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Log, Sep 8, 2000

Wednesday: 3 staff. The promise of superb clear skies as well as the need to calibrate and practice with the CCD in conjunction with the new digital focuser resulted in a work session. Joe and Doug arrived around 7:30. By the time Les arrived nearly an hour later he found Joe scratching his head. The CCD had been connecting fine but suddenly the software and the CCD wouldn't talk to each other. "Ras-ah-fras" and "mumbly-grumble" and other such dreadful incantations were heard as software techies did arcane, incomprehensible and dubious things to the combination of batteries, cables, field flatners computers, CCD imagers and such.

Finally after reinstalling the software the glitch vanished as mysteriously as it arrived. We got so CCD images of M15 that were probably as good or better than any so far but we still need to learn more before Doug Malin [perhaps the world's foremost astro-photographer] has much to worry about.

The Questar came in very handy while we were splitting Geidi Prime and Geidi Secundus. [Fans of the Frank Herbert "Dune" novels will recognize Geidi Prime as the home system of the evil Baron Harkonnen] These two stars are a double which in turn are doubles again.

Some of our other targets were the crater Plato (CCD and high power eyepieces were blurry because of a great deal of atmospheric instability. Jupiter and its moons rose a lovely shade of brick. Unfortunately, even the red spot isn't brick. Saturn, just a little higher was a bit more natural color.

Joe was out of the down when a brilliant meteor streaked across the sky breaking up into orange and green fragments. Joe described it as like a fire work. I wonder if he saw a fragment of an artificial satellite reentering. This would account for the multiple fragment and their colors.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Sep 8, 2000
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Leslie Coleman's Log
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