Observation Report for 25/10/10
Finished work at 23:20 and drove home and got my thermal clothes and collected all the gear and packed the car.
Arrived at my observing site at 00:30, and quick scan of the sky pretty much same as last night, Orion rising in the East, Jupiter sat nicely in the South West.
The Moon of course is dominating the night sky at present, very bright in dead, washing out almost everything in the sky, and making my dark sky site very light indeed.
00:40 – 01:10 Fully set up, Polar aligned and balanced, full 3 star SynScan set successful and first test object M31 at 01:10. Andromeda galaxy was fully centered in the 32mm eyepiece, and looking very much washed out, the central core of the galaxy is visible but as for anything else just blended into the bright background.
The 2nd test object was the double cluster in Pegasus, but this was slightly off in the eyepiece? Quick adjustment needed.
The 3rd test object was M42 the Orion Nebular, and this was missed by quite a way, so I'm not sure whats going on with the SynScan unit?
01:45 – Time is pressing on, so decided to go view Jupiter with the zoom eyepiece 7-21mm and the x2 barlow lens, Jupiter was looking very nice indeed, nice cloud belt showing up and also moons lined up nicely.
02:00 – Saw 2 bright meteors trailed from East to West, decided it was time to do some Iphone photography and the clarity of the moons craters on the southern limb were outstanding. I used the Sky Watcher zoom eyepiece with two moon filters stacked, and this made moon viewing more acceptable on the eye and also gave the Iphone camera a chance at capturing some detail from the craters.
I did notice the seeing condition around the moon were very clear, giving a nice bright crisp image.
I'm not sure whether its the cold or just my back hasn't fully recovered yet, but still in a little pain, more noticeable when I'm at the eyepiece, either stretching to view or bending to view through the eyepiece.
I spent a great deal of time just viewing the Luna surface its been a long time since I have seen conditions like this. Conditions gave a crystal clear Luna surface and worth suffering the odd back twinge for. (Extreme Astronomy).
Saw another 2 meteors and possible a Chinese lantern drifting across the bay? Hate these lanterns always make you think your seeing something very strange until you get the binoculars on them.
The 200p scope is doing a great job of tracking the Moon even at high magnification, its very rare I have to touch the main control direction buttons, and always keeps the target in the center of the eyepiece.
Again the coldest part of my body is my feet? It must be the wet grass up there, then icy conditions on top. (Really! going to have to sort this out).
Saw another two meteors this time they went from the South to the North. All this looking skyward is doing my back no favours. I could almost read by this bright moon, no need for any red light torches tonight.
The shadowing on the craters tonight is exceptional and trying to capture an accurate representation of what I can see in the eyepiece. The Iphone is doing a good job and I’m took plenty of pictures.
At 02:24 I finished taking photographs and some final shots of the craters. With Jupiter starting to get quite low in the South West I decided at 02:40 to call it a night and get things packed up.
Arrived home and unpacked at 03:15 and started to check images.