Cassiopeia Observatory logo

Monsoon Hail Storm;
Short Viewing Session

Posted: 15 September 2016

Saturday, 10 September 2016, was spent at Oracle State Park for a talk and star party. A report on the event has been posted on the Oracle Dark Skies Committee web site. Did not open the observatory that night. Also did not open the observatory Sunday night, 11 September, due to a very early commitment Monday morning.

Monday morning, 12 September, was cloudy with a brief Monsoon thunderstorm (0.01" rain). But the excitement came about 30 minutes before sunset on Monday. A severe Monsoon thunderstorm came through Oracle with lots of rain (0.5" in about 15 minutes) and half-inch hail. This is the storm as it was approaching from the west:


The hail was heavy and very loud inside the house. During the hail storm I did a live Periscope video. You can watch the 2m37s video (10 MB) by clicking the photo below:

Click or tap on image video

After the storm ended I took this photo of the 1/2" hail piled up from the strong winds:


On Tuesday, 13 September, another strong Monsoon thunderstorm came through in the afternoon. Received another 0.7" of rain. This was the storm as it approached:


The finally cleared on Thursday, 15 September. Which was good as I had a very special visitor to show the observatory to.

Open: Thursday, 15 September 2016, 1918 MST
Temperature: 85°F
Session: 1011
Conditions: Clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wireless AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece

iPhone 6s Plus

This was a short session in the observatory as both my visitor and I have an early morning commitment on Friday.

After opening the observatory I explained the observatory and the equipment inside.

1935 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

First I showed her the planet Mars, 222X. The seeing was not very good so no details on the planet were visible. Next she got to view Saturn, 222X. The view was a little better. The Ring system was visible but unfortunately seeing was not good enough to see Cassini Division. However, some moons were visible.

Then we viewed the nearly Full Moon, 102X. She really enjoyed that view.

I grabbed this handheld iPhone 6s Plus afocal 102X photo:


I increased the magnification to 222X and we viewed a portion of the lunar terminator and then the crater Tycho.

The last object viewed was Messier 22 (globular cluster), 102X. Even with the bright moonlit sky, the view of the globular cluster was pretty good.

Close: Thursday, 15 September 2016, TBS MST
Temperature: TBS°F
Session Length: 1h 07m
Conditions: TBS

Comments are welcome using Email. Twitter users can use the button below to tweet this report to your followers. Thanks.

Previous report

Cassiopeia Observatory Home Page

Back to Top

Copyright ©2016 Michael L. Weasner /