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Observations 6/19/02

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Posted by Matthew Sullivan on June 20, 2002 03:51:34 UTC

Hi people,

I began the evening with ambitious observing plans despite a gibbous moon. Observations through my 10" Meade LX200 began in late twilight under magnitude 3.5 skies at 96x through a 26mm Meade Plossl eyepiece. After carefully pointing my scope at Venus I counted seven mosquitoes on my hands. I came to the realization that mosquitoes get more and more hungry the closer I get to my target, and it became clear to me that this would be a very short night of observing. But for what it's worth, here are my observations.

Venus - very bright planet, currently in a sizable gibbous phase nearly identical to that of the moon tonight.

Nu Draconis - double star. An outstanding well-separated pair of equally bright white stars.

M56 - globular cluster in Lyra. Only four stars were resolved tonight in this cluster; the rest was just a background haze that brightened somewhat toward the center. This one definitely deserves another chance under darker skies.

By this time every mosquito in Vermont as well as many New Yorkers were feasting on my hands, neck and forehead, so it was time to call it quits. Methinks bug spray will be a mandatory addition to my astronomy equipment arsenal from now until the snow comes again in mid October. The joys of observing from northern New England!


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