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Log, Jun 16, 2000

37 people. The sky was cloudless although the air was very humid before sunset. I moved the telescope over to Mercury and waited until the Sun was safely down before moving the shutter . I expected a fairly big turnout, in spite of the full Moon because of the large number of people attending an RV Jamboree. Art toted out his 10" Dobs and Les set up his little Astroscan to have a couple of extra places where people could see various targets.

A repeat visitor showed up with his newest acquisition, a very nice Celestron NexStar 5. He was quite excited when he found that I was starting with Mercury. He had never seen it before. Shortly after Joe focused the 40mm eyepiece, we had people get a glimpse of the innermost planet. When the atmosphere calmed down, many of us could see the crescent shape momentarily.

By now many folks were present, but shortly thereafter Joe had to call an end to viewing Mercury because low flying clouds were moving in at a very fast rate to the northwest. The Moon became the next target but it wasn't long before a very damp and heavy fog was saturating the site. I felt particularly bad for some visiting astronomers from the New Bedford area and our NexStar 5 owner.

After another three quarters of an hour, it was apparent that this cloud cover was merely the forerunner of a heavy fog. We closed down the big telescope. Outside our visitors had packed up, and Art toted his Dobs back into the shelter of the dome. Les had already put his Astroscan on the back shelf. We adjourned to the Nature Center to discuss the Astronomy courses we planned to teach this fall. From time to time a car would drive up in the fog, see we were shut down and would drive away. Finally around midnight, having discussed the course and having chatted about this and that we decided to drive home. As soon as I hit the hills south of Bradford, out popped the Moon. However, I wasn't even tempted to pull out the Astroscan because the high haze obscured everything else even bright stars like Arcturus and Vega. Well, 'til next week.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Jun 16, 2000
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Leslie Coleman's Log
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