Thursday, August 29, 2019

ran a private tour (Richmond Hill)

At the David Dunlap Observatory, we ran a small tour for a couple of visiting RASC members. When Ralph got stuck in traffic, while Ron prepared the 74-inch telescope, I started the dome tour downstairs. Later we went to Saturn. That was awesome. Tried for the Blinking Planetary but we couldn't see it. I went to Rasalgethi for my favourite target, a colourful double star. Ralph then showed off the admin building and, as clouds slid in, Ron and I wrapped up. Ron also tested a flatscreen TV with the MallinCam; I also had a chance to sort out the Stellarium problem.

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The view of Saturn was amazing. Equatorial belt white, good detail in the cloud bands through moments of good seeing. Shadow of the planet clearly visible. The A, B, and C bands in the rings were easily spotted, the Cassini Division easy too. We noted Rhea to the left (east) and Dione and Tethys to the west. We used Ron's phone running SkySafari to verify the field of view. I briefly tagged Mimas to the 8 o'clock position, north-east; but I could not see Enceladus.

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This confirms north is down and east is left for our typical viewing, in the 74, in Cassegrain mode. As I suspected. Three reflections but... we're underneath the telescope, not above it.

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