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Log, Nov 30, 2007

35+ people. I wish I had a count of the people but the groups that came just named the groups and not how many people were in the groups. My guess is about 35-40.

People often ask me what is the best time of the year to see the sky. Often they assume that it is winter because the sky is dark and often very clear but the viewing Friday night points out the fallacy in this assumption. The stars twinkled merrily and the wind raged strongly enough to rattle the dome. Images jumped everywhere. People asked me to improve the focus and I had to say "Sorry, but it isn't the focus which is causing the problem but the unstable air.

We went outside with binoculars to look at Comet Holmes which is maintaining a lot of it brightness. Mars showed the polar caps fairly easily. Later in the night when most people went home, Ernie brought out his occulting eyepiece and four of us got a chance to see Deimos, Mars' further moon. Phobos was still too close to be seen on a so-so night. We all saw the faint point of light at the same place and basically where the predictions said it would be. Ernie and I had a debate about it until we realized that 2 or 4 o’clock in the eyepiece was the same place if one was using the eyepiece "vertical" as twelve while the other person was using the axis of the occulting bar as the reference. Sigh!

With a fairly large group, and a need to keep the dome in the south east to avoid a tornado, we had a fairly limited number of targets. Mainly the usual cast of characters.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
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Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Nov 30, 2007
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Leslie Coleman's Log
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