Sunday, July 16, 2017

viewed fast movers (Blue Mountains)

10:00 PM, Saturday 15 July 2017. I visited the lads on the Observing Pad. Viewed Saturn in Ian's homemade Dobsonian. The Division was visible, the equatorial belt, dark at the pole, hint of the shadow, Titan, a bright moon opposite. Viewed Jupiter in Chris's new Dobsonian. Three moons nicely aligned. A pinpoint just off the disc, very close, but way out of line. I was assured it was Callisto.

The supervisor was asleep so I decided to do my own thing in the Geoff Brown Observatory. Started with some high-priority double stars.

10:34 PM. Viewed HD 120476 in Boötes. aka SAO 83011 or STF1785. One of the fast movers. I saw pale orange stars, A slightly brighter and paler than B. An easy split. Oriented roughly north-south. I estimated the PA is around 12. Uncle Tony had a look.

partial orbit diagram of HD 120476

That was nice. A new binary double star for me.

Richard was fighting his mount. EQ Mod issues with the date/time.

10:59. I had been viewing eta Coronae Borealis for some time now. I could see faint C and D plus other stars.

11:10. Uncle Tony wanted to tested a Celestron 8mm ocular. It was OK. There was a slight collimation issue but overall it was OK. He said the views in his C11 were not good. Offered to have a look but he had buttoned up his observatory.

I split η CrB with the 10mm in C14! Yes! Extremely tight. Good to see them again.

11:16. Turned on Optec focuser. It seemed to be working fine. Normally ramp-up non-linear progression of the controls. But I was having a harder time now seeing things. The clouds were not helping.

11:39. We had a bit of rain. Richard called it out first; immediately I felt some drops. I panned the C14 horizontal. We had to close the roof.

We waited for a long time but the clouds just didn't seem to be letting up.

12:29 AM, Sunday 16 July 2017. We were back in the house...

12:40 AM. I checked conditions from the front deck. Still cloudy.

I checked again. Marginally better overhead but lots of clouds in the north-west. I retired.

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