Bill Magee`s Journey


Observations Page 7


Moon from Kelowna B.C. Sept.25th 2010

Panasonic DMC FZ28 Digital camera on auto handheld to 32mm plossl eyepiece 65x on Dynamax 8 SCT.

Some reprocessing with Registax 5.1.







Sept.25th 2010 in Kelowna B.C.

Set up scope in my daughters and son in laws back yard in Rutland area of Kelowna at about 7:30 PM PDT.Some clouds .

Waited for Jupiter then the waning moon to appear above trees.

Penny and her son Quinn who are friends of my daughters also came over with their 4-1/2 inch Dosonian and 3 inch Newtonian reflector telescopes.They are members of the RASC Okanangan Centre.

We looked at Jupiter and its moons and the Moon in its waning phase 2 days after full with the 3 inch NR and my 8 inch SCT.

Also looked at Uranus which was not too far in the sky from Jupiter.Just a dot with the  3 inch NR scope at 25 (I think)power but resolved to a greenish blue disk at 100 power in the 8 inch SCT.

Moon was quite nice but small in the 3 inch.

Seeing was not that good but cloud bands on Jupiters surface showed up periodically on both these scopes.A little more detail at 100x on the 8 inch SCT.We Never used Quinns scope (the 4-1/2 NR  DOB) to view these objects .Quinn was busy playing with Hannah.

I showed the  moon with and without filters to show how bright it is on the eyes through an 8 inch scope.

Penny  showed us Alberio (Double star in Cygnus the swans head ) with her 3 inch NRT .Very nice color difference in this scope.I couldnt compare views as my 8 inch SCT scope was shielded from that view by the garage.She also positioned her scope to the E.T.(phone home) star formation in Cassiopeia.It is  also known as NGC457 the owl.I have never looked at this one before.

Viewers were: Sandy,Dean, Ricky, Gord ,Quinn,Penny, Hannah, and myself.

I was going to try to find comet Hartley later in the evening but the clouds put an end to that.Quit observing at about 11:15 PM PDT.


The following day while visiting my cousin Una not too far from my daughters her husband Art gave me an old edition of Nightwatch (Published 1986) By Terrance Dickinson.

Art retrieved it before it went into a recycling bin and thought of saving it and giving it to me.Thanks Art!



Sept.28th and 29th 2010

Observing from Chilliwack B.C.

Tried finding Comet Hartley2 103P  for these two nights .No Luck.

Observed the sun and sunspots during the day on the 28th and 29th. Took some afocal pics .Also tried neximage webcam with out too much success. I may have to collimate scope in the future to get clearer pics with this webcam.??

Observed Jupiter amd watched moon as it rose higher in the sky both evenings .Took some afocal pics of moon at almost last quarter.

On the 29th my son Lawrence and myself looked at the Pleaides and the andromeda galaxy (Quite dim from this light polluted location.Also viewed moon and jupiter which showed cloud bands but seeing came and went.(Focus sporadic)

Oct1st 2010

Too tired to set up scope after returning from Chilliwack.Very clear night.Just sat back and relaxed in dark corner of yard to try and find comet Hartley 2  103P with binos from a lawn chair.Was successful but quite dissapointed how small an insignificant this comet is.Could only tell it was the comet from sky chart positions and Alan Dyers beautiful Photo from the night before posted in skynews forums.Could see a dim glow around a dot.Scanned skies with binos tosee double cluster in perseus the andromeda galaxy and various other Messier objects.

Oct.2nd to 3rd 2010

Set up scope to permanent pier in backyard Hinton (home)at about 8:45PM MDT

Started looking for Hartley at about 9:30 PM MDT

Scanned and scanned with scope in the right area of Cassiopeia to find comet Hartley.Tried binos.Couldn`t find it.So I tried to find M-76 (Little dumbell nebula)which is a Mag.12 nebula.Found it. This was at 10:10PM MDT.                      Was a fuzzy  dim bow tie shape .Used 32mm plossl at 65x and orion stratus eyepiece at 100x.No light loss or very little with the higher magnification.

Should be able to see Hartley.After rescanning and rescanning slowly in the area it should be in with 32mm plossl I found hartley.Dim dot with some greenish glow around it (glow looked better with averted vision)Put object near edge of field also to get better view of glow. Upped power to 100 and lost it.Found it again as refocussing on the 100x eyepiece caused it to shift out of view.Watched this not too magnificent comet yet for a few hours .I didnt stay at the scope all that time.I wanted to see if it really was the comet .It was .It  had moved a  bit relative to the stars around it during this time.I also used 10x 50 binos at this time and did make it out .The glow through the binos showed better although much smaller.(still a pretty hard thing to find with the binos)This night had poorer seeing than the previous one.Quit viewing hartley at about 12:25PM MDT.

Viewed Jupiter for for a while as seeing was not that good in this area of the sky.Used 32mm plossl and 21mm Orion stratus. Got some good views of cloud bands and the still whited out SEB.Callisto ganymede europa on one side of Jupiter and Io by itself on the other side.

Looked for M103 .Nice open cluster in cassiopeia.Mag. 7

                  M-52 Nice open cluster in cassiopeia Mag.  8

Also looked at the Andromeda Galaxy and it is much brighter from this location than from where I viewed from in Chilliwack B.C.(More light pollution there).

No dew on anything tonight! Bonus.Pier still needs a polar alignment tweek.Tracked quite well all this session.

Put scope and accessories away around 1:30 AM MDT .






Oct.7th 2010

Set up scope to find comet Hartley at about 9:30 PM MDT. Found it after some scanning in the area of sky it was supposed to be. Still a dim green glow.32mm plossl at 65x.Quit viewing after about an hour of viewing hartley and the double cluster in Perseus.Going to Edmonton in the morning so had to pack up and go to sleep.

Oct.8th 2010

 The Andromeda Galaxy

 Can Hartley see it


Set up scope after returning from Edmonton at about 9:30 PM MDT

Did a bit of a polar alignment tweek on pier setup.Will do another at a later date until it is perfectly aligned.Not too far off now.

Scanned for wher Comet Hartley to see if brightness had changed.Found Hartley and was still about the same greenish glow as it was the night before.Still pretty dim.Found it also with 10x 50 binoculars.

Tried to get a piggy backed 1 minute exposure of the double cluster and Hartley. Panasonic DMC FZ 28 digital camera on top of scope.Tried several times but got a fairly unfocused image that does show a greenish spot of Hartleys location . Aslo tried a for the andromeda galaxy which came out a little better focused.Will try different methods (Settings)in the future of 1 minute exposures at different settings.One minute exposures is all this camera can do.Have not piggybacked this camera on this scope too often.Still learning.Would be nice to get a better DSLR.

Also viewed the double cluster alone. Very nice with 32mm plossl and 21mm Orion status eyepieces.The following messier objects also viewed with these eyepieces.No real ignificant light loss with the 21mm.

M -15 Nice bright globular cluster at Mag.6.5

M-72 fairly dim globular cluster Mag. 10

M-73 group of stars close to M 72 at Mag.9

Looked at Jupiter also .Some good views but not great ones as seeing was not superb.

Quit observing at 11:45 PM MDT.

While in Edmonton I managed to find the latest edition of NIGHTWATCH by Terrance Dickinson at Chapters in the West Edmonton Mall and after reading a bit of it I decided to purchase it. Also picked up the Backyard Astonomers Guide that my Wife says I`ll have to wait for SANTA to read it.(can`t wait)but I will. I haven`t purchased any Astronomy books for along time other than astronomy magazines.




Oct.30th 2010

Set up scope on Pier in backyard at 8:30:PM MDT .Started viewing about 9:30 PM MDT. Has been a while as weather and  back problems kept me from viewing the cosmos with my telescope.Tried to get a glimpse of the double transit of Ganymede and Europa.Barely made out as atmosphere was very unstable and wind gusts complicating matters.Also tired from a long work day and up early at 3:330 am. Did not get any good focused views of Jupiter above 150x. The sky was not too great for seeing planets.The andromeda Galaxy and double cluster did show up quite nicely though at 65x 32mm plossl and 100x 21mm Orion stratus.I used my antares 0.5 focal reducer on both eyepieces and showed a little more of the field of stars.

Had new scope viewer Arlene.(Pic posted under scope viewers) She enjoyed the sites.Along with Darlene my wife who also viewed Jupiter and its changing moons.We also looked at M-31 and the double cluster in perseus.Quit viewing at 10:30 PM MDT.

Nov.2nd to 3rd 2010

Setup scope on backyard pier at about 6:30 PM MDT. Had scope out in shed.Cool down time was nil.Takes about 10 or less minutes to attach scope and all the other doodads to Pier and put dew shield on scope.

Earlier in the day I checked and adjusted collimation of scope from the driveway looking  a t a 3/4 inch ball bearing glued to a black piece of board .It was about 110 feet away from the scope.The sun was reflected (Clouds ,had to do this when the  intermittant  clouds were gone) on the ball bearing acting as an artificial star.(Actually the sun is a star)After getting a fairly good adjusment I checked the farthest object (about 2 KMs away in the hills)A communication tower Light(Unlit). At 703 X    I could just barely focus on the light .Not bad.I used a 9mm A.R.eyepiece with 3x barlow.Might try another time with neximage webcam as the eyepiece to collimate in the day time.

Now back to observations.Started at about 7:05 PM MDT by trying to find Vega with 32mm plossl which was not naked eye observable yet.Found it from declination coordinates and sweeping as had no R.A setting yet. Set R.A. to Vega. Declination was almost right on.Still pretty bright out and was just waiting for Jupiter to be in scopes line of site.(Neighbours garage in the way) I noticed the ISS was coming so I tried again to see it with scope .I lined up the telrad just in front of the ISS and quickly looked in the eyepiece and it came into view.The focus was not right on but I followed the ISS as best I could.I could see it quite well but very bright .It reminded me of the TIE FIGHTERS from Star Wars .Felt a little like Han Solo but wasn`t trying to fire at the International Space Station.LOL. It`s quite an acrobatic act follwing the ISS with your scope.Still need a tongue activated focuser!This event happened about 7:25 PM MDT.

Jupiter came into viewing range at  about 7:30Pm MDT. Very unstable air as the planet was not easily focused at above 100x.The moons looked like double stars on either side of the planet.Watched the Jupiter moon dance on and off during my observing session. At one point at about 9:30 PM MDT Io and Ganymede were so close that it looked like a collission may occur.Jupiter itself  never did get any clearer although there were a few  moments of clarity of the bands  popping into view(Could not see GRS).Also used polarizing filters  to cut  the glare.

Messier Hunt.

Looked for M 31 The Andromeda galaxy and its companions M 32 and M110 at around 8:20 PM MDT.Used 32mm plossl and 21mm Orion stratus for all Messiers looked at this session.M  31 Bright green glow of the galactic core and surrounding area faded out to black.Could see this nearby galactic neighbor naked eye( wearing eyeglasses  )tonight from backyard.

M 32 Below and to the right of M31. Fairly bright  at Mag.8

M 110 Above the galactic core of M31 .A little fairly bright fuzzball at Mag.8

M 81 One of Bodes Nebulae .Fairly bright fuzzy  angular face on galaxy .Mag 7

M 82 another of Bodes Nebulae .A little dimmer elongated galaxy at Mag.8.4               

 Looked at M 81 and 82 from 8:50 PM MDT  to about  9:15 PM MDT. Both galaxies just fit on the edge of the field of view in the 32mm plossl with an antares 0.5 x focal reducer on the eyepiece.

Tried to find M75 and M30 which were just above the house.Could not locate either after about a half hour of trying.Maybe too much light from the area along with smoke from furnaces and peoples wood stoves and fireplaces.Will try again when they are in a better location.

During the time observing I also was watching out for any Hartley ID meteors.Didn`t see a single meteor at all whenever I paused or waited for another object to come into view above neighbors garage !

While waiting for M 38 M36 and  M37 in Auriga to crest over the neighbors garage I set up a lawn chair in a dark part of the yard and with 10 x 50 binos scanned for them.Found all three and all appeared about the same brightness and fuzziness.Looked at M-31 (Nice bright fuzzy in binos)and tried for M32 and 110(Not seen in binos) Also looked at M-45 the Pleiades( always a beautiful view with binos)Viewed these objects from about 9:45 to 10:30 PM MDT.Went in to warm up.Went out to look at Jupiter some more at about 11:PM MDT.Clouds moved in and left and moved in and left.Now getting over the house and no chance of getting a good clear view in that location.Went back in house to refill my now frozen coffee cup and returned to scope at about 11:10 PM MDT.

With scope again and first two objects above Garage at about 11:45 PM MDT. 32mm plossl eyepiece with 0.5 x antares 1-1/4 thread on focal reducer.

M 38 fairly bright open cluster of stars Mag 7

M 36 fairly bright open cluster of stars Mag. 6.5

M 37 fairly bright closer grouping of stars at Mag. 6  Looked like a gray background around this grouping.

Checked all three again at 100 x  21mm Orion Stratus eyepiece and all looked about the same brightness but bigger .

Orion was now arisen but more cloud was coming and I was getting tired.Had a look with binos at M-42 .Always a beauty .

Put scope and rest of gear away and back inside and to bed by 12:35AM MDT.Hope to return to the cosmic showroom again tonight if the weather is good.






Nov.3 t0 4th 2010

Nov. 3 ,2010
Set up about 7:30 and viewed Jupiter and its moons.Could get up to 200x but that didn`t last long.No GRS yet.Wispy clouds were coming and didn`t look too promising for the rest of the night.Seeing was better but transparency was low.Some times the light cloud acted as a filter on Jupiter and could glimpse a little more detail.? Also at one point I noticed Jupiter to be a greenish tinge with naked eye and my scope view(No filters on )? Didn`t see any clouds around it then.Seemed odd.Did not see that again during the rest of my observation session.
The ISS came by but I was not successful tonight to catch a good glimpse of it with my scope.
Tried again for M 30 and M75 but now clouds were right in the way.By the time these clouds left the objects were below the house.
I Left scope set up and went inside and kept checking the sky on and off. Never did get any better.
Set scope on M33 .very Dim .Not a good clear night.
Waited some more and saw one quick fairly bright Meteor heading towards Cygnus.
Waited for Orion but cloud was covering most of it. I was going to stay out til 3:AM .(Nightshift tonight)Checked western skies with Binos for stars but it was all cloud.
Put every thing away by 12:45 AM MDT.Will have to wait now for my next days off and hope for better Skies.

Observations Nov.7 2010 or lack of Observations

 What looked promising to be a half decent night of observing didn`t pan out.Set up scope at 5:30 PM MST on Jupiter.Looked pretty good at 65 power.Went in for a delicious supper(My wife is an awesome cook){ I should weigh about 600 lbs but am only about 210}. After stuffing myself Iwaited til about 6:30 PM MST for scope cool down time (Was inside the house)I went out to look.Clouds with some openings .Watched Jupiter at up to 195X which had pretty good views with light cloud and none.Checked cleardark sky chart which still read it should be fairly good out.It wasn`t .This chart is usually pretty accurate but is based on weather predictions and can be wrong on occassion.Just checked it again and sure enough it is now correct.We are clouded over.                     I `m not staying out tonight to check the underside of cloud formations so am packing it in at10:00PM MDT.

Might be better tommorrow night! The good thing now it is dark earlier due to the magic of non daylight savings time.

Nov.9 th 2010

Observations Nov.9 2010
Set up scope on Pier at 5:00 Pm MST.Still daylight out.
No Cloud and hoping none would obscure the area M-75 and M-30 would be appearing as the sky got darker.
At 6:00 PM MDT Jupiter was in view so I lined up on it and set coordinates for it on RA setting circle.Dec. was correct already.
Watched it for a while but view was unstable with 32 mm plossl eyepiece.
Aimed scope with RA and Dec.coordinates for M-75
Nothing seen yet .Still too bright.Just waited and at 6:25PM MST I finally just glimpsed M-75.Still a little bright out but waited to make sure it was M-75.It was.So now proceeded to M-30 Found it also at 6:40 PM MST. ISS went by but didn`t try to follow with scope.
M-75 fuzzy globular cluster at mag.8.6
M-30 a little brighter fuzzy globular cluster at mag.7.5
Swung back to M-75 to see it in a darker setting.Seen it better.
Now the house was going to obscure it.Also chimney smoke from our building and neighbours was starting to enter the picture.
Set scope back on Jupiter.Watched it for a while at up to 195X.
32mm plossl on 3x barlow.
Pretty good views but some turbulence.Glimpsed the GRS.My pals the clouds were also coming into the picture.Also had to defog the corrector ,telrad and eyepiece with hairdryer.
Tried to find M-74 between clouds but wasn`t successful.I might have glimpsed it but not totally sure.
Had to defog a couple of more times during my quest to find M-74.
More clouds arrived so packed it in at 10:PM MST.
Temp. at this time was -9 C.
Hope tonight Nov.10 is clear as this will be the last scope night til next days off.Clearsky chart predicts it will be.

Observations Nov.10th to 11th 2010

Observations Nov.10th to 11th 2010
Set up scope at 5:00 Pm MST on pier.
Moon was out above the house to the south. I used 32mm plossl to view.
Scope was already cool as it was kept in the shed since last session.
Looked pretty good even though still bright outside.Seen an airplane(Jet)flying south.Set scope on it and had it in view and well focused.A lot easier to track manually than the ISS.Probably due to the fact that I didn`t have to move the scope too far in the easterly direction.(Also a little closer than the ISS by about 200+miles)
Continued viewing the four day old Moon until it was much darker out and detail became much clearer.Moon was getting just above the roof peak and soon would be dissappearing behind it.A little turbulent but kept watching with 21mm Orion Stratus at 100x.Took a few handheld pics.
After the moon dissappeared behind the house I set scope on Jupiter.Fairly good views up to 195x.Tried higher power to 300 but too turbulent.Looked very good at 65x.
Went in for supper.Came back out to look for M-26.
M-26 small Dim open cluster of stars at mag.8  A little better seen with averted vision.
M -11 Brighter denser star cluster at mag.5.8 (The wild duck cluster)
Looked a little brighter than last view of it.
Saw a medium bright meteor heading southwest overhead.
Back to Jupiter.About the same as earlier but now brighter against a darker sky.Tried higher magnification but did not get any better the next few times between Messier hunting.
Tried for M-74 for at least an hour and a half.I`m sure I was on it but just cannot list it yet as seen.Probably seen the central core as a star but never really any indication that this was a galaxy.Will try in the future again.
M-77 Fairly bright Galaxy at mag.8.9
Went back to M-74 Still no luck of making out any sign of it being a galaxy.
While I Waited for Orion to arise in a good spot for viewing I just scanned the skies with binos for about a half hour.Checked a few Messiers I have previously viewed.Also could see The Andromeda Galaxy as well as the double cluster in Perseus naked eye.
The wait for Orion was well wotrh it.First Time view of M-42 and M-43 as well as NGC 1981 with the Orion Stratus 21mm 68 deg.AFOV eyepiece.
All I can say is that it was awesome at 100x.Lots of nebulosity and good detail.I watched for quite a while.The Orion Nebula is a favourite. Saw another fairly quick dim meteor heading southeast toward Orion.
Tried one more time for M-74.Same view as before.Not Galactic.
I also tried for and was pretty sure I was not going to see was the Horsehead nebula,Did not see it.Not sure if I ever will visually without a good nebula filter and or a larger aperture scope.
Checked out M-1 the crab nebula very faint grayish smudge above Zeta Taurus at mag.8.4.A little dimmer than last seen.
Went Back to the Orion Nebula and viewed for a while and called it a night at 12:30 AM MST.
NOTE: Only had to defog corrector, finder, and telrad once and eyepieces a couple of times cause I breathed on Them while Telradding....It was a Balmy -6Deg.C  when I went in at 12:30AM


 Moon on Nov.10th 2010
Hanheld afocal shot through Dynamax 8 SCT and 21mm Orion Stratus eyepiece at 100x 68deg AFOV. With Panasonic DMC FZ28 digital camera on auto.Moon was just over the peak of the house and alittle turbulent view
A little touch up in Registax and greyscaled from color photo and reoriented to correct left to right.


                           Observations Page 8