Friday, June 15, 2018

viewed with the crew (Blue Mountains)

Dietmar configured the Paramount with the centre laptop. Some of my stuff had been moved around.
Instrument: Celestron 14-inch SCT
Mount: Paramount ME
Method: Go To
9:48 PM, Friday 15 June 2018. Helped Thomas with some photography. He couldn't reach focus in the refractor with his camera. Gave him our extension tube. Ready to go. Dietmar dropped in looking for Thomas. And Thomas's phone rang.

Showed Dietmar the blinkie thing in photo 7922, captured at 10:37 PM last night. Heading down the spine of Cygnus. If it was a low-Earth object it might show up photos 90 minutes later. Started checking the images from 11:00 PM.

Thomas left to pick up the yogis. Asked him to let Ian W know. Reminded him to ask the visitors to park their car(s) northbound.

Called to Katrina, "Come quick!" I wanted to show her my photo. She was on the Observing Pad with her Starmaster. Probably a plane in my shot. We wondered if it was a Soyuz rocket but they don't have flat surfaces.

Ian W popped by. Said about 5 people were due.

Dietmar and I agreed the pointing was way off. I suggested redoing things to see if it would improve.

Tony H popped in.

Katrina invited me to look at Jupiter. The Great Red Spot looked amazing in the big Dobsonian. Good detail on the surface.

10:14 PM. Katrina's 'scope. Jupiter. The GRS. And a shadow transit!

Dietmar parked the Paramount.

Noticed the crazy blue light inside Dietmar's car. Neat colour in the overall shot.

Pointing was still off. Maybe his file got damaged. We tried my account. The target icon was off so I was encouraged. He slewed to the Moon. It worked. In the ballpark.

Found a meteor in one of my shots (7986).

Tonight would be the last time looking through the Celestron 14-inch Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope...

Made a note to get darks for the run last night.

10:40. Fran, Sara, and Roh visited the Geoff Brown Observatory. We showed them Jupiter. Thomas and Dietmar assisted them at the telescope. The super was curiously absent.

Rohini asked if they could take photos with their smartphones. I retrieved the iOptron bracket from the house.

Challenging aligning it. But figured out some cool tricks.
  1. Loosely attached the bracket.
  2. Align the ocular over the camera.
  3. Shine a flashlight down the telescope side of the ocular.
  4. Look for the camera facia edging in the ocular (it will be magnified).
  5. Align the ocular to the camera lens.
  6. Snug the bracket.
  7. Open the camera app.
  8. Shine the light in the ocular.
  9. Look for a round image on the camera screen.
  10. Align as needed.
Dietmar headed to Saturn. For a second, I thought it was Mars... Low.

Millie dropped in to see the guests.

Rohini asked for more camera help.

Katrina called out. She saw an interesting satellite... I asked if it was the same thing as before, our mystery tumbler.

Checked with the group at the C14.

Visited Katrina. Recalled how Steve was tongue-tied on seeing bright meteors or satellites.

Tony dropped in. We chatted briefly. He tossed his apple core out the door on the lawn. I didn't notice his banana peel was on the counter.

The visitors joined us in the warm room. We talked about the software. We identified the moons of Jupiter. Callisto and Io were close. Recommended the SkySafari app, pointing out it was free now. They headed out. Reminded Thomas to have them sign the guest book. They were very thankful.


Later, Thomas joined us. With Dietmar, we closed up.

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