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

Dean Johnson

    I kind of figured that people were busy with family and end of the summer stuff.

    Well, I got out there for eight hours last night. It was unbelieveably good conditions. I set up and was observing by 7 p.m. and had a family of four out of the back stop and look at the Sun. The big spot is nearly behind the limb with a rash of little spots following it to the NW. Then I did something I've never done in my life. I spotted Venus during daylight with the Sun still above the horizon. I knew about where it would be and found it through binoculars. Then it took me six minutes to pick it out naked eye. The Sun touched the horizon five minutes later.
    I found Epsilon Lyra to kill some time, then polar aligned my scope and started in on the Herschel 400 list. I got NGC's 6118 in Serpens (very tough galaxy to spot), 6569 – globular cluster in Sagittarius, 3982, 3998, 4036 and 4041-all galaxies in Ursa Major. 4036 and 4041 are a Herschel 400 "2 for 1". You can see them both in the same FOV.
    Then I got more company. Bruce and Betty Bergsgaard and another couple with 2 teenage daughters stopped and I showed them M22, M8, M31/32, M45, Albireo and Jupiter. They were very impressed, but not being dressed for the cold, they didn't last more than half an hour. After that I looked at the Helix and the Veil through my Ultrahigh Contrast filter (Thanks Jerome!)
    Then it was binocular time for old Dean-o. The Fall sky was coming on like gangbusters and I sat in my chair and looked at- The Alpha Persei Association, Perseus Double Cluster, Algol and M34,The Andromeda Galaxy again, M33 in Triangulum, The Helix Nebula and Jupiter. I switched back to my scope and got a long look at Jupiter. Wow! More detail in the atmosphere than I've ever seen before. I found Asteroid 6 Hebe in Cetus, did some more binocular stuff, spotted a 1st mag meteor in Orion and finished with Moonrise at 3 a.m. AGNFA!