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Weather Update, Clear Sky Chart, Other News

Posted: 15 August 2014

Cloudy skies returned on Thursday, 7 August. Fortunately, a monsoon storm stayed to the south for the Full Moon Night Hike at Oracle State Park Saturday evening, 9 August. I set up the ETX-105PE prior to the hikers arriving. This photo shows the rising nearly full moon, the storm clouds, and the telescope at the Park:


Before the hike began the Park visitors were able to view the moon, Saturn, and Mars. Following the hike, the Oracle Dark Skies Committee passed out some IDA brochures and did a demonstration of light pollution.

Most of this week's storms bypassed Oracle but this one got close on Thursday, 14 August:




And speaking of weather, a localized weather forecast for Cassiopeia Observatory is now available from Clear Sky Chart:


Thanks to Attilla Danko for adding it.

My reviews of the books "Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography", "Messier Astrophotography Reference", and "Getting Started: Long Exposure Astrophotography" are now available on the Reviews page. Check them out if you are interested in beginning astrophotography or improving your current endeavours.

After reading "Messier Astrophotography Reference" I decided that I would image all the Messier Catalog objects. I have done many in the past (as seen on the Star Clusters and Nebulae Photo albums) but have more to do. I will also be redoing several of the Messier object images to improve them. I have added a Messier Catalog photo album to the Photo albums page.

In other news, the CFO (wife) has approved a pier for the observatory. I will be using a SkyShed Pier. As part of the purchase of a POD, SkyShed provides shop drawings for those who want to have the pier made locally. I am currently in the process of looking for a suitable local metal shop. I will have to modify my Homemade Eyepiece Tray, but that will have to wait until the pier is in place and I can determine precisely how I want to mount an eyepiece tray.

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