Tuesday, August 02, 2016

post-party observing (Blue Mountains)

11:29 PM, Monday 1 August 2016. The visitors were all gone. The star party proper was concluded. We settled in to do our own things. No one was using the Celestron 14" SCT now so I restarted it.

First serious observing for the whole weekend...

Transparency seemed poor.

11:59 PM. I tried the occulting 2" eyepiece in the C14. Turned to Saturn.

12:05 AM, Tuesday 2 August 2016. Wow! It worked. The aluminum tape at the field stop appeared black. The edge was crisp. By rotating the whole eyepiece, I could include or exclude what I wanted.

I could see Dione to the south-east. At my 10 o'clock position. SkyTools 3 Pro said it was 30 seconds of arc from the centre of the ringed planet. I calculated, with the Angular Measure tool, that the moon was 19" from the edge of the rings. Magnitude 10.7.

Tried to get Enceladus to the north-east. No joy. 8" from the rings. Magnitude 12.0.

12:10 AM. Spotted Tethys to the north. 9" from the rings. Magnitude 10.5.

12:14. Could not get Hyperion. 2'23" from the rings. Magnitude 14.5. Doable, ordinarily. I wondered if the whole planet was too low.

12:36. Phil and I helped Dietmar with his polar alignment of the Star Adventurer.

Viewed α (alpha) Capricornus. A target from my view-again list. My previous notes suggesting sketching it. OK.

α1 (Algedi) A was very bright. C was easy, to the south-west. Wide.

α2 (Secundus Giedi) A was very bright as well. D was easy, to the south-east. Very wide. In a group of 4 stars which looked like a triangular flag on a short pole.

HJ 2943, the faint triple, was obvious to the west.

sketch of alpha 1, alpha 2, and friends

Sketch of alpha Cap and friends. Scanned on hp. Cropped, brightened, inverted in Paint.NET. North is up; east is right.

I returned to the C14. Switched to the 18mm eyepiece, from the 27. Spotted the BD object, two faint stars, atop each other. But could not split them individually.

12:47. Noticed the weather server was not working, again. It did not seem humid, when I was expecting it to be. Rather pleasant.

Closely examined alpha 2. Spotted the BC group. At times. It/they was/were much fainter than A.

Decided to try for some extragalactic targets with the Moon-less sky.

1:06. With the 18mm, I turned to Arp 310 in Draco. Saw Arp 310 proper to the north. It was the largest of the galaxies in the field, with 2 bright points. Saw IC 1258. Saw IC 1260 to the east, smaller fainter. It required averted vision to make it pop. Ian W had a look: he clearly saw all.

1:27. Viewed IC 1392. A largish canted oval. Between gaggle of stars and a single star.

1:35. Viewed the Cheeseburger Nebula, aka NGC 7026, in Cygnus. Neat! Two rather long needle shapes with a gap between them. They were angled to my 10-4 o'clock, which was south-north.

I thought there was a faint double to the west, close. SkyTools did not show a pair in the Context Viewer.

Noted the wide pair of stars to the left or south-east, including PPM 60965. Well away.

Decided to wrap for 2:00 AM. Big day tomorrow. Work on my mind. A bit tired.

Did a bunch of the GBO shutdown steps. Left Richard to close the roof.

Rebooted the server when in the house.

2:27. Checked the conditions. Ten minute average wind speed was 8.0 km/h. The wind direction was east. The immediate wind speed was 9.7. The high wind speed had been 16.1. The humidity was 66%. As I suspected: low. The barometer read 1018.7 hPa. The air temperature was 20.8°C.


Not a lot. But got some neat stuff done! Haven't put pen to paper for a while either...


Tony Horvatin said...

Your dates are off. Sunday was the 31st of July, Monday August 1st., not to be picky. lol

bla said...