Bill Magee`s Journey


Observations Page 8

Observations Dec.5th to 6th 2010

Shovelled snow from sidewalk and Scope observing area in the afternoon.We were away for about 10 days in Chilliwack B.C. and was hoping to view the sun and set up for night viewing with scope.After finally finishing snow removal the sun was now too low and behind the house.Put scope in shed to acclimatize and then proceeded to help wife out with some reorganizing of the furniture in a couple of rooms in the house.

Set Scope on pier at about 5:30.Viewed Jupiter and its moons for about Half an hour.Went inside to check which objects I would be looking for later in the evening. Ate supper then went to My Son Dave`s  house to visit the grandchildren(3) and my son and his wife.

Decided not to use Urban Light pollution filter by "DAISY"(bb air rifle)  on neighbours Christmas lights and put up a tarp instead to block out the glare.

After returning from my sons place I searched for the elusive M-74 starting at about 8:30 PM MST.After about 10 minutes I had it in view.Very Dim but could just make it out with averted vision at Mag.9.5 Kept checking it out til about 9:00PM MST.It would appear then disappear then appear again.

Used 32mm plossl and 21mm orion stratus eyepieces for entire session.Also 3x barlow with 32mm plossl on Jupiter.

Checked out Jupiter Some more but could not get a good clear focused view above 200x.  It was also now above the house.

Went inside to wait for objects to come into scopes line of sight.

After a warm up inside I set scope on zeta taurus and did a small collimation tweek with 7mm eyepiece.Will do another tweek with higher power at a later date.

Objects and times viewed :

M-35 fairly bright open cluster at mag.5.1 at 10:30 PM MST

M-50 nice open cluster at mag.7 at 12:17AM MST

M-48 fairly bright open cluster at mag.6 at 12:39 AM MST

M-41 open cluster at mag. 5 at 12:45 AM MST .Low to horizon but looked better and brighter later as it rose higher in the sky.(went back to it look when it was higher up above the trees).

M-46  open cluster at mag.6.5 at 1:20 AM MST looked better with averted vision as did all the other Messier objects.

M-47   open cluster at mag.5.8 at 1:25 AM MST.

While waiting for the lower to the horizon objects to be in view I also looked at The great nebula in Orion for quite a while .M-42. My favourite. It became much clearer as it rose higher in the sky.Was the last object looked at when I quit observing at about 1:40 AM MST.

Temperature when I quit Observing was -12C.No dew cap needed this session(slight breeze) and no frost formed on corrector or eyepieces or telrad.Didn`t even accidentally breathe on eyepiece even once.






Observations Dec.20th to 21st 2010

Set up scope around 5:00 PM MST .Trying out new 2 inch SCT Diagonal.

Looked at Jupiter for a while.Not too bad views at 100x with 21mm orion stratus eyepiece.This eyepiece sits much more stable on the 2 inch diagonal.Checked if I could find M-74 .Found it but very dim.

Waiting for Winter Solstice Lunar total eclipse.

Clouded over just up to the eclipse nearing totality.Watched through scope with 32mm plossl eyepiece at 65x. Took a few pics but fuzzy .Got really cloudy again and was ready to pack it in.But there was an opening again when the totality was just ending.Got a fuzzy pic through lite cloud. Watched on and off between clouds and lite to none.

The moon was clearer as it was now heading out of partial.Got a few clearer pics.By the time the event was ending the clouds started to reappear.

At least I got to see part of this rare Winter solstice total lunar eclipse.

Pics taken Afocally handheld to 32mm plossl eyepiece on Dynamax 8 SCT with 2 inch diagonal.The total eclipse pic at 2sec. exposure with panasonic DMC FZ28 digital camera.The moon leaving earths shadow mid pic camera set on auto.(Gray)The same setting for partial totality moon (Bottom Pic)

The small moon pic at ending totality  2sec. exp handheld camera only. Come out not too bad considering conditions.

Pics Below

 Link to unfixed lunar eclipse pics. Lunar Eclipse

Winter Sosltice Total Lunar  Eclipse Dec.20th to 21st 2010  (Explanations of pics above.)

Observations Dec.28th 2010

Observations Dec.28th started at 10:00 PM MST
Using new 2" Diagonal and 1-1/4 32mmplossl
Jupiter above house Hazy looked like 5 moons but one was the star HD 223252 or 20 pisces Flamsteed#
M-42 very nice a slight hint of pink along the edge of the brightest nebulosity.
Tried for the Horsehead nebula .No luck glimpsed some? nebulosity but no shape of a horsehead or a roaring lion.Probably never going to see this nebula visually without a filter.
Went to M-1 the crab nebula .Just a dim Mag 8.4
M-74 very faint but a bit better than last view.
M-79 11:00 PM MST. Quite dim at Mag 8 Looked at it also with 21mm Orion Stratus.A little bigger and brighter .I took the 1-1/4 nose piece off the stratus and inserted the 2" barrel into 2" diagonal opening.Refocused and found the field of view open way up.M-79 was a little bit brighter also.
This messier is very low to my horizon +11.5 and treetops which are about +9 deg. and the building and chimney smoke was interfering.I found M-79 at just the right time.
Tried the orion stratus as a 2" eyepiece on M-42 and wow the field was way bigger .I will have to try to measure and see how much difference there is at a later date as it is too cold outside right now.

Objects With 21mm Orion stratus as 2" eyepiece(Sans 1-1/4 nosepiece and lens)Not a lot of 2" barrel to have Thumbscrews hold to diagonal but was solid.
M-37 M-36 and M-38. Double cluster in Perseus (Both clusters fit very well) All Nice and bright with way more field of view.Clouds started to loom in.
Quit observing at 12:05 AM MST. -18C but Felt colder even with no wind !(Humidity about 80% )Despeckled corrector once(Ice dots) with hairdryer(Didn`t use dew shield)

                           Observations Page 9