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Special Visitor Deep Sky Object Viewing

Posted: 24 September 2021

The sky became overcast on Wednesday, 22 September 2021, with a forecast of overcast skies and possible rain for the rest of my niece's visit. Thursday morning, 23 September, I decided to put the Dome Cover on the observatory dome. Thursday evening, the sky was partly cloudy so we decided to do some observing on what would likely be Linda's last chance to view the night sky from a dark site.

Open: Thursday, 23 September 2021, 1818 MST
Temperature: 74°F
Session: 1671
Conditions: Partly cloudy

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece

iPhone 11 Pro Max

1822 MST: sunset (time approximate due to clouds).

1828 MST: Dome Cover OFF (onto PZT). I decided to put the Dome Cover onto the PZT as that made a convenient place to temporarily place the cover as I would recover the dome at the end of the session. I just pulled the cover off the dome onto the PZT at the start of the session, and then, using the rope (as described in my Dome Cover review), I pulled the cover back onto the dome at the end of the session.

1832 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the planets Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and 3 moons, and Saturn and Titan, 102X.

1855 MST: we began watching the stars come out. Linda relaxed on the observatory patio bench. The Milky Way was becoming nicely visible to the naked eye, as was the Andromeda Galaxy (M31).

Linda came back inside the observatory. Here she is at the 12" telescope.


1930 MST: we began doing some observing of Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) before the Moon rose. Used a magnification of 102X. Viewed M8 (Lagoon Nebula), M20 (Trifid Nebula), M17 (Swan Nebula), M11 (Wild Duck Cluster, open star cluster), Double Cluster (open star clusters). The last object viewed was M31 (Andromeda Galaxy), 81X.

The eastern sky was brightening from the rising waning gibbous Moon.

2020 MST: LX600 OFF.

Dome Cover ON.

This was probably Linda's final time in the observatory. During her stay with us she had several opportunities to look through the telescope. This night was special because she got to experience the night sky from a dark site.

Close: Thursday, 23 September 2021, 2034 MST
Temperature: 67°F
Session Length: 2h 16m
Conditions: Partly cloudy

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