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Log, Oct 25, 2002

16 people. The weather forecast was mediocre at best, but by the time I arrived (the official fall and winter opening time is 6:30) I found Steven (hope I spelled it correctly) just finishing up knocking down his gear. It had been tolerable but clouds were mocking us. We could just barely discern the bright stars of the Summer Triangle, but the rest of the sky had the appeal of old grease. Still I have been going through advanced withdraw symptoms away from FDO so I "puttered". People arrived, sometimes three and four at a time. I explained this and that, and demonstrating the polar wobble on the software to a young visitor from Wisconsin who had heard correctly that Polaris was only temporarily the pole star. I said that Thuban (Alpha Draco) had been the Egyption pole star and that eventually Vega and Deneb would assume that role but not as well as Polaris. Suddenly one of my visitors uttered that most precious of words "Stars!". Sure enough we had a break which remained long enough for me to crank up the telescope (which was quite well behaved after a long hiatus).

We had been talking about galaxies and I had said that M31 was the most distant object visible to the unaided eye. It was our first target and rather good. There was definite detail in the core and the outer lanes were easily discerned. After everyone had a chance to see the Great Galaxy in Andromeda I switched over to M33 the Pinwheel. At first it showed enough detail to justify its name but shortly someone said I don't see much, it is all sort of cloudy. Indeed, our brief clear period was over. People came in little cluster for several hours. Lots of talk about astronomy but not too much viewing.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Oct 25, 2002
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Leslie Coleman's Log
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