Thursday, May 12, 2022

AIR day 4 - item 3 (Luna)

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

Day 4 blog entry.

Thu 12 May ‘22: Finally observed the night sky!

Up at 8-ish. Still not having much luck sleep-shifting. Oh well. Made coffee. I'm drinking Grizzly Claw from Kicking Horse. It has a cute little black bear on the container. Hopefully that's the only bear I will see! ;-)

10:30 AM. From the Dog House, caught up on various emails and text messages.

I don't know why they call it this name. It's a general purpose building for staff meetings, indoor training, etc. There's a storage closet for the observatory accessories. I like working here as I receive a super-strong wi-fi signal from the Dog House router. I don't think they send people here as punishment. Or do they?!

To do a deeper edit of the 16-inch telescope operational guide, I headed to the observatory. Opened up the structure, flipped open the SkyShed POD clamshell, and turned the dome to offer some shade. Worked on the guide. Applied various edits for additions, new equipment, different processes, etc. Shot various images to include in the instruction sheets.

3:36 PM. Tidied cords. It's kinda crazy when you image with a telescope. And this setup can take three cameras! Wires everywhere!

We had a York-Killarney team meeting at 4:30. I took that in the observatory, with the telescope in the background. Our recently installed hard line is working well!

During dinner clouds rolled in. Boo. Looked like I was scuppered again...

I also took the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Observer's Handbook editing team meeting in the Kchi Waasa Bebaabing observatory dome. Is THIS the new office? My al fresco workspace? I like it! Got some vitamin D too.

Oh! Skies started to clear up ‘round dinner time... Exciting! At last, a chance to do some personal observing. I was looking forward to some quiet time to get better acquainted with everything. Despite the bright Moon, I had a few targets that I hoped would be visible. Loose plans to do some visual astronomy and a bit of imaging.

8:16 PM. While the sky was still blue, and despite poor seeing, I viewed some lunar features including craters Aristarchus, Copernicus, and Proclus and its intriguing ejecta blanket. Noticed Schiller and its bizarre elongated peanut-shaped crater. The Sea of Moisture (Mare Humorum) is a fascinating mare with all manner of the things around the perimeter and three teenie-tiny craters in the middle.  Upon suggestions from Chris Vaughan, I looked for some Dorsae near Iridum.

Moon and Porrima

Canon 6D, Meade ACF 16, ISO 125, f/8, 30 seconds. 

Viewed and imaged the Moon right beside double star Porrima. That was fun.

Viewed Algieba, another double star. Lovely pair, unequal brightness, same shimmering light gold colour.

10:10 PM. Tried for supernova 2022hrs inside galaxy NGC 4647. Dang! The gibbous Moon was right near this part of the sky so everything was washed out. Boo!

Chose a RASC Deep-Sky Gems observing list target Levy 401 in the Lynx constellation. Found it by star hopping from Tania Borealis, one of the back foot stars of the Ursa Major, Great Bear, constellation while skirting Leo Minor. Viewed the small cluster of stars in an interesting formation in the refractor with a 36mm eyepiece (at 25 times magnification).

Considered chasing down some double stars from Sissy Haas's book Double Stars for Small Telescopes but I was tired after another long day.

11:46 PM. Decompressed a bit before heading to bed. Read another page of Gravity's Rainbow.

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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