2016 Year End Report
Posted: 31 December 2016
Friday, 30 December 2016, was cloudy from an approaching storm. We had a Holiday Party with several of our friends. I had hoped to open the observatory to provide our guests with some views through the 12" telescope, but the sky was too cloudy. Some old and new friends did get to check out the observatory and the telescope. Here are two of the guests with me at the observatory:
A few stars were visible as the last people left at 2000 MST. Rain arrived before midnight, dropping 0.24". Another 0.5" fell on Saturday, 31 December. Due to the cloudy sky on Saturday I missed observing the very close conjunction of the planets Mars and Neptune when they were just 0.1° apart. I did check the observatory on Saturday to verify that the dome sealing done on Tuesday eliminated the minor leak at the base of the dome; it did.
2016 was an exciting year of upgrades at Cassiopeia Observatory:
February 2016: the seven year old Meade 8" LX200-ACF telescope was replaced with a new Meade 12" LX600 telescope.
April 2016: a SkyShed POD POD Zenith Table (PZT) was added to the observatory.
April 2016: a Pier-Tech 1 Pier and Eyepiece Tray were installed to replace the large telescope tripod.
July 2016: the well-worn 7-year-old carpet at the observatory was replaced with a new carpet.
2016 was a busy year for product reviews. I posted the following reviews:
SkySafari 5 Pro for Mac OS X
Thousand Oaks Optical Solar Filter
Astrozap AstroCap Focusing Mask
Optec Lepus 0.62X Focal Reducer
ScopeStuff AutoStar II Cable
Pier-Tech 1 Pier and Eyepiece Tray
ADM Dovetail Plate and Mounting Rings
Lunt Solar Systems SUNoculars 8x32
Manfrotto Ball Head Camera Mount
PhotoPills for iOS sky astrophotography planning app
Vortex Diamondback 12x50 Binoculars
In 2016 I had 154 sessions in the observatory for a total of 426 hours:
This chart shows the annual totals since the observatory saw "First Light" in August 2009:
I took a total of 2996 photographs in 2016, not all of which were usable or posted on my Reports. Photos taken were of the observatory, accessories, weather, the sky, critters, people, and of course, various solar system and deep sky objects through my telescopes. Here is a photomontage of some of my photography in 2016:
Click or tap on image for larger version
I hope everyone has enjoyed the adventures at Cassiopeia Observatory in 2016. I plan on an exciting and fun 2017!
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