Observation Report, 06-22-2018

Observation Report, Friday, June 22nd, 2018
Tech Terrace Park

Richard Craig, 102mm Maksutov
Mark Smith, 10″ F/5.56 dobsonian
Ray Smead, himself
Your humble narrator, SkyWatcher 6″ traditional dobsonian
Steve Maas, Binoculars

I arrived quite late for this public star party, probably around 10:15 or so, and wasn’t setup to observe until no earlier than 10:30. Scott and Gary were probably put off by all the clouds and wind, earlier, and we did indeed have plenty of wind at first (and later as we finished), as well as some patches of clouds, but compared to what we’d feared from earlier in the day, I’d say we got relatively lucky. It wasn’t a great night for astronomy by any means, but it wasn’t the miserable result we had feared, with the winds considerably less than forecast. Steve Maas showed up about 10 minutes or so after me.

Arriving as late as I did, Venus was already behind a west tree, so that option was out, as were all the Geminid targets. I put Algieba, Gamma Leonis, into the eyepiece and upped the power with my 9mm Nagler T6 to 133.33X, which would be my workhorse eyepiece. Although I’d have liked to go to higher power, the wind was still pretty bad, not as bad as forecast and feared, but hardly calm, and the skies were turbulent, limiting high power options. Still, the 9mm yielded a clean split, and I showed this off to everyone, as well as pointing out Algieba’s location so Richard and Mark could put it in their scopes.

I put in M57 in the eyepiece with the Nagler 13mm T6 for a nice balance of wider field for placement, yet enough power to see some detail in the nebula.

We couldn’t resist looking at Jupiter, and again, the King of the Gods was ready to oblige with the visual bonanza only Dies Pater can orchestrate. A shadow transit was in progress (Io, yet hidden in the foreground amongst the upper atmospheric clouds), with the Great Red Spot adding to the spectacle. What a hoot! Callisto was way off to the left, with Europa moderately close to the globe to the right, followed by Ganymede farther. Everyone stared long and hard at Jupiter, taking our time. What a beauty! The 10″ put up a nice, bright image. We came back to it later and saw Io pulling off the lower left side of the globe. I mostly used my 9mm T6 for 133X, since the atmospherics were unfriendly to higher power. Later, we split the low-hanging fruit of Zubenelgenubi, just down from Jupiter.

I put my telescope on Cor Caroli, and was immediately impressed with the beautiful yellow-white primary and blue-white secondary and the colors my 6″ scope demonstrated. One of the better doubles of the night, and quite colorful and rich in the 6″ dob. This was an easy split in the Pan 24. This was followed up by the best double star in the night sky, Albireo. The orange and blue stars that comprise this gem of the night sky set the standard for colorful double stars, and did not disappoint tonight.

Ray Smead requested Mizar, and we easily showed the triple Mizar A, Mizar B, & Alcor. I split Beta Scorpii, Graffias, quickly followed by Nu Scorpii, which required some pretty high power to split the B-component.

We had a couple of people wander by and take looks through the scopes around Tech Terrace Park, but mostly it was the SPAC members listed above. Had a nice night under the moon and stars and looking forward to our next outing at Tech Terrace Park on July the 20th, weather permitting

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