Log, Jun 30, 2006

36 people. I got to the observatory a little early but I didn't get to set up the telescope until late. No I didn't sit down and chat with someone, I found that the Observatory had tripped every circuit breaker in the building and over at the Nature Center as well, where the power to the Observatory is supplied. It is my fairly firm belief that one of the numerous thunderstorms we have had in the last two weeks got a little too boisterous, and tried to shock our poor little dome. I finally got every circuit breaker reset safely, except the one to the lights along the fence. There is an external short circuit there but where I am not sure. I'll have to wait for the damp ground to dry out. Meanwhile, the red fence light will remain off.

I figured that with every circuit breaker thrown that the telescope would probably have its saved information totally scrambled. Not so! Hooray! Once power was restored, it came up nice as can be. I didn't have a bit of trouble until quite late when I could not find the "Dumbbell" [M27]. I felt like a "dumbbell" when I discovered, it wasn't me, and it wasn't the scope, but some clouds coming in from the west.

We did a fairly routine batch of sights tonight. I had hoped to catch a grazing occultation of a star by the Moon around 10, but I got talking too much and by the time I remembered, it was already over. We may have seen pretty much the last views of Mars, Saturn, Vesta and Mercury which are all clustered in Cancer. This constellation is getting too close to the Sun and when it finally clears the Sun these bodies will be in the morning skies. We'll have to rely on Jupiter for a good planetary view this summer and into the fall.

Viewing was pretty mediocre. We simply could not focus clearly. Jupiter and the Moon both had wavy "creepy crawly" images as the Earth's atmosphere caused wobbling much like looking at stones in a brook as the water rushes by.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Jun 30, 2006
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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