Public Night Log

Last night we had a great night of observation. We had about 40 people come out despite the warning and possible closure due to wind. A number of visitors brought out their personal telescopes and imaging equipment resulting in a diverse availability of objects to view. The bright 71% waxing gibbous moon made deep sky observation somewhat difficult but the clear skies were a nice change from the relentless overcast Friday's RI has dealt us this year to date.

We started the night off with a naked eye observation of Venus setting in the western sky, a beautiful pass of the International Space Station, a somewhat bright Iridium flare, then dusk observations of the Moon in our 16" telescope. As twilight left us we moved our telescopes towards Jupiter. Later in the night we had our first view this season of the super nova remnant, M1 in Taurus and we finished the night with a fantastic observation of M42 (The Orion Nebula). Using an Oxygen-III, and Hydrogen-Beta filter we were able to view the impressive details of M42 from different view points. We felt that the Oxygen-III filter offered the most impressive view of M42. Oxygen-III filters (in short) will pass through light of doubly ionized oxygen (which is common in emission nebulae) while rejecting almost all of the light from other sources including light pollution, natural air-glow, broadband starlight, etc. This enabled us to observe a rich depth of field when looking at M42 by removing the bright starlight emitted by The Trapezium cluster and highlighting the outline of the dark nebula that overlays parts of M42.

In the courtyard, Dave had his Ritchey–Chrétien telescope setup with his DSLR and netbook attempting some great imaging of the M92 cluster in Hercules, M27 planetary nebula in Vulpecula, and M45 (The Pleiades) in Taurus. Derek and Gavin had their imaging rig setup including Derek's Orion 8" Newtonian with attempts at imaging M57 planetary nebula in Lyra, M42 emissions nebula in Orion and other targets. Keep your eye on the Frosty Drew Observatory Facebook wall for any image posts from these guys (

-Scott MacNeill
Scott MacNeill
Scott MacNeill
Entry Date:
Nov 4, 2011
Published Under:
Scott MacNeill's Log
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