Log, Sep 15, 2000

31 people [by 11:30]: I fully expected the Friday report to be something like

"Heavy rain and the threat of severe thunderstorms made cancellation mandatory. There is no hope that the clouds will break so viewing is futile tonight."

However in spite of the forecast, the weather became mostly clear by late afternoon [and improved to occasional broken clouds later]. Sunset was wonderful at FDO. The upper atmospheric winds did keep the air turbulent causing objects lower than 30 degrees to wobble and have color fringes.

We tackled an ambitious list of objects in spite of the bright Moon. Earlier (while the Moon was below the horizon) we tackled Venus (poor), Arcturus, Mizar and Alcor [when the clouds thickened a bit] and Epsilon Lyrae [the famous double/double].

I set up my Astroscan outside and picked targets as the early clouds would permit. We star hopped around the Summer Triangle and the far south [Sagittarius, Scorpio and Capricorn]. We pointed out the recently brightened star Dschubba. The Moon against low lying clouds made for spectacular effects in the wide angle Astroscan.

Meanwhile Doug and Joe were showing our visitors a number of Messier objects including M22, M8, M17, M25, M11 and M30 along with Alpha Capricornus [Geidi Prime]. After I packed up the Astroscan I returned to find people looking at Uranus and the Moons we think were Oberon and Titania. We tried to locate Juno, but for some reason we couldn't see it where we thought it should appear. We saw Neptune and Triton quite clearly, but Saturn [with Titan, Dione, Rhea, Tethys, Encelidus and Iapetus] and Jupiter [with Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto] were poor. Turbulence and prismatic effects caused the images to degrade seriously except in brief moments of lucidity.

I had to leave early this evening, but folks were coming in at 11:30. When I left Doug and Joe were considering installing "Bob's Nobs" on the Meade LX200 16". These replacements for the Allen head screws in the secondary mirror support are supposed to make collimating the scope simpler.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Sep 15, 2000
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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