Tuesday, May 10, 2022

AIR day 2

The following is a blog post from the Astronomer-In-Residence (AIR) web site, reproduced here with permission.

Day 2 blog entry.

Tue 10 May ‘22: Planning day.

Woke to grey skies. The Sun tried to punch through all day.

coffee time

Ground some good beans and fired up the coffee maker. Very important. Found an enameled tin cup in the cupboard. That made it all perfect. Enjoyed a simple breakfast and then pinged Kathleen.

We met in the Dog House and planned programs for the week. Wednesday for a sky tour of various celestial objects (even though it will be moonie), Saturday to help people learn the sky, and then Sunday late will be lunar eclipse time, of course.

We headed outside, opened Kchi Waasa Debaabing SkyShed POD, and pushed the dome back on the table. We touched upon the basics and fixed a couple of things. We also booted up the camera control laptop. I tested the DSLR with APT and the ZWO with the FireCapture app. All seemed to be in order.

Kathleen left me to my own devices so I did a quick run-through with the instruction guide. I shot a short video for the dome retaining clamps.

12:09. Kathleen emailed me the poster for the week with our 3 planned astronomy events. I replied that it looked good. It’s official: I’m on the docket.

Ugh, slowly programmed my red LED name badge by hand... Sadly, I cannot connect it to the new laptop. Anyhoo, added "Welcome to the Killarney Observatory!"

4:30 PM. Had a quick Zoom meeting with Bruce, letting me ask a bunch of questions. He's very helpful.

Over dinner, I noodled some more on the program notes based on SkyTools targets. I considered adding an exoplanet target.

Did some odds and sods and kept looking outside. Took care of a few RASC things including Stellarium Training Series registration wrangling. Chatted briefly with professor Karim Jaffer and David Levy in Montréal. Forgot to proof my column for the Journal! Oops. Deadline's tomorrow.

I had really hoped to play tonight, but there were clouds everywhere... Boo.

9:17 PM. Had a sudden realisation. I had not consulted all my usual weather tools: Clear Sky Charts, Astrospheric, Good To Stargaze, Aviation Weather Service. Tomorrow looks good.

If we're to try my complete target list, with a comet and a quasar, I think I need to figure out how to program the LX600 for custom locations, by RA and Dec. That will make it easy for us to get to them.

Spent a lot of time in the Dog House today. Looks like it is my new "office." My office in the woods and fresh air is surrounded by amazing bird calls.

The Astronomer-In-Residence program is coordinated by the Allan I Carswell Observatory (AICO) at York University with the Killarney Provincial Park Observatory (KPPO).

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