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

Dean Johnson

    An out standing observing session, Sott! It inspired me to get out there last night for six hours.

    Even though we're still two days shy of 1st Quarter, the Moon didn't set until 1:52 a.m. I did manage 3 Lunar II targets; Rima Ariadaeus, craters Ritter and Sabine, and crater Sacrobosco. Rima Ariadaeus was the coolest. It is a deep long crack in the Moon just south of Julius Caesar. I caught it right at the perfect sun angle. Ritter and Sabine are part of a nice complex of craters that lie on the SE floor of Mare Tranquilitatus just east of the Apollo 11 landing site. Sacrobosco is a distinctive crater in the lunar highlands that is identifiable by three craterlets inside its walls that make a right angle.

    With the Moon not completely down yet, I got naked eye and binocular observations on Mars. Mars is heading back toward the Beehive in Cancer, but I still can't get them together in the bino FOV.

    Asteroid 4 Vesta keeps moving and it is so easy to follow now that we are getting some clear nights to keep track of it. Vesta was moving toward Epsilon Leonis, but now it is just beginning to make the turn into its retrograde motion. A very fun thing to watch.

    Saturn was next up and on this night of opposition it did not disappoint. Four Moons, with Titan off to the west, the rings still very flat, but the atmosphereic detail was extremely good. (Excellent seeing and transparency last night.)

    Now the Moon had set and I went Herschel hunting. All galaxies this night, NGC's 2787, 3640, 3726, 3729, 3810, 3813, 3877, and 3893. NGC's3726, 3729 and 3877 were the best of the lot. AGNFA!!