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Log, Jun 4, 1999

18 people. Viewing conditions were quite good this evening. While not as spectacular as May 14th, the lack of Moon light until after midnight, and unusually still air made higher powers practical. A great many Messier Objects were sighted tonight, most with fine detail. M4, M8, M20, M44, M51, M57, M81/M82 and M104 were just some of the deep space objects we viewed. By 23:00, it was possible to clearly make out dark lanes in the Milky Way background. The sky was clear down to the horizon. Several stars in Centarus were spotted as low as 42 or 43 degrees south latitude. Since the horizon never is below 48.5 degrees south latitude, this meant the sky was unusually clear near the horizon. Mars was somewhat less notable than last week, but we could easily see the polar cap and a dark [unidentified] marking near the equator. Venus was clearly a fat crescent.

Just as the Moon was rising, a lot of high wispy clouds began to fill the sky. Viewing deteriorated rapidly. M4 which was clearly resolvable into individual stars 15 minutes earlier in 3.5 inch Maksukov's was suddenly hard to see in the 7 inch StarFire. Only a faint smudge remained instead of sparkling pinpoints of light. With Mother Nature pulling tricks, we decided to close up shop for another week about AM.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Jun 4, 1999
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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