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Weather & Travel Updates,
New Accessory Tests, Other News

Posted: 20 July 2019

Friday, 28 June 2019, and Saturday, 29 June, had clouds, wind, and thunderstorms in the area. Sunday, 30 June was also cloudy. Saw this nice iridescent cloud display in the afternoon:


Cloudy skies continued through Monday, 1 July. We then went on a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, where we attended a science fiction convention over the Fourth of July holiday. I was on a Light Pollution discussion panel (I'm the guy in the blue shirt in the photo below). It was great to bring in a new audience to hear about the harmful effects of Artificial Light At Night.


We also met up with Bjo and John Trimble who were Guests of Honor at the Convention:


That's them on the ends with my wife Laurraine and me in the middle. Some of you may recall that the Trimbles are the fans who started the successful "Save Star Trek" campaign in 1968.

Also while in Utah we visited some sights. Photos from the trip will be posted once I get them edited.

The sky was clear some nights while we were gone, but Monsoon season got going with a thunderstorm (0.07" rain) the day we returned home, Saturday, 13 July. Sunday, 14 July, dawned clear but clouds returned mid-day and the cloudy skies continued. Monsoon storms are expected to ramp up during the coming week so when Friday evening, 19 July, turned out to be mostly clear as sunset approached I opened the observatory.

Open: Friday, 19 July 2019, 1924 MST
Temperature: 93°F
Session: 1369
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 15mm eyepiece
2" 4X Powermate
2" 2X Powermate
1.25" Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector


After opening the observatory I SYNCed the observatory clock to WWV.

1933 MST: sunset.

1941 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1943 MST: viewed the planet Jupiter, 102X. Three of the Galilean Moons were visible. The equatorial belts appeared to be thin.

I then began preparing to do some initial tests with the just received ZWO Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (ADC).

1952 MST: viewed Jupiter, 163X. Began testing the ADC. During my tests I viewed Jupiter at 163X, 650X (which was too much magnification for the poor seeing this night), and 325X (better view).

2034 MST: viewed Saturn, low in the southeastern sky, 163X and 325X.

2048 MST: seeing not good enough for imaging. Ended ADC tests. I have more tests to do before my review will be ready.

Viewed Saturn, 102X.

Then viewed M57 (Ring Nebula), 102X. Always a nice sight.

2102 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Friday, 19 July 2019, 2117 MST
Temperature: 82°F
Session Length: 1h 53m
Conditions: Mostly clear

The POD Zenith Table (PZT) re-do was finally completed on Sunday. See my report for some interesting details about the re-do saga.

Oracle's Mountain Vista School has posted several photos and videos of the Summer School students assembling and launching their Model Rockets. Yes, that is me in some of the photos.

The Casa Grande Dispatch (Arizona) has published a "Starry, starry nights shine in Pinal" article, in which I'm quoted.

And speaking of night skies, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is having a fundraiser: "Protect the Night Matching Gifts Challenge". Click my name (Show More if necessary to see it) and you can make a donation to IDA, which will be matched. Many thanks to those who have already donated.

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

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