Log, Nov 26, 2004

44 people. For a night which Frosty Drew Observatory was originally scheduled to be closed we certainly had a crowd of people. Nick and Jeff were on hand helping out, and Steve Brandt who hasn't been around for a while came with his wife. All in all a very pleasurable evening visiting old friends.

I'm a little late getting out the revised website and the newsletter. No, I haven't been sleeping in for two days as one slightly dyspeptic comment suggested. And no, I haven't been ill, or too full of turkey or whatever. The actual reason is that my newest computer has arrived from Kowloon in Honk Kong, complete with a series of new things to learn about some of my programs running under Windows XP. They ran fine under Windows 95, 98 and ME, but they took a bit of tweaking to run under XP. Actually the main frustration has been the conversion of "My Documents" to "Les' Documents". The idea is fine (each person gets a private view of the system), but the side effects are that every procedure or program which looked in "My Documents" now has to look in "Les' Documents". Sigh. It took a couple of days to switch over.

Enough of why I am late and the peculiarities of various levels of Windows. The Moon was 99.9% full during the Friday evening. Actually the Moon was about 2.5 degrees above the plane of the ecliptic, so we saw a tiny bit of the south lunar pole in shade, but for all practical purposes, the Moon was totally full. This made the sky very bright. Worse yet, the star were merrily twinkling which indicated that the air was very unstable. Sirius was saw bad that it twinkled in many colors which it should not do on a night of good seeing. This meant that we spent a lot of time looking at the brightest objects. We looked at the Pleiades (M45), the Ring Nebula (M57) which was surprisingly clear, M71, the Great Nebula in Orion (M42 and M43), and several double stars including 13 Vulpecula, Epsilon Lyrae, and my favorite Albireo (Beta Cygni).

It got cold enough that we took a break inside the Nature Center when what to our wonder eyes should appear but a miniature caravan of about a half dozen cars. Warmed up enough, we traipsed back to the down and resumed.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Nov 26, 2004
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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