Jul 27, 2010

Observations at the Observatory

A photo essay.

As I said yesterday, it was a great weekend up at the observatory despite the full Moon. What's wrong with the Moon? It's so bright, it washes out most of the sky making most objects invisible.

The usual telescope wrangler was on vacay, so I was up. I wasn't nervous, but my curse with technology plagued me. The menus on the software disappeared and I couldn't figure out how to get them back. As soon as the guests stepped on the stairs, Saturn went out of view. So, I had to move the telescope. Well, without the menus, it was impossible. So I had to go find Kent. After reading the manual for twenty minutes, we ended up having to park the telescope and reboot the system. It should have been easy to get the silly menus back, but it wasn't.

Then I swung to Jupiter too early and the computer shut most systems down. It took maybe a good thirty minutes to get everything set up properly Saturday evening. Oh well, now I know what to do if these things happen again. And, luckily, because of the full Moon, the crowd wasn't very big. Why? Most folks know the viewing is lousy on a bright night.

We did a tour of planets: Venus, Mars & Saturn. We saw M13, the ring nebula, the dumbbell nebula, M11, the Whirlpool Galaxy and M92. I was really tickled by M92 as I'd never seen it before. Ah, the advantages of a GoTo system. We viewed Neptune Friday night and Jupiter. I didn't stay as late Saturday night. I knew I had a lot of work waiting for me on Sunday.

It's a bunny party!

Ms. Deer let me get very close. She had two fawns. That was the video with yesterday's post.

The desert may look scruffy from far away, but close up it's very colorful.

The bright dot under the telescope is Venus. Click to enlarge the photo.

New to the blog - astronomizing slideshow. Oh, and only one more chapter to go! :D