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Log, Mar 17, 2006

16 people. The night opened with remarkably good seeing. Saturn was crisp, clear and stable. Cassini's Division was clear all the way around. Encke's Division was not visible but the Crepe Ring was quite clear. Titan showed a very tiny disk and was tinged brownish. The other moons were sharp points of light. When we looked at M42, the Trapezium was very clear. The four bright stars (A, B, C and D) were stable. Almost everyone could see E and F and a few people practiced in averted vision could get momentary glimpses of G.

We visited a lot of old friends tonight. M3, M5, M35, M36, M37, M86 and M87 were visible even after the Moon came up. Ernie wanted to look at the "37 Cluster" [NGC2169]. The bright stars of this cluster for the digits "3" and "7" but in the horizontally inverted image they appeared as a backward "7" and a backward "3" (sort of a Sigma).

It was another night of silly mistakes. I managed to goof up the pointing by aligning the wrong hardware to a location in the sky. I correctly pointed the telescope at a guide star, but instead of telling the telescope that it was pointing at that star, I entered the information into the software on the laptop. This increased the error by a factor of two. I finally went back to square one and started everything from scratch to get everything pointing as I wanted. At least afterwards, when I said I wanted to see some particular object, the scope went to it very well.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Mar 17, 2006
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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