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Log, Oct 13, 2006

22 people. We had over 20 people last night but fewer than half of them ever really got to see much. We had a spectacular sunset with increasing clouds. Ernie and I hung around and were later joined by Nick. Ernie had heard that the weather was going to clear and become unusually transparent and stable. Now a weather forecast like that from Ernie - the ever pessimistic Ernie that is - simply is too good to pass up so we stayed. Sure enough things improved, though I have to say that they never got spectacular and stability was perhaps not all it could be cracked up to be. For example, Epsilon Lyrae - the famous double double star next to Vega in the Lyre was barely stable enough to note that each main star was really two.

I started off by entering the orbital elements of Comet Swan into the computer. You can find the comet using the chart I've included for the next few weeks at comet chart.It is rather interesting because it is tinged green from the cyanide gas and carbon particle it is emitting.

Ernie wanted to try a number of nebulae and galaxies which we have never viewed before. He wanted to start at both end of the list NGC 1 and NGC 7824 (I think). We didn't have much luck. NGC 1 and for that matter NGC 2 which is right next to it are both very dim. You might think that NGC 7824 is very far from the others but this is not so. After this failed, he suggested we try for the Veil Nebula. This was all but invisible initially but the Oxy-III filter made it stand out beautifully. The Veil is very large (about three Moon diameters long, and very easily located by jumping off Cygnus the Swan but you really need a lot of light gathering to get much of a contrast. After we did the Veil (NGC 6960, 6974, 6979, 6995 and IC 1340), we looked at NGC6888 which is on a line between Deneb (the tail) and Albireo (the head) of Cygnus. We also looked at another nebula NGC 7023 in Cepheus.

We did a number of "crowd pleasers" including M57, M13, M31 (in binoculars). Well I got tired strangely enough just as the Moon rose in the East and a lot of clouds started to appear. (Funny about that!) We wrapped up near midnight and headed home.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
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Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Oct 13, 2006
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Leslie Coleman's Log
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