Hello astronomy fans! Duane and I did indeed get out to the Flatin Farm for a "Recon Mission". We were set up by 8:30 p.m. and the cresent Moon was about a third up in the western sky.
I got Mare Marginis and Mare Smythii for the Lunar II program, and Jupiter was rising as we spotted Saturn, Mars and Regulus all in a nearly straight line to the west.
We had an unexpected Outreach Night as the annual 4th of July weekend party was happening further down the road at the Bergsgaard farm. They had an impressive display of fireworks and since the partygoers had to pass by us going to and from the party, lots of them stopped and checked out the stars. It was a good mix of adults and kids and they really liked what they saw. Duane and I showed them the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, M3, M13, M57, M27, Albireo, the Lagoon, M51, M7 and other objects. They kept us busy for about 3 hours.
After the party winded down, Duane got several Herschel 400 objects as he started that observing program last night. NGC 5907, the "Splinter Galaxy" in Draco was really cool looking in his 12" Lightbridge.
I added two more Herschel 400's NGC 225 and 136, open star clusters in Casseopia to up my total to 150. NGC 136 took over an hour to pin down. It is a very poor, horrible little star cluster in my opinion. It wasn't even listed in my StarAtlas 2000 Delux Edition. It was easily the most grueling hunt of the 400 list I've done so far. If Duane hadn't been there to help, I doubt I'd have found it.
After that, we relaxed, talked astronomy, enjoyed the Io transit, (the beginning was REALLY cool!) and looked for meteors, satellites and the ISS. Two of the meteors were bright enough to journal and the ISS passed overhead at 4:20 a.m.
We had to fight some high thin clouds, but it was indeed, AGNFA! ;D