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Log, Dec 3, 2004

42 people. We were visited by Cub Packs 2 and 6 from West Kingston. Nick and Jeff took over more of the inside duties allowing me to spend more time star hopping. I could see Ernie in the parking lot setting up is telescope. I pointed out the constellations to the Cubs and their families and told them a somewhat less than usually gory story of Andromeda and her family. The sky was very clear and very dark without any noticeable clouds except a bit of haze near the horizon. The winter Milky Way was beautiful overhead. We spent time looking at many favorites tonight. We looked at Albireo, M42 and the Trapezium, Saturn (with up to 5 of its Moons - Titan, Rhea, Dione, Tethys and maybe Enceledus), the Pleiades, the Cats Eye Nebula, and we tried to split the Pup from Sirius. Actually, it was impossible to even image Sirius well last night. It looked like a miniature but brilliant Crab Nebula with spikes of every spectral color. Saturn was much clearer as it rose out of the turbulent zone. We managed to see Cassini's Division - clearly at the ends of the Rings and with hints all the way around. One lady wanted to look at Betelgeuse through the telescope. I warned her that all she would see was a brighter version of the point of light but she was apparently satisfied.

I set up the Questar for a wheelchair visitor. This small instrument has spectacular sharp images. While tiny, things like Saturn and M42/Trapezium look like small jewels.

I wanted to get a view of the Ring Nebula but by the time we swung around to the North West, the first signs of clouds were beginning to fill the sky. By the time the Moon rose and swamped the sky with cloud reflected light, Nick and I were getting positively chilly. Thanks to a hand warmer packet Jeff gave me, at least my fingers worked. Nick and I decided to close by the official closing time when two people arrived. I explained that we were officially open only until midnight.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Dec 3, 2004
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Leslie Coleman's Log
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