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New Folding Recliner; Mercury

Posted: 31 December 2015

photo My nine year old folding recliner began failing (plastic parts breaking and edging deteoriating), so it was time to get a new one to keep in the observatory. After some research I finally decided on the Legoyo-SW-LB353PDCM Outdoor Portable Versatile Folding Chair* ($58). It comes with a nice oversized carrying bag (right) which allows the recliner to be easily packed up, but there were no instructions on use of the recliner. After reading some reviews on Amazon and fiddling with the supports I learned how to change it from an upright back to a full recliner. Here are a couple of photos of the recliner on the observatory patio:

photo photo

My previous folding recliner did not recline very far, making it somewhat less useful for watching meteor showers. It did have an adjustable foot rest which could be raised or lowered, and the back could be reclined while seated. The new recliner can recline nearly to the horizontal, but does not have an adjustable foot rest (which is always extended), nor can it be adjusted while seated. However, during intial trials with the recliner I am satisfied. Having a full reclining capability will be great for watching meteor showers.

The sky was clear during the daytime on Wednesday, 30 December, but clouds began appearing as sunset approached. I decided to open the observatory.

Open: Wednesday, 30 December 2015, 1808 MST
Temperature: 49°F
Session: 902
Conditions: Partly cloudy

After opening the observatory I went back outside of the observatory and took this handheld photo of the planet Mercury in the western sky using a Nikon D7200 DSLR, f/4.5, 1/15sec, ISO 1600, FL 70mm:

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1816 MST: viewed Mercury with the Meade 8" LX200-ACF telescope at 83X. The view was not very good due to the planet's low altitude in the sky and the clouds. Thin clouds were now in much of the sky and would likely prevent my planned Deep Sky Object (DSO) imaging this night.

1822 MST: viewed the planet Neptune (through thin clouds) and then the planet Uranus (no clouds), 83X. Both planets showed a disk at 83X.

Then powered on the GC Wi-Fi Adapter and used SkySafari 5 Pro on my iPhone 6s Plus to slew the telescope to the first DSO I had hoped to image this night. The object was not visible (too faint and clouds interfering). I would wait to see if it became visible after the end of Astronomical Twilight (1855 MST).

1845 MST: cloud cover increasing. 1849 MST: saw a very nice meteor moving along the Milky Way from the constellation of Cassiopeia to the constellation of Cygnus.

1855 MST: my target DSO was not visible (I didn't really expect it to be). Slewed the telescope to and viewed M1 (Crab Nebula), 83X, which was in a clear spot in the clouds. Then decided to close the observatory due to clouds in most of the sky.

Close: Wednesday, 30 December 2015, 1912 MST
Temperature: 42°F
Session Length: 1h 04m
Conditions: Thin clouds in most of the sky

On my previous report I mentioned that Springer Publishing had made its astronomy books that were published more than 10 years ago available online for free. Apparently, they have changed their mind and the books are no longer free, or it was a very limited time offer. Apologies for any confusion.

* Purchasing using this Amazon link helps support Cassiopeia Observatory. Thanks.

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