Friday, April 14, 2017

planned an easy session

A chance to observe! The Clear Sky Chart was looking good for Ontario locations. The Moon would be bright (after midnight) but I could view some double stars. I really wanted to do that. That said, I wanted to keep it simple. No tent, no EQ mount. Fast and easy. Ah, I could try the Starmaster...

Consulted my observing prep checklist in Evernote.

Started recharging batteries including the 12v SLAs and 12v Li-Ion.

12:21 PM. Recharged some AAA batteries for the Sony voice recorder.

Checked the audio device. It was showing that battery level low. No surprise. Checked remaining time/space: 17 hours.

Grabbed my red glasses. Deep red flashlight. Checked power: OK. Grabbed the black cloth. Might prove handy if I was not going to use the tent.

Readied astronomy box ε with my (recently-cleaned) eyepieces. Checked the netbook computer. Removed the red film from the carrying case. Moved the portable table and observer's chair to the hall. Checked the sunset time: around 8 PM.

Oh. What if the Newtonian needed work? I hoped I would not have to collimate...

12:36. Found the 2016 RASC Observer's Handbook in astronomy box α 1. Removed it.

Grabbed my eyeglass strap.

Built an observing list in SkyTools 3 Pro. About 60 items. Mostly double stars.

1:08. Checked my astro calendar for current events. Nothing really. All those comets...

1:37. Tried red light mode on John Charles using Backyard Red. Never used it before. Not bad. But I don't like that you cannot move the applet from the top edge of the screen. For me, that's an issue, for I run my Task Bar there.

Checked the satellite imagery. Pretty clear. Cold lakes...

Clear Sky Chart for Friday night

Dark blue. Yeh! Transparency looked very good. Seeing not bad.

Pulled the Environment Canada data for Newmarket.

The 24 hour forecast showed Fri 14 Apr would be sunny and 15°C. Tonight would be clear and drop to 1°C. Brrr. Sat 15 Apr would bring a few showers but would warm to 19°C. Saturday night: chance of showers, 30%, at 12°C. The detailed forecast, issued at 11:00 AM EDT Friday 14 April 2017, showed: Today: Sunny. High 15. UV index 6 or high. Tonight: Clear. Low plus 1. Sat, 15 Apr: Increasing cloudiness. A few showers beginning in the morning and ending late in the afternoon. Risk of a thunderstorm late in the morning and in the afternoon. Wind becoming south 20 km/h in the afternoon. High 19.

1:45. Checked Clear Outside. It was showing green to midnight! All right.

Then the CSAC alerts started pouring in...

2:24. CSAC Alarm for 2017-04-14 21:00:00 at Toronto.

Favorable observing conditions at Toronto.
Opportunities to observe at: (Clouds/Trans/Seeing)
04-14 @ Hour 21 for 8 hours (0%/Above Ave./Good)
Thank you for using the Clear Sky Alarm Clock,

3:33. Then one for home...

Favorable observing conditions at B. Williams Mem. Observatory.
Opportunities to observe at: (Clouds/Trans/Seeing)
04-14 @ Hour 16 for 7 hours (0%/Average/Average)
04-15 @ Hour 05 for 3 hours (10%/Average/Average)

Everything was ready... Had an early dinner.


In short order, I felt super-tired. Nap-jerking at my desk. Effect of the early start today. Headed to the bedroom for a cat nap...

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