Jul 16, 2012

Astronomizing July 13th and 14th


It was a good weekend at Pine Mountain Observatory. Friday night, the sky was crystal clear. With a crescent Moon not rising until 2 a.m., it gave us plenty of dark sky to explore. It had been a hot week in Central Oregon, so it was pleasantly warm as well. Clicking on any photo will give you a larger view.

Here's my best Saturn shot from Friday night. I took this through my telescope -- an 8" Dobsonian with the 11 mm Nagler as the eyepiece. I'm still using my Sony Cybershot to shoot through the telescope. That may change soon.

Mars is getting low in the sky. I took a movie through the 24" Cassegrain. You may hear Jim and Eric chatting some. Being low in the atmosphere is what makes it as wavy as it is.

With Jim and Gary outside with me, it made for a pleasant evening where we were able to give more attention to small groups of people. Got the first look at Andromeda this season. So, that was exciting. I love looking at Andromeda.

Saturday night didn't start out very promising. When I took my hike up to the summit. I felt splashes of rain and saw it coming our way.


I came down the summit and told Eric we were going to get rain. A few minutes later I was yelling up the dome, "Rain! Rain! Rain!" We can't let the mirrors get wet. So he shut the dome and I packed my telescope up.

We sat in the dome jawing and I started playing with the menus on my camera. All the muck cleared up and we had the telescopes going by 11 p.m. The playing with the menus during the rain allowed me to get my first Milky Way shots ever.


You can clearly see the Big Dipper over the dome.

We viewed a nova in Sagittarius when the crowd went home. Late nights both nights. Good groups both nights. I was hoping to see the Northern Lights on Saturday, but they didn't come far enough south, so I didn't get to see them. I was very disappointed.

This coming weekend, I'm taking off from star guiding for an adventure with the Husband Unit.

Please note, this blog is now at http://mpaxauthor.com/blog/ and will be there only beginning August 20th.