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Nova Delphini 2013 (NOT),
Observatory "First Light" 4th Anniversary

Posted: 18 August 2013

The sky was mostly cloudy on Thursday, 15 August 2013, with a nearby monsoon thunderstorm as sunset approached (similar to what happened the previous evening). I had hoped to image Nova Delphini 2013 on Thursday but the clouds prevented that. Friday dawned more promising with mostly clear skies, but monsoon cumulus buildups began mid-afternoon, with evening thunderstorms in the area. Same on Saturday, including one brief cloudburst before sunset that dropped 0.14" of rain in about 10 minutes. Still no observing of Nova Delphini 2013 here, and with the moon approaching Full and the nova brightness now reportedly decreasing, opportunities to see it at its best have already passed.

Sunday, 18 August 2013, was the 4th Anniversary of "First Light" at Cassiopeia Observatory. As I did in 2012, 2011, and 2010, I used this day to do a general cleanup of the observatory. The observatory was opened at 0631 MST, 76°F. I started early to avoid the expected >100°F temperatures later in the day.

The sky was mostly cloudy but there was no rain expected for several hours. I took two vacuum cleaners to the observatory:


My first task was to vacuum the outdoor carpet on the observatory patio. When that was completed, I began moving items from the POD bays to the patio. As each item was moved I removed any accumulated dust or cobwebs. I also evicted several spiders from the observatory. I moved most items outside, leaving only the telescope and tripod, red rope lighting, some small electrical items, and shortwave long-wire antenna inside the observatory. That was completed about 0800 MST. I took a short break and photographed what had been moved:


I'm always impressed with just how much stuff can be in the SkyShed POD.

I then vacuumed the POD bays and observatory floor carpet. Lots of cobwebs in corners and dust on the bay floors were removed. Amazing what accumulates in a year. When the interior cleaning was done, I moved everthing back inside the observatory. I finished at 0953 MST.

The observatory was closed at 1000 MST, 95°F.

Mid-day, monsoon thunderstorms appeared in the area, with some very brief rain at 1325 MST. A brief rainshower occurred at 1515 MST, dropping 0.08". Cloudy skies continued at night, so I still haven't seen Nova Delphini 2013.

Comments are welcome; use the Comments section below, or you can Email Me. Thanks.

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