Log, Jan 28, 2000

11 people. It was cold but not as positively frigid as last week. Even so, the door was frozen shut, and the front gate frozen open. Joe as usual had arrived first. By the time I had arrived Joe was just putting the finishing touch on some adjustments suggested by Ash Dome. It seems to have corrected our shuddering skipping problem. Way to go folks at Ash Dome.

I wanted to see some particular objects, with and without filtering. We targeted M42 and the Trapezium just to get things started. [As folks arrived we often turned back here]. We lucked at the 1054 Supernova Remnant in Taurus. Details were crisp except for moments when air turbulence wobbled the scene. Both dark and bright lanes were evident. We then switched to the Rosette Nebula. While we could make out some detail, I wished he had a Hydrogen Beta filter just to see how it would affect things. We switched yet again to the Cone (Sometimes called the Christmas Tree) nebula. We could clearly make out the cone, and the tip of the gas clouds but little else.

Ernie Evans arrived hoping that he could see some more deep space objects he has on a list. We managed to get to NGC1788, NGC1999 and NGC2174 (we think). Other visitors arrived along with some more of our merry band. Art arrived fairly early followed by Dave and Allyson. Allyson has been attending some honest to goodness astronomy conferences. Why in the world she would leave the warm climate at the conference for our ice box boggles my mind. We showed our visitors, the Great Nebula, Saturn, Jupiter and we tried for some low lying targets which got caught up in the ocean haze.

Throughout the evening, we warmed up with hot drinks in the Nature Center. On one such occasion, while Art and I were talking science with a young visitor (who was drinking some hot chocolate), Allyson came in to tell us that the telescope was running the altitude [declination] servo motor non stop.

I rushed over to find Joe and Dave trying to figure what was going crazy. Some very strange displays showed up in the hand paddle like "Meade##*" which I assume means something to someone. The ammeter built into the telescope was blank. After some fooling around with the power supply, we honed in on the altitude [declination] cable. When we took it off, the telescope seemed fine (except of course that it couldn't change altitudes). We brought it over to the Nature Center where under bright lights with hand held magnifiers we discovered that one wire was crimped and another wire was either broken before hand or fell apart as we opened the plug. Joe tested the plugs with a ohm-meter and confirmed that we had a short. Joe will take it home and fix the cable.

The evening was terminated as far as using the scope. We sat around and talked about everything from "string/M-brane" theories to why birds feet don't freeze. Of course the usual war stories and funny occurrences were brought up for everyone's amusement.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Jan 28, 2000
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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