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Log, Aug 23, 2003

35? people. We really don't know how many folks stopped by and patiently waited for the clearing spell that had been predicted by 8-9 PM. It arrived well after 11PM when we shut down because of lingering lightning flashes and thunder. Joe worked in the dome while I tried to do a "soft shoe" in the Nature Center. Sigh! I've chalked this week up to Red/Closed on the weather history calendar. Mother Nature, you simply aren't being fair to poor honest astronomers.

Joe Hartley deserves major kudos and thanks from all of us for spending a truly sweaty miserable afternoon taking apart, replacing some out of whack nuts,bolts and set screws on our large dome rotating motor and gear box. I don't know the details although Joe explained it to me. All I do know is that the dome now rotates smoothly through all 360 degrees, with far less rumbling and no "hitches" as it goes over bad spots. He also spent a hour or so, doing a partial re balancing and alignment of the scope in preparation for our non-event of the evening. I feel ever so relieved that I am leaving Frosty Drew in his capable hands while I play hooky for the next few months.

Just as Joe and I wrapped up everything and were about to depart, guess what - the sky cleared enough to get a MEDIOCRE view of Mars. There was lots of haze, but we could glimpse the South Polar Cap and Mare Erythreaum through my Questar which I set up in a record 38 seconds on the back trunk of my car. Not worth opening up, especially when lightning was still flashing not too far to the southwest. Just as I drove off, a car passed me coming in. Sorry folks, its not for lack of desire but the weather is killing us this year.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Aug 23, 2003
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Leslie Coleman's Log
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