Double Stars, Globular Clusters, Galaxies, Ring Nebula
Posted: 1 June 2019
On my last report I mentioned the poor astronomical seeing quality forecasts for the past several sessions. This was the Clear Sky Chart forecast for this night's session:
The timeframe of 2100-2200 MST shows poor seeing forecasted, improving to average later in the night. As I mentioned in my last report I plan to redo the PEC modeling for the telescope, but I need to wait for steady seeing to do that. Hope this weather pattern improves soon.
|Friday, 31 May 2019, 1903 MST
Conditions: Clear, breezy
After opening the observatory dome I relaxed on the observatory patio bench.
1928 MST: sunset.
2000 MST: back inside the observatory. Still breezy.
2002 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
As the forecast was for poor astronomical seeing again this session I decided to not prepare the camera for imaging until I verified the seeing conditions.
Viewed the double star Castor, 102X.
2009 MST: viewed Epsilon Lyrae (Double-Double Star), low in the northeastern sky, 102X. Could not resolve the secondary stars due to the low altitude.
2015 MST: viewed Omega Centauri (globular cluster), very low in the southern sky, 102X. It was faintly visible against the still bright twilight sky. 2034 MST: the sky was darker now and Omega Centauri was a nicer view.
2038 MST: High Precision OFF.
Viewed Centaurus A (galaxy), very low in the southern sky, 102X. The dust lane was visible.
Then viewed some objects at 102X magnification: M13 (the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules), M92 (globular cluster), and M57 (Ring Nebula, planetary nebula).
2048 MST: decided to check out the seeing conditions for StarLock autoguiding. Slewed to NGC3344 (galaxy) and viewed it, 102X.
2054 MST: StarLock ON.
As I monitored the StarLock autoguiding corrections it quickly became obvious that seeing was not good enough for imaging this session.
2058 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
2100 MST: began viewing galaxies, 102X. The Leo Triplet (M65, M66, NGC3628 Sarah's Galaxy) had all three galaxies in the eyepiece field-of-view. Nice view. The galaxies M95 and M96 were also nice views at 102X. Then viewed several galaxies in the Virgo Cluster: M87, M88, M86, M84, M90, NGC4435, and NGC4438.
As I had not done a strictly observing session in a long time it was nice to just do that this night.
2119 MST: LX600 OFF.
Close: Friday, 31 May 2019, 2130 MST
Session Length: 2h 27m|
Conditions: Clear, breezy
Since first opening the observatory in August 2009, this year so far has been the cloudiest on record, resulting in the smallest number of sessions from January through May.
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