[Chaos-l] Observing Report
robertnielsen at nc.rr.com
Sun Apr 2 22:17:25 EDT 2006
On Saturday night, three of us CHAOS members (plus one) went to the
dark sky site for our monthly observing session. Mark South and
Kara, Greg Dillon, and Robert Nielsen attended, although Robert
showed up too late to actually see the occultation of the Pleiades by
the Moon. There were some widely scattered thin clouds at the
beginning of the evening, which disappeared around 10 PM.
Mark was working on getting his telescope under computer control and
seems to have succeeded, showing people the Christmas Tree Cluster
and views of Jupiter and other sights. Greg had some fun using a
new video camera on his "beast" ... coming up with some pretty decent
pictures of the Sombrero Galaxy (M104). Later, Greg introduced us
to Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, and we all tried to find it using
RA and Dec figures from his drive.
I spent the night investigating Coma Berenices and looking at
globular clusters in particular. Saturday night, you could see M3,
M5 and M13 (the Great Hercules Cluster) all at the same time. In
Coma, there was a really interesting and fine edge-on galaxy, NGC4565
which I had never seen before. That, along with Greg looking at the
Virgo galaxy cluster, urged me on to look at other more well-known
Messier galaxies ... and objects such as M51 and M64 as well as the
aforementioned Sombrero actually looked better than I had ever seen
them before through my scope.
Mark left earlier, and Greg and I gave up around 12:30 AM. The skies
were nice and stable ... although the contrast was not as good as
it's been at the site. Perhaps this was due to high clouds or
moisture in the air or something. The fact that Saturn was nice and
steady makes me think this was true.
The one bad thing about Saturday was that we showed up *unannounced *
at the site ... I had forgotten to call the folks who live
there! Next time, one of us that is planning on going needs to call ...
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