Thursday, October 19, 2017

aimed into Hickson 10 (Halifax)

Positioned BGO on star on GSC0230001449 in the middle of the galaxy cluster Hickson 10 in Andromeda.

galaxy cluster Hickson 10 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET. North is up; east is left.

The Hickson 10 target shows in many of my SkyTools 3 Professional observing lists, as far back as August 2014. I believe it gets automatically added in some situations by the Nightly Observing List Generator. But in all that time, I don't recall viewing it. It is a lovely grouping.

West of centre is the large elliptical galaxy NGC 529.

Just above, north-west of 529, is a very small oblong smudge. Another elliptical? That's LEDA 169778.

The bright star to the south is HR 410.

To the east-south-east of centre is a canted spiral of NGC 536. It has huge sweeping spiral arms fanning out into space, perhaps extended by gravity. Fantastic.

NGC 542 appears to the south-east of 536. It looks like an edge-on spiral.

North of 536 is a curious shape, almost rectangular. It is a canted spiral perhaps with a bright core. NGC 531. SkyTools says it is a barred lenticular.

There are many more small fuzzies in this image...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

shot NGC 185 again (Halifax)

I asked the Burke-Gaffney Observatory robot to imaged NGC 185 again. First shot in Aug '16. Tonight's shot is much better.

NGC 185 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET. North is up; east is left.

revisited SN2017eaw (Halifax)

Once again, BGO captured supernova SN2017eaw. Much dimmer.

fading supernova in the Fireworks Galaxy in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET. North is up; east is left.

Last shot 12 Oct '17.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

when neutron stars merge

The detection of gravitational waves from merging black holes over two years ago was a big deal. A very big deal. It was like we developed a new sense. The LIGO and similar instruments allow analyses of the Universe in completely new ways.

And now we've detected gravitational waves coming from neutron star collisions. This is an exciting breakthrough partly because neutron stars are visible directly. We can see light from the event in addition to disturbances in gravity. The article at Astronomy Now is intriguing.

This discovery also helps in our understanding of where heavier but still fundamental material likely comes from, such as gold.

captured HR 6043 (Halifax)

The Burke-Gaffney Observatory imaged HR 6043 aka STT 305. This is a multi-star system in Corona Borealis. I selected it from a "most beautiful" list in SkyTools 3 Pro. The image is centred on GSC 02576-1852 with the target system near the top.

multi-star system HR 6043 in luminance

Luminance only, 4 seconds subexposures, 20 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

The B attendant is the medium-bright star immediately to the west, very close, almost touching the primary.

While there are many bright stars nearby, they are not noted in ST3P as members of the system. Also there is a dim star to the south-west. Close.

There is a C element. It is further west. In fact, it is in the vertical line of 3 dim stars, being the lowest or southern point.

It is fascinating to spot the dim oval galaxy south of OΣΣ 305 C. This is PGG 57432. It must be bright to appear in a 4 second shot...

next council meeting

The next meeting of the RASC Toronto Centre council is on Thu 19 Oct.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

helped at CAO work party

We helped at the fall work party at the Carr Astronomical Observatory.

welding the Stargrazer cutting deck

I worked on the small motors with Ed. We winterised the Stargrazer and Green Flash ride-on mowers and the Blade Runner walk-behind. With Jeff's help, we welded up the old MTD cutting deck. I winterised the generator. I also replaced the batteries for fire safety and security devices.

Rhonda worked on a number of indoor and outdoor tasks. I think she had fun. It was awesome having her there.

The weather was satisfactory. It was warm. It did not rain much on Saturday. It did not snow!

The event was very well run with Ian W and Phil at the helm.

The food by the dos Santos was amazing.

updated notes

Helped Geneviève with her imaging procedure notes. We refined the set-up notes she had transcribed. Drew an additional sketch for the electronic focuser cabling. I added the closing down notes.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

loaded and locked

Loaded our two pinhole cameras with Ilford 5x7 paper. Closed the shutters. Capped the cans. Ready to go...

fitting

Jeff told me about he and Richard using Geoff Gaherty's astronomy equipment during the solar eclipse. A nice tribute.

entranced by IC 342 (Halifax)

Directed BGO to image IC 342. Number 5 is the Caldwell catalogue. This is a massive face-on galaxy in Camelopardalis. It is a very challenging visual target...

galaxy IC 342 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

§

Wikipedia link: IC 342.

revisited Arp 133 (Halifax)

Returned to Arp 133 centred on NGC 541. The Burke-Gaffney Observation produced a much better image than my first attempt on 30 August.

galaxy cluster centred on NGC 541 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

Friday, October 13, 2017

look at the Elora

Katrina found a cool beer. Astronomy themed, of course. Looking forward to trying it. And made close to home too...

Elora Borealis pale ale beer

Photo by Rhonda.

we brought the clouds

It clouded over just after we arrived. Boo!

The gang had been observing since sunset under rather good skies.

They reported seeing aurora too!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SN2017eaw still visible (Halifax)

Clear in Halifax. As expected, the BGO robot got busy. Imaged NGC 6946 for me once again. Supernova SN2017eaw is hanging on...

supernova within Fireworks galaxy in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET. North is up; east is left.

Last shot 5 days ago...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

made two new cameras

Rhonda and I made two new pinhole beer can cameras using Justin Quinnell's method. One thing we decided to do different was invert the can. This should help reduce water incursion without installing an additional cover. Also, we're doing an experiment. Ian W suggested changing the location of the pinhole so to get more of the Sun's arc in the "high" season. We put the pinholes about 1/3rd of the way down from the top of the camera.

Link: Justin's pinhole photography site.

Monday, October 09, 2017

quiet observing (Bradford)

Camp fire! Well, not camping. In the back yard. In the fire pit. Under the old rusty fire place, rho built a lovely warm fire.

As we decompressed from the weekend, we took in many sights in the clear sky overhead. The Summer Triangle was straight overhead when we started. Aquila, Cygnus, Lyra, high up while Andromeda, The Great Square, Pegasus were over the cedars. Cassiopeia was behind me. Cepheus was way up too. As it got darker, we could see Delphinus and the top of Capricornus. Rhonda asked about the stars left of Cap and below Peg. I had to check. Yep. Aquarius. I couldn't see it at first but pointed out the faint Water Jar. Then I located Equuleus, between Del and Peg, down a bit. Very faint, a compressed triangle, with two stars at the top and one at the bottom.

Tried to split Albireo with the old 7x Bushnell binocs hand-held—no luck.

Later when I stood on the west side of the yard, I saw Capella and the Pleiades.

We used my high-power green laser pointer. I did a quick test of my work laser pointer, that is the Logitech remote presentation control with built-in green laser. Low milli-watts! It was almost impossible to see.

We were back inside before the Moon came out. Whew.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

shot supernova again (Halifax)

Ordered BGO to capture the SN2017eaw again. I'm intrigued by the long, slow burn-down.

supernova SN2017eaw in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

Last captured on 5 Oct.

captured 54 Sgr (Halifax)

The Burke-Gaffney Observatory imaged 54 Sagittarii, a multi-star system I wanted to revisit as I had not logged the B star. First viewed in August 2013, at the CAO, a suggestion from a guest.

multi-star system 54 Sgr in luminance

Luminance only, 3 seconds subexposures, 20 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

C is the bright companion to the north-east.

No wonder I did not see the B element. It is very faint. Due west of A.

SkyTools 3 Pro shows B to be bright and states it is magnitude 11. No way. It's more like mag 14.

imaged Pal 11 (Halifax)

Programmed BGO to image Palomar 11. A globular cluster in Aquila. Frame centred on SAO 143755.

globular cluster Palomar 11 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

Faint, loose, south-east (down and left) of centre.

one year ago

Happy astronomy anniversary!

Rhonda and I did our first night-time astronomy viewing together on Fri 7 Oct 2016.

Space-time flies...

more data for NGC 1514 (Halifax)

Sent the Burke-Gaffney Observatory back to NGC 1514, the Crystal Ball, to get more data. More luminance, colour, and oxygen-III data. Also, for the first time, hydrogen-alpha data.

For all: FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

planetary nebula NGC 1514 in luminance

Luminance only, 10 seconds subexposures, 15 stacked shots.

planetary nebula NGC 1514 in O-III

O-III only, 30 seconds subexposures, 15 stacked shots.

planetary nebula NGC 1514 in hydrogen-alpha

Hα only, 30 seconds subexposures, 15 stacked shots.

First imaged the planetary nebula on 12 Sep '16.

tried NSV 1484 yet again (Halifax)

I programmed the BGO robot with double the exposure time for NSV 1484 (from the previous attempt). Still I see nothing at the location marked in SkyTools 3 Professional. The region of interest is near centre now as I used the star GSC 03730 00073.

suspected variable star NSV 1484 in luminance

Luminance only, 8 seconds subexposures, 20 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

Magnitude 17 stars are visible in this image.

Friday, October 06, 2017

received SN Nov/Dec 2017

cover of the Nov/Dec '17 SkyNews magazine
Received some mail today including SkyNews magazine. The November/December issue.

The cover shows Saturn imaged from the Cassini space probe. The Farewell to Saturn headline portends to an article about the craft's spectacular 13-year mission.

Looks like there are also round-up articles and photos from the August 2017 solar eclipse.

received postcard

Rhonda went through her mail shortly after getting home from work. Ha! She spotted my postcard from USA...

I had been wondering what had happened with the Wyoming card! Dropped at a USPS station on 27 Aug. Took weeks to get here...

Oops. I did not apply enough postage, that's why. I had affixed what I thought were two stamps but only one was a valid stamp; the other was some decorative element.

revisited HR 1741 (Halifax)

Sent BGO into Taurus to snap HR 1741 aka STF 680. A double I wanted to view again for its colour.

double-star HR 1741 in luminance

Luminance only, 4 seconds subexposures, 20 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

On 15 Feb '14 I struggled a bit with the colours. It will be interesting to process the RGB data...

new hand installed

Read an article at Space Flight Now regarding the space walk to replace one of the "hands" on the CanadArm on the International Space Station. All went well exchanging the end effector and they finished ahead of schedule.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

file size matters

Rhonda and I chatted about the Journal. A day ago she had read the notice, sorted out logging in, and tried to download the PDF. She reported that it didn't work or was slow. I pointed out the high and low resolution versions and that high quality one can take a while to download...

tried for NSV 1484 (Halifax)

I charged the robotic Burke-Gaffney Observatory to image variable NSV 1484, an object I had attempted unsuccessfully to view before. Centring on GSC 03730 00607 in Camelopardalis, I was able to include a number of nearby double stars.

variable star NSV 1484 with doubles in luminance

Luminance only, 4 seconds subexposures, 20 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

I did not see NSV 1484 on the evening of 16 Jan '12 even though I could see magnitude 11 stars. I do not see it in this image, near the bottom-left edge of the frame! It should be south of TYC 03730-0145 1 and GSC 03730-0076, the vertically arranged medium bright stars, and between J041145.8+595414 and GSC 03730-0073, the horizontally oriented dim stars. Nada. Magnitude 16 stars are easily spotted in this stacked photograph. But there's no NSC 1484. Weird.

North of centre, at the top edge of the frame, is the bright and tight pair HD 25993. Their position angle is roughly 45 degrees with A to the south-west. B is only slightly dimmer. It is interesting to note that SkyTools 3 Pro reports the separation at 4.60". I thought the limit for the BGO setup was 5.

The bright triad, with HR 1270, to the south-west is not a double.

South of centre is the faint tight double of STI 500. Tantalising. The brighter element is to the east and the companion looks to be at a PA just under 270. ST3P shows that the A star is in fact on the west side.

The bright non-round star to the north-east is double HD 26112. The stars are merged. ST3P states they are less than 2 seconds of arc.

§

Did a bit of digging in the New Catalogue of Suspected Variable Stars warehoused at the Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow University. NSV number: 01484.

  • hours RA, equinox 2000.0: 041142.2+595406. 
  • type of variability: UV
  • magnitude at maximum brightness: 6.    
  • l_magMin, "<" if magMin is a bright limit: <
  • minimum magnitude or amplitude: 12.      
  • magCode, the photometric system for magnitudes: p 

Note: Seen only on one plate with double images (Dec. 15, 1900).

Uh huh. So no one has seen this for over 100 years?

And the "if magMin is a bright limit" tag being true suggests perhaps it is not brighter than mag 12?

§

Tried again (and centred) on 7 Oct '17.

returned to NGC 6946 (Halifax)

Returned to the Fireworks Galaxy with BGO for another view of the supernova SN2017eaw.

supernova SN2017eaw in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

Imaged two nights ago.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

watched the shadow

Watched the video by Earth to Sky Calculus using a GoPro camera sent aloft with a balloon on 21 August. It imaged the Moon's shadow racing across Wyoming. Fantastic!

members notified

Notice was issued for the October 2017 issue of the Journal (as a PDF download). I thought the timing of that a little curious... I downloaded it directly about two weeks ago.

photographed HD 79210 (Halifax)

Multi-star system HD 79210 aka STF 1321 was on my "view again" list so I sent the Burke-Gaffney Observatory to Ursa Major.

multi-star system HD 79210 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

A and B are the equally bright stars oriented east and west with A on the left or east side.

C is the extremely dim star to the north-east.

D, brighter than C, forms a nice equilateral triangle, is to the south-west.

This object is included in the RASC coloured double stars list... I'm very curious how this will turn out in colour.

SkyTools says A and B are a binary system with an initial orbit calculated at 975 years.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

captured supernova again (Halifax)

Ordered BGO to centre on NGC 6946 again. The supernova continues to drop in brightness.

supernova SN2017eaw in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

It is around magnitude 16.8 now.

Last imaged on 29 Sep '17.

revisited 32 Cyg (Halifax)

I programmed the BGO robot to image bright 32 Cygni (and friends) centring on TYC 3563 02372 1. Bright 32 Cyg aka S 743 is a double-star.

It was recorded in my SkyTools 3 Pro "multiples" life list but not officially logged. Neither was it noted on my online life list. It was marked in ST3P to view again. When I reviewed all the observing sessions it was included in, I did not find any specific observing status flags. I was not sure how it got on the SkyTools list. It suggested I had viewed it before. This could be the first.

double-star 32 Cygni in luminance

Luminance only, 3 seconds subexposures, 20 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET. North is up; east is left.

32 Cyg A is the very bright star on the east (left) side of the image. Nearly due south is a medium bright star. This is 32 Cyg B. Widely separated.

Lodriguss includes this object in his naked eye double star list.

Due west of 32 is what appears to be a dim pair, canted south-west through north-east. This is ES 799. It is actually a quadruple system! The upper left element is actually A and B merged separated by 2.3 seconds of arc. The bottom right star is C. While ST3P refers to D, it does not show it on the chart. The software says it is 3.7" away from C at position angle 74.

§

I think part of the confusion may be that 32 Cyg is also known as ο (omicron) 2 and it is near 31 and 30. The ο designation has been used over the years for two or three of these stars creating some ambiguity. The Flamsteed designation is more clear than the Bayer.

30 and 31 are not shown in the photograph.

30, 31, and 32, in the Swan's right wing, together make an interesting naked eye and binocular target.

§

Wikipedia link: 32 Cygni.

Monday, October 02, 2017

returned to HD 194192 (Halifax)

The BGO robot imaged HD 194192 aka HJ 1510. A multi-star system in Cygnus. I had first viewed the 6-star grouping from the CAO recently, on 23 September, but had not spotted the C companion.

multi-star HD 194192 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET. North is up; east is left.

A is at the centre of the compact grouping. B is to the south-east, close, tight, and almost the same brightness. C, which eluded me before, is very dim, opposite B, to the north-west, slightly further away. D is further north-west, quite bright. E and F are opposite again, in the same direction as B, to the south-east, a pair in their own right. E is the brighter attendant to the north-east; F is slightly dimmer. E is brighter than D; F is dimmer.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

why?

Rhonda asked, "Why lumpy darkness?"

Why?

Why?!

Why indeed.

'Cause it's lumpy.

And it's dark.

installed Stellarium

Installed the latest version of the Stellarium planetarium software for Jackie to her laptop. Configured the start-up settings. Gave her a quick demo.

if we make it

We discussed meteors, then asteroids, the differences between comets and asteroids, and then asteroids that might hit the Earth. Tons of material from space falls into our atmosphere every day. The world space agencies meet to plan for some of the game-changer events. But I didn't believe we had global support (and funding) to mount a serious campaign. The object that hit the Earth near the Yucatán Peninsula killed most of the plant and animal species.

Major solar flares can be bad. But that's been happening for millions of years. Serious events can affect satellites and power grids.

I said that I used the Space Weather web site to monitor things like this and specifically referred to the Potential Hazardous Asteroids (PHA) table. Of course that lead to other interesting ways that we might die (if certain world leaders don't do us all in). There are many threats from other space.

I mentioned Phil Plait's book Death From The Skies! You don't want to get spaghettified if a black hole wanders through our solar system, stretched apart by gravitational tidal forces. If a supernova goes off nearby, that could be bad. Betelgeuse, at 222 parsecs, might pop at any moment (it may already have).

Happy thoughts!

§

I couldn't remember the exact number. The Popular Science article says that 60 tons of cosmic dust falls to Earth every day.

The wikipedia article on the Chicxulub crater says 75% of life was destroyed in the incident.

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) monitor near-Earth objects (NEOs). Many strategies are discussed in the asteroid collision avoidance article at wikipedia.

The Spaceweather.com web site has information about sunspots, solar flares, aurora, asteroids, etc.

The Near-Earth supernova article at wikipedia says that we'll get a significant dose of gamma radiation if a star pops within 10 to 300 parsecs (30 to 1000 light-years).

Quick reviews of Plait's book.

couple of DSOs before fog (Big Hawk Lake)

Took my telescope to Big Hawk Lake. Borrowed the mount.

Friday was clear but I didn't set up. Started the integrated on Saturday afternoon so to take it slow and easy. Scouted about the yard.

gear (most of it) unloaded from the car

3:02 PM, Saturday 30 September 2017. I preferred the "front" yard, on the lake side.

I found the dovetail bar attached to the Celestron 8" SCT was too small for the Celestron DX saddle. Had to MacGyver it. Located a 1x½" piece of wood to fill the gap. Strapped it down with hook-and-loop wraps so it couldn't buckle up.

setup (stage 1) complete - note the stick protruding

4:07 PM. Completed the setup.

When I did a test alignment, I heard the RA motor straining. Checked the balance and found it way too top heavy. I had brought two 5-pound weights thinking it would be plenty.

counter weight (aquatic) on mount (telescopic)

6:05. Considered a rock in a sock but settled on the 10-pound anchor roped on RA shaft! Wow.

Installed the baader planetarium 36mm aspheric wide-angle eyepiece.

Put many items under the deck, cases, books, etc. hopefully out of the dew.

Looked up the exact latitude and longitude. Leveled the tripod. Used the compass to get the base roughly pointed to true north.

§

Set the mount to track the Moon.

Wondered if it would every clear the trees from the location I had selected.

7:21. Looked up the immediate azimuth (148°) and altitude (21°). I estimated I needed the Moon to go 20° to the right and 10 up. At 8:20, SkyTools 3 Pro said the Moon would be at 163 and 26; at 9:20, 178 and 27. Hmmm.

§

After our late dinner, I headed out to complete the polar alignment. Initially, Jackie and Rhonda helped but then they headed done to the fire pit. The neighbours to the south-east had a fire going too.

10:57. It was really humid. Dew covered the eyepiece case, the glass plate on the dock, the telescope tube.

I finished the polar alignment using the app on the Android.

Activated Rhonda's tiny red LED light string.

The mount motors struggled from time to time with the imbalance so I had to help by holding or pushing the optical equipment.

11:05. Tried to complete the star alignment but I had set the mount too high. And I had forgotten to align the finder scope.

11:12. Grabbed a patio chair to help me view through the finder scope at the top of the OTA. Then I was able to continue the two-star alignment.

11:18. Added a calibration star. But worked blind. I expected the model to be off.

Chose the Double Cluster (aka NGC 869 and 884). The pointing was indeed off. Eyeballed the location.

I was feeling a little out of sorts.

11:22. Final got to the Double Cluster just as Rhonda called up. She and Jackie walked up from the fire pit.

11:23. I hit the Enter button by accident causing the mount to slew. Given the pointing was off so I lost my target. But I was get back to it quickly this time.

Rhonda asked about my binoculars. I had put them on the steps from the deck. We unpacked them. Before going to "back yard" by the driveway to see the Moon, I had them take a look.

11:26. Jackie viewed the two clusters. She enjoyed the Double Cluster. We showed her how to focus for her eyes. She struggled a bit with staying in the ocular's sweet spot; she kept shift off axis and everything went black. I encouraged her to bob and weave a bit and then brought over the astro chair to lean against. That helped.

Asked if they could see colour. None per se.

11:29. Rhonda really enjoyed Caldwell 14. "Look at them all," she exclaimed, two the two groupings for stars, one on the left, one on the right.

Jackie said she was happy to find Cassiopeia in the sky. A new constellation for her toolkit. I had also shown her Cepheus, the upside-down house. I used the green laser point to draw the constellation out for rho.

They then headed "back yard" to do some bino Moon gazing. I went inside for a bit.

Put my winter coat on. Found deep red flashlight! I had not seen it for a while. It was in the red shopping bag with the coat. Yeh.

11:35. When I returned to the telescope, I thought the tracking looked OK.

11:36. Considered syncing to improve pointing. Pressed the Back button multiple times to return to the main menu. Then hit Align. The hand controller presented various options like Alignment Star, Calibration, Polar, plus Sync. I chose Sync and hit Enter. Used the coarse and fine movement techniques.

I thought the eyepiece view OK. It did not seem dim or fogged even though it looked like it was at 100% humidity. I was worried about the dew on the corrector and the ocular. I had the 8" Kendrick heater; I had forgotten the 2" eyepiece heater. I had the Type IV controller on maximum. The wraps did not seem very hot.

11:38. The neighbour's guests departed. I watch the green and white lights drift across the lake. I couldn't remember my sidelight orientation clearly.

I noted some clouds. I could not see Perseus at all! Damn it.

11:41. Slewed to Albireo, helping the struggling mount. When it completed, I thought the OTA was low. Using the chair again, I put the double star in the centre of the finder.

11:44. Synced again.

When i walked to the back yard, I found the Moon was too low. Rather the trees too tall.

11:48. Returned to the 'scope. Checked over the mount. The hacked dovetail clamp was holding; the hacked counter weight was OK. Rhonda's LED light string was pulsing away. The dew heaters once again didn't seem hot enough. I heard Jackie and Rhonda in the distance, drawing closer. I saw that Perseus was back. Put the SCT cap on while I waited for them to return. The eyepiece cap was on. The neighbours had gone quiet.

11:51. The happy Moon lookers had returned. They had found Luna in the binos once clear of the trees, a couple of cottages over. Unfortunately, the Bushnells fogged up. They had spotted the Big Dipper, low over the trees.

They wanted to know where Auriga and Capella were. Below Perseus. I thumbed the laser. Rhonda did not think Capella as yellow as other times.

11:57. She noticed mist on water. And it was getting worse given the lack of breeze. Did not bode well for astronomy; Jackie liked it. We all agreed it was eerie.

I was feeling a bit bad. Last night had been good but I had not set up. Was kicking myself.

11:59. After I removed the caps, rho had a look at Albireo. Two bright stars just right of centre. She called Jackie up. She really liked the double star in Cygnus. She described the top star as orange with a blue one on bottom. Rhonda was happy for Jackie seeing stellar colour.

We talked about double stars, the different types, etc.

We lost the sky sadly. And Jackie was cold

12:08 AM, Sunday 1 October 2017. Jackie called it quits and headed inside while rho and I went down to the fire. Stoopid fog. Stoopid hobby.

Told rho about once losing the SCT cover in the drink...

We took in the whole sky, such as it was, from the pit, mist and fog and clouds coming and going. I assured rho we were not seeing aurora over the cottage roof; just clouds reflecting light.

12:20 AM. We viewed delta Cephei. Rhonda thought it at minimum. In fact, it was a tiny bit dimmer than "top" star (epsilon).

I shared that this was the first official time using rho's red LED lights. I liked the random pattern. I particularly liked that system used "regular" batteries versus coin-style lithium (or some other nasty metal). Told her about Phil's mild protest in Merritt. I feel they'll be a hit at public star parties.

12:28. Told rho about the trick of putting the bins inside one's jacket. Warm 'em up.

12:31. We decided to head in. The sky was not really improving. Earlier, I had planned to go to the Dumbbell but now it was too low.

Said it was OK to turn the cottage lights on. I slewed to a good orientation and hibernated the mount. I headed to the car to get blankets, a tarp, and the clips.

12:37. Powered off the mount, installed the polar scope caps, covered the 'scope.

Took stuff inside including the recorder and computer.

12:42. Inside, I turned the recorder off.