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Lunch break observing - a brief report.


jgs001

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Lunchtime rolled around and, what's this I see, can it truly be... blueness in the air, and shadows cast across the ground. A quick glance out of a window that has a view (the one by my desk looks out onto a wall, and there is only a thin sliver of sky viewable upwards) confirms this. Not only that, but I can see, faintly some of La Lune just over half full staring back. Right thinks eye, grabbing the bull, and for the matter the scope, by the horns, dropping in an ep (5mm ortho) I dashed outside. Here I realised one of the downsides to an RDF. They are impossible to use during the day when the sun is shining. You just can't see the red dot.

I feel I should point out that the sun was at my back, and the scope was pointing in the other direction... so there was no risk of directly viewing the sun without a filter (which I don't have).

The FOV on the 5mm ortho is just too small to find anything except by a massive excess of blind luck without the finder. So I popped back inside (one of the benefits of daytime viewing, all the white lights in the house can't mess up dark adaptation) and swapped to the Hyperion (wonderful ep, just so easy to use, want more!!!). Using the Hyperion, finding La Luna was oh so much easier. Now, seeing her was more difficult than at night, although the view was nowhere near as dazzling. I could make out some of the craters, no chance of being able to determine any of them, as the magnification was too low, and unfortunately I didn't have enough time to spend more than about 10 minutes on this little exercise, in total, as I really had to get back to work. Still, having said that, I will attempt this again and spend far longer observing (when conditions are right and the sun is in another part of the sky of course) and hopefully make more of the opportunity for some lunar study.

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I absolutely love observing during the day! One of the best things is to find Venus and show it to others in broad daylight. It completely blows their minds! Since Sol was at minimum last year at Grand Canyon, we showed Venus instead.

As a reminder, I've seen all the bright planets during daytime, as well as all the first magnitude stars I can think of. This means Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Earth, (of course), Sirius, Aldeberan, Capella, Procyon, Rigel, Betelgeuse, Antares, Arcturus, Castor, Pollux, Spica and a few others, I'm sure.

It's great fun, but requires patience, (ask my friend Ara :D) and a well aligned mount to pull it off.

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Helen, it's now on the ever growing shopping list :D

Astroman, I didn't even think of trying Venus. To be honest, with the mount I'm using at the moment, the moon wasn't so easy, and that's an enormous target. I like the idea of looking for the planets and stars during the day, but as you say I bet it requires huge amounts of patience.

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