Bill Magee`s Journey


                                                Observations Page 2        

April 17th 2010

Tried Imaging Saturn with neximage web cam and processing with registax 5.1

Managed a bit of an image but not well focused.The eye piece views were much better.Will Keep trying.

Still figuring out the ins and outs of web cam imaging.

May 9th 2010

Set up scope to see if I could see sunspot 1071 with Baader Solar film filter at 11:330 am MDT.
No Luck and as I was Observing clouds started to move in.It started to snow just as I put the scope away.I Have been waiting for some observing time for quite a while and the weather here is not cooperating for skygazing. Didn`t snow much and it melted right away.I Decided my body needed a soak at the Miette hot springs that just recently opened for the season.I went up there and enjoyed the relaxation for a few hours.52 kilometers drive from my door step.
After returning from Miette I Set up My scope at 9:00 pm MDT for some night viewing and was hoping to find some Messier objects that Mike had just observed recently and reported on from Halifax.
I looked at Venus after scope cooldown of about an hour.Very bright but lots of color aberations from being low in the sky.Could make out that it was almost a full disc at 165 power .32mm plossl on 3x Barlow.
Checked out Mars Very small and no detail at all.32mm plossl on 3x Barlow.
Viewed Saturn at up to 350 power and could not get any better views above that amount .Saturn and Mars are now located above the house where I set up in the backyard and are in not in the best location as the sky now gets dark so much later in the evening.
I was waiting for the sky to get a little darker to try for some messier objects to the south.
I Checked out the charts to star hop using the Telrad and tried to find M 104 the Sombrero Galaxy. Never found it and my session was ending as the glorious clouds were starting to move back in.
I did get to look at three planets any way and was trying out a new homemade dew shield.
The dew shield is made out of an old car windshield sun shade (Reflective material on the outside )and I glued black felt on the inner part and held at the seam with velcro tabs.Seemed to work O.K. for the few hours I was viewing.
Hope to Try For only Messier objects tonight if Mother nature helps me out.


Observations May 11th to 12th 2010


Set up scope at 9:45 MDT with new Homemade Dew shield on.Roughly put scope tripod south leg

in north south orientation.Too bright to see Polaris yet with my eyes..

Checked out Venus at about 10:20 PM.Very Bright and large disc at 198 power.Some color aberations (Our Atmosphere and being low in the west) .

Waited for ISS to come by and try too see it with scope at 65 power.It arrived on time 10:32 PM MDT but was too low for most of the transit but I managed to track it by hand and glimpsed some shape but the focus was not quite there.Tried to focus and track at the same time.(Tough to do I need one more arm or a tongue activated focus switch).

Dark enough to see polaris after that acrobatic act.Polar aligned.

Set scope on Saturn and viewed it for a while,Good views at 198 power.Set R.A. coordinates to Saturn from stellarium program.

Now to find M104. 65 power 32mm plossl

It took awhile to find after getting the coordinates from stellarium.I was not far off and probably had it in view a few times but the sky was not quite dark enough.Set the R.A. to its coordinates .

Very nice but dim.Could see the elongation of this galaxy and with averted vision a hint of the dark lane .Spent a bit of time viewing this object.Used 16.3 mm erfle also(.Got a little bigger but dimmer).

Using the R.A. and declination coordinates from stellarium now for the rest of my Messier object Hunt.Most of the objects were right in the field of view as I moved the scope to their respective coordinates.(That is what these useful doodads on telescopes are for).

All the following objects were viewed with 32mm Plossl.65 power on this scope.

Next M 49 faint fuzzy

M 61 faint and fuzzy

M 60 faint fuzzy

M 59 faint fuzzy

M 60 and M 59 just fit in the same field of view of the 32mm plossl.

M 58 faint fuzzy

Wanted to look for more objects in this area of the sky but the house was now in the way.(also chimneys were smoking)

M 57 The ring Nebula in Lyra .Just had to look at it again.Nice little donut .could see a hint of color?or just getting tired.

Pallas ( asteroid ) Magnitude 8.65 which is located south of HIP75750 today.Pretty sure i saw it .West and south of Alpha Corona Borealis (Alphekka)

M 13 Very nice bright globular cluster.

M 3 Not as bright but nice globular cluster.

Finished observing at 1:40 am MDT.

New Dew Shield worked great for the session.(no dew at all )

Observations May 24th 2010

Set up Scope at about 9:00 PM MDT.Used dew shield.

Rough polar alignment as I could not see Polaris yet.Put Picnic table near scope and set up the umbrella and tilted it to kill some street light pollution.(worked pretty good).

Had Neximage webcam with  celestron UV/IR filter and laptop set up to try and take some lunar pics.

Some clouds around and Moon was up but lower in the sky .According to Clearsky chart clouds should dissipate for a few hours. They did and I started observing at about 10:00 PM MDT. Moon looked good but some turbulence with 32mm plossl (65X) and more turbulence as I added 3x barlow with it.(195X)Also had on  polarizing filter to keep my eyeballs from cooking in the bright moonlight.The moon was over the house and some turbulence was probably due to that.Observed Aristarchus and Herodotus was just coming into the light at the terminator.Now to try out the neximage.

Neximage by itself has a magnification of 422x on this scope.The moon was boiling at this power and could not achieve any decent focus.Put the  neximage focal reducer on and at 211X it was still quite turbulent.Could not focus very well and only took one 30 sec. video that I will try to process later.

A lot of time was spent trying different settings for the neximage web cam.I was not polar aligned and tracking was a little off.

The moon now was  just above the peak of the house and would dissappear behind it soon.Took off the neximage and would try for some Messier objects in the moonlit sky.Polar aligned scope . Used only 32mm plossl 65X  for the hunt.

 I moved the scope to  Arcturus and set R.A. coordinates according to stellarium.Used setting circles to find the Messier objects if I could in the moon washed sky.

First Object

M-5  Faint and fuzzy Globular cluster.Found it but not right away.Had to scan a little with RA and Declination controls (Polar alignment not right on. Also did this with the rest of the objects)

M-12 Globular cluster .Very dim but could see it 

M-10 Globular cluster Very dim. Moon was now hidden by the house .

M-107 Took quite a while to Find this one.Magnitude 8.1 Just barely made out this globular cluster.Averted vision helped. Tried to find M-14 (Did not as there appeared to be some cloud haze in this area of the sky)

M-92  Fairly Bright Globular cluster at  magnitude 6.5 Also in the darker sky away from the moonlight.

M-56 Dim Fuzzy Globular cluster at magnitude 8.3

Checked out M-57 the Ring nebuala .Not as bright as May 11th obsevation.Still a nice fuzzy donut.

Went to M-13 The Great globular cluster in Hercules.Magnitude 5.6 Not as Bright as May 11th observation.Also a nice  Object to return to.Averted vision helped to see it a little better.

I switched eyepieces to my old 50mm A.Ramsden (42X)to compare the view of M-13.  Stars HD 150998 and HD150679 were just on the edge of the field of view with the 50mm A.Ramsden but the brightness was about the same as the 32mm Plossl.The Plossl at 65x showed the two stars much further from the edge of the field of view .Galaxy NGC6207 should have also been in the field of view but at magnitude 11.6 I did not see it.

Finished Observing at 1:45AM MDT.

Took off dew shield and watched the dew start forming on the corrector plate right away.This Dew shield seems to be doing its job.

It is possible to see Messier objects even with the moon being dominant in the sky.I have never tried this before.I usually just looked at the moon while it is out.



                           Observations Page 3