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Log, Oct 13, 2000

99 people. Can you say MOON, boys and girls? The Moon was Full last night on October Friday the Thirteenth, an event which will not happen (in October) until until 2083. This piece of trivia is brought to you after a week long set of debates about the subject. Finally, yours truly, programmed his PC to calculate the event and then double checked the stuff in a printed Ephemeris. The brightness of the Moon and the really large crowd definitely dictated what we did last night, at least until only a handful of people were still on the grounds.

We had a Cub Scout pack with last night. Each Cub brought a question on a 3x5 card which we answered for them. Some of the questions were pretty good. Way to go, guys. We are glad you brought your brothers and sisters. We learned how to find the Big Dipper, and use the pointer stars to find Polaris and the compass directions. We saw the Moon through my AstroScan. Some of the Cubs even got a chance to move the AstroScan about on their own. We looked at Alcor and Mizar. For a while broken clouds rolled over the Moon causing the sky condition called Moon Dogs with a rosy ring around the Moon.

In our dome we ran through the planets Mercury, Venus, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, and of course the Moon. The only deep sky wonder we tried while the crowds were heavy was M13, the Great Cluster in Hercules.

After the crowds thinned out, we started some examinations of Saturn and Jupiter under a variety of filters. We went though our box of matched filters (almost thirty) with each. The medium green filter was the most effective with Saturn. The green filter didn't alter the rings much, but it allowed us to see banding on Saturn.

The dark blue filter was wonderful in bringing out details on Jupiter. Banding on Jupiter was pronounced. Joe saw 8 bands during a very stable moment. We could see the shadow of Ganymede near Jupiter north pole for a short period. Over the evening we watched the Red Spot drift from the center of Jupiter out of view.

We started to look at various multiple star. We split brilliant Rigil from it companion which is not about 250 times dimmer. We could make out not only the four brightest stars of the Trapezium but E and F as well. Les thought he caught a glimpse of G but finally decided it was a momentary flicker of light in his eye (a phosphene). We looked at Sigma Orionis with it 4 nearly collinear stars and Delta Orionis [Mintaka] which split widely.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
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Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Oct 13, 2000
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Leslie Coleman's Log
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