Home Forums RAC Main Forum General Discussion Observing tonight? Re: Observing tonight?


    I went out around 9 for a half hour.  In spite of the 20+ degree temps, the humidity made it feel pretty cold.  My fingers froze pretty quickly.  Jumping jacks helped some (pumps blood to extremities) but I bagged it after about a half hour.

    Transparency was poor.  Seeing seemed okay, but I only really pushed magnification on Saturn. At 120x, it was very stable, but at 200x, it started to shimmer in and out a little.  I agree with Dean – when it was stable, it was very, very nice.

    Did something completely different last night and hunted variable stars for a change.  The AAVSO has a list of easy ones for beginners (and charts), and I worked off of that.  R Leo, Z Ursa Major, and R Ursa Major were the three I picked.  The last one was quite challenging to see in my urban skies.  I estimated it as mag 12.5.  I could not see the 13.1 magnitude comparison star.  So as close as I was to the zenith, the limiting magnitude for the night was around 12.75.  (I could see the 12.5 star with direct vision, but not the 13.1 even with averted.)  That's in a 10" scope.  R Leo was very pretty in its own right, with an orange/red color to it.  It was fun for a change to observe without cursing my optics, the light pollution, or the neighbors who turned on their floodlights for a minute to put the dog out.