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

Dean Johnson

    Jeff, you are the MAN!

    After your post about the ISS in the forum, I had to get out there. We had a small rain squall go thru Spring Grove about 7 p.m. and I wondered if it was worth going out there. By 8 p.m., it was getting pretty clear, so my wonderful helpful son Matthew helped me load up. (I wish he'd observe as much as he helps me pack up!) I got out there and had everything set and had the Celestron G8 tracking Jupiter. I kept looking for the ISS when lo and behold, it was already past the zenith and heading right for Jupiter! I tried getting my binocs on it, and then realized that "hey, just look thru the scope". I did and waited about ten seconds to see the ISS pass just northeast of the planet in the same FOV! It was not as big as the angular diameter of Jupiter, but the ISS was big enough that I could see the solar panels!!

    WAY COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8)

    After that, I observed and drew the Mare Humboltianum basin for my Lunar II program, and turned back to Jupiter to see Io start to pass in front of the planet. Io was passing in front of Jupiter's disc right where the N. equatorial belt is, so I could see the "white wart" effect that Duane and I saw about a month ago. As I watched it, Io kept going across on the same latitude and I could actually see the moon against the planet's disc, something I had never seen before.

    I started having dew problems then, and put the OTA in the van with the heater on while I used the binoculars to look at Antares and M4. But then clouds were interfering, the binocs were dewing up and I packed up.

    As I packed up, I could hear "meowing" to the west of me. Could it have been Herschel the Cat? I don't know for sure because I never got a visual. I do know that if Herschel would have rubbed up against me in the dark, I'd have $%^&^ a brick! 😮

    Off and on thru the brief two hours that I was there, I thought about all the wonderful people and scopes that made the Flatin Farm hayfield such a happening place last weekend. If any of you need to come on down to a great southern sky exposure to get some hard to find objects, you are always welcome.