Log, Sep 26, 2003
37 people. Initial forecasts of a cloudy, drizzly night did not come to pass, and instead we had a glorious, clear Friday night. The forecasts, though, kept most people away and we had substantially fewer visitors than we've had in the past few weeks.That was fine with me, since our pride and joy, the 16" Meade telescope, is in sad shape. It is suffering from an electrical problem which is going to necessitate returning parts of the scope back to California, which will take the scope out of commission for some weeks to come.Taking a scope of this size apart is not a simple undertaking, and I'll be needing some volunteers with strong backs in the next few days to help me take apart the scope. Please contact me if you'd like to help, and with the times that you'd be available to come to the observatory and lend a hand.We have not yet determined if we will simply close while the scope is offline, or whether we will set up smaller scopes on the grounds outside the dome and operate that way. This will require some commitment on the part of our volunteer staff. More details on this to come; watch the website for details.The folks that did show up got a good look at Mars, seeing the southern polar ice cap and Lacus Solis, the "eye of Mars." Unfortunately, that was all we could manage with the scope in its current state.