I could not upload the 5 June Reports page update due to iWeb crashes.  So, it was re-done in Aperture and a new Cassiopeia Observatory web site was coded up quickly using BEEdit.  I will be updating the new Site over time.  For now, be certain to bookmark the "Cassiopeia Observatory" web site URL as http://www.weasner.com/co.  The 5 June 2011 report is now available from the new Welcome page.

I did no observing overnight 5-6 June as the sky was too smokey from the fires 90 miles away in southern Arizona.  No threat from those fires at my location.  Monday, 6 June, the sky was hazy but no obvious smoke (although the fire to the south is still growing).  Still windy though with gusts to 28 MPH.

I opened the observatory at 1903 MST, 91°F.  At 1910 MST, viewed the moon in the 8" LX200-ACF telescope.  While waiting for darkness, I did some initial work with the "Slow Shutter Cam", "SkySafari 3 Plus", and "SkySafari 3 Pro" iPhone apps for reviews I'm working on.  At 1940 MST, I finished the app work and returned to lunar observing, using the 26mm, 15mm, 9.7mm, and 5.5mm eyepieces.  Seeing was not very good.  I took this photo using the iPhone 4, afocal 77X, MX-1 afocal adapter (remember, you can click on the photos here to see a larger version; click "Index" to return to this page):

    Here is the western sky shortly after sunset with the moon near the top:

      At 2000 MST, did some Saturn viewing.  The four moons Titan, Dione, Tethys, and Rhea were visible in the 26mm and 15mm eyepieces.  A little later, Iapetus appeared.  I tried for Enceladus, which should have been visible, but I never saw it.  At 2026 MST, slewed to M94, a nice spiral galaxy.  It was just visible against the still bright (from the moon) sky.  M94 would be an imaging target for later in the night.  I then returned to the moon and took this photo with the "Slow Shutter Cam" app showing Earthshine, 0.5sec, adjusted exposure:

        Then it was back to the moon for some more lunar observing.  Switched to the 5.5mm (364X) eyepiece to view details in the Theophilus, Cyrillus, Catharina crater complex.  During a few brief moments of steady seeing, the details on the crater floors and walls were very nice.  At 2104 MST, it was back to Saturn to try again for Enceladus, but without success.

        I then slewed to the colorful double star Albireo and took this photo with the iPhone 4, Camera app, afocal 26mm:

          At 2220 MST, slewed to M94 and SYNCed on its position.  Then did a focus test with the D7000 on the star Dubhe using the Bahtinov Mask.  Then it was back to M94; it was clearly visible in the D7000 DSLR viewfinder.  I did some hunting around for a good guide star in the Off-Axis Guider (OAG) and found a faint usable one.  Then I waited for the moon to set.  At 2320 MST, I began imaging M94 at prime focus + Off-Axis Guider.  Here is a 5 minute, ISO 6400, guided image (slightly cropped):

            I then went to Sagittarius and began taking unguided 30 second, IS 6400, prime focus + OAG, images of the globular clusters M28, M69, M70, and M54, seen below:

                    I ended imaging at 0000 MST.  During the night I did not see any Kissing Bugs in the observatory!  I guess my spraying the day before helped.  Whew.  Closed the observatory at 0025 MST, 67°F.

                    I am still trying to tweak the Aperture-generated web pages for the best presentation.  If you have any comments on the report page designs, send me email at mweasner@me.com.  Thanks.

                    Go to the previous report.