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Posted by Glenn Muller on June 11, 2002 19:41:52 UTC

Great report, Matt.

We also made it to our dark sky site on Friday. I had made a red filter screen for my laptop computer, using a red acetate sheet, and was eager to see how it worked (great!). I power it with a 150 watt inverter plugged into the car's cigarette lighter ($65 CDN).

We warmed up with Venus and Jupiter - worth viewing even though near the horizon, then checked out the optics with Castor A,B & C

My list of "new" objects included:

M64 - the black-eye galaxy

M17 - the swan nebula

M3 - GC

M4 - gc

M5 - GC (saw a satellite go right "through" it!)

M10 - GC

M12 - GC - neighbour to M10 but I found it difficult to make the connection across the approx. 4 degree separation

M19 - interesting squarish GC

We also saw the brilliant reflection of the ISS and space shuttle which are currently docked together. My wife got a glimpse in the EP as I chased it with the viewfinder. She couldn't make out any detail but it was fun anyway.

With our 6" dob, we find stuff the way you did (visual triangulation) and have a sense of real accomplishment when we do.

It also sounds like you had the usual M101 experience - jiggle the scope to see if it moves -LOL.

About 12:30 am the scope was getting wet with dew but the laptop seemed unaffected since it generated enough heat to ward off the dew.

It was one of those nights that left you anticipating the next one, and on Saturday we sent in our registration for Starfest (Aug 8-11). Of course, having done that, our next astronomical purchase now has to be a new camp stove ;>

Keep looking up.


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