green (when defocused). Very wide in the big OTA. Switched from the C14 to the TV101. Maybe 1 mag different? [ed: 2+.]

1:51. Spotted ζ (zeta) to the north-east. About the same sep. [ed: 184 vs. 188.] But primary was brighter. And the secondary was much fainter. Oh. Baten Kaitos. Hard to gauge colour. Orangey yellow to bright blue? [ed: Haas says Smythe says topaz yellow and white.]

The only consolation was that clouds were rolling in, slowly...

Crashed in the library.

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