Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Observing at Blackbird...

Expand Messages
  • dnorton618
    Sunday May 30th, 2010 Observing at Blackbird was pretty darn good. There was a thick atmosphere and a steady one. It made for great double star and planetary
    Message 1 of 2 , May 31, 2010
      Sunday May 30th, 2010

      Observing at Blackbird was pretty darn good. There was a thick atmosphere and a steady one. It made for great double star and planetary views but hindered deep sky just a bit. The deep stuff just wasn't as bright as it can be. But what was observed was unusually steady. Globular clusters took on a much more resolvable and pinpoint-star appearance.

      Double Stars:

      Double stars showed really nice coloring and super resolvability. I was able to see and resolve the double-double in Scorpius (Nu 1 and 2 Sco) and Porrima (Gamma Vir) was tight but resolvable. Beta Scorpius was just stunning. I also looked at Epsilon Bootes, Otto Struve 525 in Lyra (which is a twin of Albireo in Cygnus) and Alpha Hercules.

      Deep Sky:

      A few new objects tonight. NGC 4559 and NGC 4725 near the long and slender NGC 4565 in Coma. Both were easy to find and quite large. NGC 4559 in my notes says "Big, bright with a nearly face on but odd shape. Almost Irregular". NGC 4725 was a definite oval shape but was hard to pull out any real detail because of the thick atmosphere. NGC 4565 was a real stunner. Everyone in the field looked at this guy through their scopes and it was a delight in all of them. Even with a 40mm Plossl it took up a large amount of the field. The dust lane was easy to see as well as the star just off the central bulge.

      At the end of the evening I took a quick look at the Ring Nebula in Lyra with the eyepiece that originally shipped with the 1982 Super C8. A 40mm Kellner. Even for a simple design and a narrow field of view it showed a super bright and sharp field. The Ring looked just great.

      Planets:

      Saturn was a true gem to be sure. Just as steady and bright and crystal clear as I've ever seen it. At least 4 moons were visible. A slight shadow on the surface of the planet by the rings. And during the moments of exceptional seeing the cloud bands became visible. Mars was small but the ice cap was visible as well as some surface detail. Venus was bright but showed a slight gibbous phase and a star was hanging just off the limb.

      The star atlas of choice tonight was in my head. I referred to the Bright Star Atlas for a few double star separation numbers and to get my bearings off 4565 to star hop to the other two nearby galaxies. My Atlases of choice that I always bring to the field are Wil Tirion's Bright Star Atlas (laminated), James Mullaney and Wil Tirion's Cambridge Double Star Atlas and Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas.

      A great group of folks to observe with tonight. They are always fun and willing to share views through their scopes. Thanks guys, it was a blast as usual.

      DN
    • Chuck Jennings
      Great observing report, and it certainly was a good time.  I look forward to the next gathering! - Chuck ________________________________ From: dnorton618
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 1, 2010
        Great observing report, and it certainly was a good time.  I look forward to the next gathering!
         
        - Chuck


        From: dnorton618 <dnorton618@...>
        To: delmarvastargazers@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Mon, May 31, 2010 10:34:27 PM
        Subject: [delmarvastargazers] Observing at Blackbird...

         

        Sunday May 30th, 2010

        Observing at Blackbird was pretty darn good. There was a thick atmosphere and a steady one. It made for great double star and planetary views but hindered deep sky just a bit. The deep stuff just wasn't as bright as it can be. But what was observed was unusually steady. Globular clusters took on a much more resolvable and pinpoint-star appearance.

        Double Stars:

        Double stars showed really nice coloring and super resolvability. I was able to see and resolve the double-double in Scorpius (Nu 1 and 2 Sco) and Porrima (Gamma Vir) was tight but resolvable. Beta Scorpius was just stunning. I also looked at Epsilon Bootes, Otto Struve 525 in Lyra (which is a twin of Albireo in Cygnus) and Alpha Hercules.

        Deep Sky:

        A few new objects tonight. NGC 4559 and NGC 4725 near the long and slender NGC 4565 in Coma. Both were easy to find and quite large. NGC 4559 in my notes says "Big, bright with a nearly face on but odd shape. Almost Irregular". NGC 4725 was a definite oval shape but was hard to pull out any real detail because of the thick atmosphere. NGC 4565 was a real stunner. Everyone in the field looked at this guy through their scopes and it was a delight in all of them. Even with a 40mm Plossl it took up a large amount of the field. The dust lane was easy to see as well as the star just off the central bulge.

        At the end of the evening I took a quick look at the Ring Nebula in Lyra with the eyepiece that originally shipped with the 1982 Super C8. A 40mm Kellner. Even for a simple design and a narrow field of view it showed a super bright and sharp field. The Ring looked just great.

        Planets:

        Saturn was a true gem to be sure. Just as steady and bright and crystal clear as I've ever seen it. At least 4 moons were visible. A slight shadow on the surface of the planet by the rings. And during the moments of exceptional seeing the cloud bands became visible. Mars was small but the ice cap was visible as well as some surface detail. Venus was bright but showed a slight gibbous phase and a star was hanging just off the limb.

        The star atlas of choice tonight was in my head. I referred to the Bright Star Atlas for a few double star separation numbers and to get my bearings off 4565 to star hop to the other two nearby galaxies. My Atlases of choice that I always bring to the field are Wil Tirion's Bright Star Atlas (laminated), James Mullaney and Wil Tirion's Cambridge Double Star Atlas and Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas.

        A great group of folks to observe with tonight. They are always fun and willing to share views through their scopes. Thanks guys, it was a blast as usual.

        DN


      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.