Sunday, September 11, 2011

1483e 2011/09/11–12

1483e 2011/09/11–12 20:30–21:10 EDT Foxmead POD 8 13cmrr

Aligned on Altair and Alpheratz. Could just barely see Alpheratz because of Full Moon and hazy atmosphere. Confirmed alignment by returning to Altair, then viewed:

Double stars: Albireo @ 38x.

Moon: @38x.

DSO: M11 @ 38x.

Pointed to Polaris: still clearly off pole, but at least GoTo is working well.

22:30–23:40 EDT Foxmead POD 8 13cmrr 8cmrr

Resumed observations at 22:30.

Jupiter @ 190x (10mm+TV bino), 115x (25mm+Orion bino), 230x (12.5mm+Orion bino). Trying various binoviewers (Tele Vue BinoVue and Orion) on Jupiter. Surprisingly, the nicest image was with the Pocono 12.5mm orthoscopics and the Orion Shorty Barlow screwed into the Orion binoviewer. This combo was also much lighter than the TV combo. I began observations of Jupiter around 22:40 when it was still below 15° altitude: lots of colour fringing! As it rose, the fringing diminished and the seeing improved. Initially theimage looked "gritty" but then finer detail came into view. There was a transit of Io's shadow beginning at 22:56. I first could see the shadow definitely at 23:08, appearing like a condensation in the SEB.

Also looked at Jupiter and the Moon with 80mm GoScope @ 18x and 58x. View of Moon was spectacular. Jupiter's moons were clear and 2 main belts visible.

Star test: I did a star test on Alpheratz using the 10mm+TV. Bright outer ring on both sides of focus, but inner rings are very round and even, just a hint of diffraction in focus. I then looked at Almach with 10mm+TV: beautiful colour contrast of bright gold and pale blue.

I parked the scope at the end of the evening. We'll see how the alignment holds up next time.

This is probably a good example of what to do on a hazy Full Moon night: tinkering with mounts, eyepieces, and binoviewers.

Temperature: 13°C. Hazy but not damp, no dew.

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