Saturday, May 23, 2015

good skies (Blue Mountains)

Feeling a little bookended—the work party officially starting tomorrow morning—but the skies were pretty good. Observed in the Geoff Brown Observatory with members.
Instruments: Celestron 14-inch SCT, Tele Vue 101 refractor
Mount: Paramount ME
Method: Go To
Fired up my SkyTools software.

11:27 PM, Fri 22 May 2015. Checked the weather conditions. 2.2 degrees, wind due north, 10 min avg 3.2 km/h, humidity 76%, barometer 1026.1.

How about a double star? One from the RASC Observer's Handbook?

On 84 Vir. Immediately saw the companion. Primary pale yellow, small pale orange dot, to the west. In a lazy L, TYC 00311-0818 1 to the south east, TYC 00311-1065 1 further along, GSC 00311-1395 to the north west, TYC 00311-1026 1 to the west. Not in any list.

11:41 PM. Viewed the Black Eye Galaxy (aka Messier 64, M64). The dark C arc was easy. Wide and high views.

Whale (aka NGC 4631 and Caldwell 32) and the Hockey Stick (4656), nearby.

11:59. Messier 85 (M85) and NGC 4394.

12:05 AM, Sat 23 May 2015. Messier 84 (M84) and Messier 86 (M86). Nearby, NGC 4388, 4387, and 4402. All together.

12:13 AM. Leo Triplet (i.e. Messier 66, M66 and Messier 65, M65, plus NGC 3628). Fit nicely in 10mm in TV101. Dropped to 55mm in C14.

12:24. Whirlpool (Messier 51, M51 and NGC 5195).

Viewed with Mr Horvatin.

12:32. Messier 82 (M82) and Messier 81 (M81). Mr dos Santos was impressed.

12:47. IC 3568 aka Lemon Slice Planetary at 391x. [ed: No notes captured! Will have to re-examine!]

1:02. [ed: Incomplete notes.] Could not split [a double star] with 3mm in TV101. Airy disk and one diffraction ring.

1:13. Tried for comet SWAN (aka C/2015 F3). No luck. Neither could Steve.

NGC 3756. [ed: Again, poor note-taking. Will need to view again.]

1:18. Lovejoy.

HR 285. [ed: Not sure why this was viewed. It's a K0 star. Perhaps for its colour?]

1:50. Saturn. Encedalus maybe for a second. Hyperion?! Maybe, when I panned the planet out.

HR 6246, aka Σ2103. B was blue-white. Orange. D, no prob [ed: magnitude 13.6]. GSC 00974-0809 [14.9!], GSC 00974-0583 [15.1!], GSC 00974-0719 [14.1], but no C. Weird. It was magnitude 14.4. [ed: The AB pair is noted in the RASC OH.]

Took SQM readings.

2:50. Tony dS helped with close up. Left roof open for Steve.

3:06. In bed.

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