Double Stars, Globular Clusters, Galaxies, Ring Nebula
Posted: 1 June 2019
On my last report I mentioned the poor astronomical seeing quality forecasts for the past several sessions. This was the Clear Sky Chart forecast for this night's session:
The timeframe of 2100-2200 MST shows poor seeing forecasted, improving to average later in the night. As I mentioned in my last report I plan to redo the PEC modeling for the telescope, but I need to wait for steady seeing to do that. Hope this weather pattern improves soon.
|Friday, 31 May 2019, 1903 MST
Conditions: Clear, breezy
After opening the observatory dome I relaxed on the observatory patio bench.
1928 MST: sunset.
2000 MST: back inside the observatory. Still breezy.
2002 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
As the forecast was for poor astronomical seeing again this session I decided to not prepare the camera for imaging until I verified the seeing conditions.
Viewed the double star Castor, 102X.
2009 MST: viewed Epsilon Lyrae (Double-Double Star), low in the northeastern sky, 102X. Could not resolve the secondary stars due to the low altitude.
2015 MST: viewed Omega Centauri (globular cluster), very low in the southern sky, 102X. It was faintly visible against the still bright twilight sky. 2034 MST: the sky was darker now and Omega Centauri was a nicer view.
2038 MST: High Precision OFF.
Viewed Centaurus A (galaxy), very low in the southern sky, 102X. The dust lane was visible.
Then viewed some objects at 102X magnification: M13 (the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules), M92 (globular cluster), and M57 (Ring Nebula, planetary nebula).
2048 MST: decided to check out the seeing conditions for StarLock autoguiding. Slewed to NGC3344 (galaxy) and viewed it, 102X.
2054 MST: StarLock ON.
As I monitored the StarLock autoguiding corrections it quickly became obvious that seeing was not good enough for imaging this session.
2058 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
2100 MST: began viewing galaxies, 102X. The Leo Triplet (M65, M66, NGC3628 Sarah's Galaxy) had all three galaxies in the eyepiece field-of-view. Nice view. The galaxies M95 and M96 were also nice views at 102X. Then viewed several galaxies in the Virgo Cluster: M87, M88, M86, M84, M90, NGC4435, and NGC4438.
As I had not done a strictly observing session in a long time it was nice to just do that this night.
2119 MST: LX600 OFF.
Close: Friday, 31 May 2019, 2130 MST
Session Length: 2h 27m|
Conditions: Clear, breezy
Since first opening the observatory in August 2009, this year so far has been the cloudiest on record, resulting in the smallest number of sessions from January through May.
Comments are welcome using Email. Twitter users can use the button below to tweet this report to their followers. Thanks.
Copyright ©2019 Michael L. Weasner / firstname.lastname@example.org
URL = http://www.weasner.com/co/Reports/2019/06/01/index.html