Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1528m 2012/12/12

1528m 2012/12/12 07:00–07:10 EST Foxmead E window 9 ne 10x50b

Another beautiful morning here, but the Moon was too low and too skinny (1% illuminated) to be visible against the horizon haze and clouds. Mercury, Venus, and Saturn were nicely aligned.

Today is the first of the "end-of-the-world" dates this month.

Temperature = –1.2°C

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

1527m 2012/12/11

1527m 2012/12/11 07:00 EST Foxmead E window 9 ne

A beautiful conjunction of Venus and the waning crescent Moon, really close together, framed by Saturn to the right and Mercury to the left. The proximity between Venus and the Moon should make it really easy to spot Venus in the daylight sky later this morning.

Temperature = –12°C

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Meteorologists are predicting a major hurricane (Sandy) may hit Ontario in the next couple of days, so I decided to play it safe and bring in the Sirius mount. I also prepared the POD for a major storm, covering the telescope and disconnecting its power. The mount is still working well, no further error messages.

Temperature = 5.7°C

Monday, October 1, 2012

1526d 2012/10/01

1526d 2012/10/01 11:40–11:55 EDT Foxmead E pad 8 10cmrr

Sun: Observing with Bob's 100mm achromat, 25mm Kellner (60x) and 12.5mm orthoscopic (120x).  The image of the Sun is crisp and colour-free. I counted 14 spots in 3 groups for a sunspot number of 44.

There is a bit of vibration in the Sirius mount after touching the slew buttons, but the mount isn't snugged up yet because I want to do a polar alignment next clear night. I had to fool the mount into tracking the Sun by having it do a 1-star alignment on an invisible star, and then slewing manually to the Sun. Next time I will choose a star close to the Sun to align on, and then have the scope point to Mercury. It would be only a short slew to the Sun.

I wish this mount's computer allowed the Sun as a target. Maybe this is possible with a newer version of the firmware. Time to upgrade.

Temperature = 19.5°C

Sunday, September 30, 2012

1525d 2012/09/30

1525d 2012/09/30 11:30–13:00 EDT Foxmead E pad 3 10cmrr

Finally attempting to set up and test Bob Sparrow's 100mm f/15 achromatic refractor, built by Ron Irving using a Vixen spec. objective:

Bob loaned this to me a while back but I've been having a hard time getting myself organized to test it properly. I set up the Celestron CGEM mount over a month ago on the concrete pad on the east side of our house. Today when I tried to mount the telescope, I discovered that protruding bolt heads on the dovetail prevented it from mating with the Orion saddle converter. So I carted the CGEM back inside and set up the Orion Sirius GEM instead. By the time I had everything set up and balanced, the Sun had mostly disappeared into heavy clouds. I waited for about half an hour, and then packed it in. Of course, the Sun immediately peeped out! However it looked dismal, so I did not try setting up again.

What I really want to look at with this telescope is Jupiter, hopefully in the next few nights.

Thanks to Blake Nancarrow, I think my CPC 1100 is back in operating condition, though there may still be an intermittent loose connection. On Blake's recommendation, I bought a new, more powerful (2.5 amp.) power supply.

Temperature 17°C

Thursday, August 23, 2012

1524m 2012/08/23

1524m 2012/08/23 05:15–05:40 EDT Foxmead E window 8 10x50n ne

I observed Mercury again this morning. I spotted it in the trees at 05:32 and it cleared the trees at 05:36.

Temperature: 11°C

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

1523m 2012/08/22

1523m 2012/08/22 05:20–05:35 EDT Foxmead E window 8 10x50n ne

I finally spotted Mercury at 05:33 this morning! Sunrise will be at 06:30, so just about 1 hour before sunrise seems to be the right time. I actually glimpsed Mercury a few minutes earlier through the trees. but it cleared the trees at 05:33. As always, once I spotted Mercury with binoculars it seemed really bright and easy to see naked eye. It was much brighter than Procyon, Castor, or Pollux.

Temperature: 9°C

Saturday, August 18, 2012

1522m 2012/08/18

1522m 2012/08/18 06:15–06:30 EDT Foxmead E window 8 10x50n ne

No fog this morning, but the sky was too bright at 6:15 to spot Mercury, even with the help of my iPad. Venus was shining brightly. Sunrise at 6:26.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

1521m 2012/08/16

1521m 2012/08/16 04:30–06:30 EDT Foxmead E window 8–3  10x50n ne

Attempting to observe the maximum elongations of Venus and Mercury this morning, as described in my article on

At 04:30 I had a lovely view of Venus, Jupiter, and Orion rising in the east. As they rose, so did the fog, gradually obscuring everything below Venus. The fog over the meadows was beautiful, but I never saw the Moon or Mercury.

Maybe tomorrow morning? The Moon will be gone, but Mercury will still be there.


I just went out to observe the occultation of Venus by the Moon and discovered that the mount on my CPC1100 has died again.  It was working fine when I last used it on July 18.  I put into Hibernate mode at the end of that session.

Today when I turned it on, I got this message on the hand controller:


I pressed UNDO, and started a Solar System Align on the Sun.  The GPS was working OK.  I got the warning about the Sun, pressed Enter to rid of it, and then pressed the direction pad.  This got me nothing except a message:


I repeated this with the controller from my NexStar 6, with exactly the same results, so the problem is in the mount.  Not the same as last time, because I never saw any error messages before.

We've had a couple of thunderstorms, but no close strikes, and the scope is now on a surge protected power bar.

I've found this file, which has some helpful information:

I dread having to update the firmware.  The last time I did this, it wiped out all 99 of my User Objects, my entire library of variable stars.  I had to re-enter them manually, something I would rather not do again, if I can help it.


Earlier today I set up the Celestron CGEM mount on the concrete pad on the east side of the house: maybe this put a curse on the CPC!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1520e 2012/07/18–19

1520e 2012/07/18–19 22:10:50–23:50 EDT Foxmead POD 8  28cmsc

Aligned telescope on Saturn and Spica, then Arcturus. Although I used the 22mm Nagler (127x) briefly, most observations tonight were with the 40mm University MK-70 (70x).
ε Bootis: yellow/yellow, close.
δ Serpentis: blue/blue, wide.
Antares: not split, poor seeing.
I then began a tour of bright Milky Way objects, using CPC1100's "Identify" command to identify groups of Messiers, and later double stars and Named Objects.
M4 (started using 22mm), M80, M19, M62, M9, M6, M7 (returned to using 40mm). M8, M20, M23, M24, M18, M17, M25, M22, M11, M26, M16, M27, M71, M56, M29, M57.
ζ Lyrae: blue/violet, wide.
ε Lyrae: white/white/white/white, close/wide/close.
Albireo: gold/blue, wide.
17 Cygni: white/dim red, wide.
61 Cygni: white/white, wide.
NGC7331: Deer Lick Galaxy.
NGC7662: Blue Snowball.
NGC6992/NGC6995: E half of Veil Nebula. Without OIII filter, I could just barely make out NGC6992. With filter in place, it was quite obvious, and I could then see NGC 6995 to the south.
NGC6888: Crescent Nebula: Faint with OIII filter.
IC5146: Cocoon Nebula: Very faint with OIII filter. First new deep sky object in over 4 years!
With the OIII filter in place, I went back to the gems of the summer Milky Way:
M17: Swan Nebula: Could now see a lot of nebulosity off the Swan's rear end.
M16: Eagle Nebula: Much larger in OIII filter.
M20: Trifid Nebula: Dark rift in centre really obvious in OIII.
M8: Lagoon Nebula: Huge in size with extensive dark area in centre.
I ended up by looking briefly for NGC7000 (North America Nebula) but all I could see was hints of nebulosity here and there in the field of view, since the Nebula is much larger than the 40mm eyepieces 1° field of view.

All in all, a very pleasant evening of observing after a long lapse. I've felt nervous about observing in the dark since the bad fall I had a couple of months ago. After tonight, I feel more comfortable. 23 Messiers, 5 NGCs, one totally new IC, and 7 double stars. I love GoTo!

Temperature = 11.5°C.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

1519m 2012/07/14

1519m 2012/07/14 04:50–05:15 EDT Foxmead E window 3  ne

Crescent Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and Aldebaran in a quadruple conjunction this morning. Many small clouds on eastern horizon,but they finally cleared enough that all four objects were visible.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

1518m 2012/06/23

1518m 2012/06/23 04:50–05:10 EDT Foxmead E window 9 10x50b ne

I caught both Venus and Jupiter this morning with my 10x50 binoculars. Once I'd spotted Jupiter with binoculars, I could see it naked eye.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

1517m 2012/06/21

1517m 2012/06/21 04:50–05:30 EDT Foxmead E window 8 10x50b ne

Spotted Venus for the first time since the transit: it was a tiny skinny crescent in my 10x50 binoculars. I could not find Jupiter, which was only 7 degrees away (though I didn't check its location ahead of time). There were no clouds, but yesterday was very hot and humid (32°C) and the transparency this morning was poor, a kind of brassy haze on the eastern horizon.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

1516m 2012/06/17

1516m 2012/06/17 04:50–05:30 EDT Foxmead E window 8–3 10x50b ne

Conjunction of Moon and Jupiter. Venus was too low at 04:50 to be visible. As objects rose, they became obscured by bands of cloud, so that I lost the Moon and Jupiter, and never saw Venus.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

1515d 2012/06/07

1515d 2012/06/07 05:30–05:45 EDT Foxmead E window 8 10x50b ne

Scanning NE horizon for Venus without success. Gibbous Moon setting in W.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

1514d 2012/06/05

1514d 2012/06/05 16:00–20:00 EDT Foxmead POD & SW field 8–3 28cmsc ne

Transit of Venus
40 members of the Barrie, Midland, and Orillia astronomy clubs gathered in the field southwest of the observatory to observe the transit of Venus:
Elgin Quesnelle
Nicole Quesnelle
Marilyn Morris
Holly Pattenden
Fracois ven Heerden
Len Morris
Gord Michener
Peter Ridout
Greg Rothwell
Doanld and Dorothy Macdonald
Muriel & Alex Sinclair
Jack & Vilda Reid
Paul Cornish
Richard Lane
Dave Robitaille
Jordan Robitaille
Bruce Irwin
Alma Cruise
Louise Gervais
David Hyndman
Craig Welbourn
Doreen Holmes & Keith
Marg Walters
Helen Renaud
Vicki Sherwood & Bill
Mary Moreau
Robert Strachan
Dale Langfield
Alexander March
Buzz & Adam March
Kinga March
Jayne Evans
Geoff Gaherty

While most of the observers were out in the field, I stayed in the POD with the 28cm SCT at 70x, with the Kendrick full aperture solar filter in place. I concentrated on Venus' appearance between first and second contacts. I missed first contact because I was concentrating on the wrong limb. After I detected first contact, I tried to see Venus off the solar disk, but without success. Venus was extremely sharp, with fairly good seeing. I could see no trace of any atmosphere. Clouds obscured second contact, so I could not see whether the Black Drop was visible. Once Venus was fully on the disk, I went down to the field where François van Heerden and Dave Robitaille had set up a hydrogen alpha scope and Mallincam to record the transit and display it on a monitor for the people gathered. There were several other telescopes set up by those present.

Shortly after second contact the clouds closed in for good, except for a brief instant around 20:00, when the Sun peeped through with Venus still in transit.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

1513e 2012/05/20–21

1513e 2012/05/20–21 18:30–21:30 EDT Foxmead POD 8 28cmsc & SW field 8 4cmrr

Observing the partial eclipse of the Sun at sunset with members of the Midland and Orillia astronomy clubs: Rick Crane, Jayne Evans, Geoff Gaherty, Louise Gervais, Gary Hains, Donald McDonald, Gord Michener, Marilyn Morris, and Peter Ridout.

We gathered out in the field to the southwest of our house so that we could see the setting sun with a relatively uncluttered horizon. We had two Coronado PSTs (Personal Solar Telescopes) equipped with hydrogen alpha filters, and everyone had eclipse shades. First contact with the Moon was observed just after 20:18 in the two telescopes, and almost immediately in the eclipse shades. We followed the eclipsed Sun down into the trees on the horizon, and some of our number walked out further into the field to get the last glimpse. Our observations were accompanied by bird songs and deer in the adjacent field to the south. We also all observed Venus and Mars with the 28cm Schmidt-Cassegrain at 127x. Afterwards we retired to the house for coffee and cookies.

Temperature: 29°C

Sunday, May 13, 2012

1512e 2012/05/13–14

1512e 2012/05/13–14 20:40–23:30 EDT Foxmead POD 28cmsc

Venus: Just disappearing behind the house. Nice little crescent at 70x.

Back out at 22:30:

Mars: Seeing very poor.

Saturn: Titan, Rhea, and Iapetus are forming a perfect equilateral triangle. Best at 127x.

Supernova 2012aw in Messier 95 in AAVSO chart:
 Has faded from its first appearance, now down around magnitude 13.5. 127x.

Spent most of the evening galaxy hunting, mostly old favourites in Leo and Virgo:
M65, 66, 95, 96, 105, 104, 87, 91, 88, 90, 89, 98, 99, 100, 64, 49, NGC4567, 4568, 4564, 4038, 4039. Then I rotated the POD to the east to catch M13, 57, and M56, and ended up with some double stars: Albireo, 17 Cygni, Zeta Lyrae, and Epsilon Lyrae.

Temperature = 7.5°C

1511d 2012/05/13

1511d 2012/05/13 15:25–15:30 EDT Foxmead S deck 8cmrr

Sun: In white light 18x. 3 groups with at least 8 spots in telescope, sunspot number = 38. With naked eye could see no spots either with Baader filter or "eclipse shades."

Friday, April 6, 2012

1510d 2012/04/06

1510d 2012/04/06 15:30–16:00 EDT Foxmead POD 9 28cmsc

I found that the electrical problem was that my power bar was full of rain water from a recent storm! I switched to battery power, took the scope out of hibernation and had it go to:

Venus: slightly less than 50% illuminated, 70x.

Jupiter: pale in the blue sky, but belts visible, 70x.

Since I was on a roll, I then went to:

Sirius and Procyon, both clearly visible in a blue sky. Rigel, however, was not. 70x. This is the first time in my life I have ever observed stars in full daylight! Finally, I put on my Kendrick Baader filter and went to:

Sun: 4 spots in one group, for a sunspot number of 14, 70x. There's something quite terrifying about gazing into the face of Sol with a full 28 cm of aperture!

Temperature: 9.1°C

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1509e 2012/04/04–05

1509e 2012/04/04–05 20:15–21:05 EDT Foxmead POD 8 28cmsc

Louise and I lifted the CPC1100 up onto the tripod just before supper.

Moon: nearly full, 70x

Venus: obviously less than 50% illuminated, 70x

Jupiter: just a glimpse before cloud moved in, 70x

It's great to have the CPC1100 back in operation!

Mars: north polar cap and some albedo features in south visible, but seeing very poor.

Temperature = 3.2°C 

Monday, April 2, 2012


Yesterday, I had a visit from Katrina Ince-Lum, Sharmin Chowdhury, Phil Chow, and Blake Nancarrow. Blake returned my CPC 1100 mount which he had fixed. Today I reassembled the telescope, which was a bit of a challenge because I didn't bother to reread the disassembly instructions, with the result that I had to tear it all apart again and start over. It's now completely reassembled; the next step is to dismantle and remove the Explore triplet apo and CGEM mount currently in the POD.

Stage 2 of the transplant is now complete. I've packed the 127mm triplet away in its case, moved the CGEM into the house, and moved the CPC 1100's tripod out into the POD. Now all that remains to be done is to get Louise's help to carry the CPC 1100 tube and mount out into the POD, and heave its weight onto the tripod. However, she has injured her shoulder, so it looks like that's not going to happen today. It's probably going to be too cold to observe tonight anyway.

Monday, March 26, 2012

1508d 2012/03/26

1508d 2012/03/26 15:30–16:00 Foxmead E deck 8 ne 10x50b

Venus and crescent Moon in daylight. Venus is just 2 degrees above the narrow crescent Moon in full daylight. My article on has been picked up by Google and the Christian Science Monitor:
Temperature: 2.7°C 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1507e 2012/03/19–20

1507e 2012/03/19–20 21:00–22:15 Huronia Airport 8 ne 10cmrr 28cmsc

Observing with members of the Midland Astronomy Club after giving a talk on my visit to Australia, and the upcoming annular eclipse and transit of Venus. Had a nice look at Jupiter through a 105mm refractor with a Vixen-spec objective, and helped a member set up and star test his 280mm Celestron HD on CGEM mount. Shirtsleeve weather, amazing for March!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

1506d 2012/03/16

1506d 2012/03/16 19:00 Foxmead W deck 8 ne

 Uploaded to the Weather Network, who posted it to their web page.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1505e 2012/03/14–15

1505e 2012/03/14–15 20:10–22:00 EDT Foxmead POD 8 13cmrr

 Mars: 190x: Boring side again.

Venus: 108x: getting close to half-Venus (57%).

Jupiter 190x: 3 moons on one side, 1 on the other.

Deep sky: M42-3 @ 38x and 108x: Beautiful as always.
B33, Horsehead Nebula, seen at 38x with H-beta filter and averted vision. I located a pentagonal pattern of stars and navigate from that to find a faint darkening on a very very faint nebula. Occasionally the "head" would jump out at me, but I tink that was "averted imagination"!
Also M78 (bright after the Horsehead!); Rosette, Christmas Tree, and Hubble's Variable Nebulae with OIII filter (faint wisps of nebulosity); M50, M46, M47, M41. Mostly at 38x

Back to Mars: still boring.

Temperature = 4.7°C

Sunday, March 11, 2012

1504e 2012/03/11–12

1504e 2012/03/11–12 19:10–20:20 EDT Foxmead POD 8 13cmrr

Four planets in eight minutes! I observed Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Mars between 19:45 and 19:53, using the 8.8mm Meade Ultrawide in the 127mm triplet apo (108x). Mercury was a tiny crescent (9" 19%), Venus a larger slightly gibbous disk (20" 59%), Jupiter a large ovoid (35" 99%), and Mars a tiny disk (14" 100%). Seeing was poor; I'll recheck Mars later when it's higher.

The images in the apo are exquisite: perfectly sharp and with not superfluous colour.

Temperature = 6.0°C

 I wasn't able to resist the temptation for another look at Mars, so I went back out with my 5mm Radian eyepiece (190x) at 20:10. Mars had risen a bit and the seeing had steadied, but unfortunately the "boring side" of Mars was towards Earth. The polar cap was quite distinct, and I could see hints of shadings on the disk, but it wasn't very inspiring. The temperature is dropping really fast!

Temperature = 4.7°C

1503d 2012/03/11

1503d 2012/03/11 10:15–10:30 EDT Foxmead S deck 8 4cmrr

Sun: large loop at 1 o'clock, large hedgerow at 5 o'clock, small hedgerow at 7 o'clock. No flares, but main sunspot group looks to be in turmoil. Two new groups coming into view on f edge of Sun. Long twisting filament associated with these new groups and the hedgerow prominence at 5 o'clock. 33x.

Here's the latest SOHO image, inverted relative to PST:

Temperature = 7.1°C

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

1502d 2012/03/07

1502d 2012/03/07 13:30–13:45 EST Foxmead POD 8 13cmrr

As a birthday present to myself, I mounted the 127mm Explore triplet apo on the CGEM in the POD and observed the Sun in white light using my Kendrick Baader solar filter. There were 22 sunposts in 3 groups, for a sunspot number of 53. using the 25mm 70° Explore eyepiece, magnification of 38x. Image was crisp and colour-free when sharply in focus. Here's a white light image from Big Bear:

If the sky stays clear and the temperature warm, I hope to observe the cornucopia of planets which will be in the sky tonight.

Acronyms explained:
apo = apochromatic refractor
CGEM = Celestron German Equatorial Mount
POD = SkyShed Personal Observatory Dome

Temperature: 11.4°C

1501d 2012/03/07

1501d 2012/03/07 12:05–12:10 EST Foxmead S deck 8 4cmrr

 There is an brilliant extended flare winding like a snake through a sunspot group in Hα at 33x. Also a hedgerow prominence at 6 o'clock. Here is the most recent SOHO EIT 304 image:

This Hα image from Big Bear yesterday is actually closer to what I saw today. You can see the sinusoidal flare and the prominence just off the disk in the same direction:

Temperature = 11°C, gusty winds

Thursday, February 23, 2012

1500m 2012/02/23–24

1500m 2012/02/23–24 05:20–05:25 Australian EDT Warrumbungle 8 ne

Some "doorstep astronomy." I went out the front door of our motel room in my pajamas to have a quick look at the Milky Way overhead. Unfortunately, the transparency was poor. Scorpius was fully visible but Sagittarius was nothing but stars, no Milky Way visible at all.

This is my 1500th logged observing session!

1499n 2012/02/22–23

1499n 2012/02/22–23 21:30–23:25 Australian EDT Warrumbungle 8–9 ne 10x50b 36cmrl 76cmrl

For my second night in Warrumbungle, I used a 14-inch (356-mm) Newtonian with an f/4.5 mirror by Carl Zambuto, focal length 1600 mm. With Paracorr installed, the effective focal length is 1840 mm. I used 22 mm (84x) and 12 mm (153x) Naglers. It had Argo Navis and Servocat installed, but I decided to use its 8x50 straight-through finder and my Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas instead, because I wanted to find stuff myself. Nice hardware!

I used Alan Whitman's "Southern Hemisphere Splendours" list from the RASC Observer's Handbook as my working list. My first target was the very red star DY Crucis or Ruby Crucis, a tiny red speck located right next to brilliant Beta Crucis.

Centaurus was rising in the southeast so I caught three of its showpieces. First was Alpha Centauri, closest star to the Sun and a fine double, visible by its elongation at 84x. Next was Omega Centauri, the brightest globular cluster in the sky, or perhaps the stripped core of a dwarf galaxy. It filled the Nagler 22's 82 degree field with brilliant stars, resolved to the core. Nearby was one of my personal favourites, NGC 5128. This is a pair of galaxies in collision, the dust of one galaxy backlit by the light of the other. It is one of the brightest radio sources in the sky, Centaurus A. In the 14-inch it resembled its Australian popular name, the Hamburger Galaxy. John Bambury stopped by and remarked how the "lettuce" in the hamburger was visible.

The Small Magellanic Cloud was sinking in the southwest, so I checked out that area. Only in the southern hemisphere do you use naked eye galaxies to aid in star hopping. Just below the SMC is my very favourite southern object, 47 Tucanae, a globular cluster so brilliant and concentrated that it was mistaken for a star by early astronomers. It beats our more famous Omega Centauri for the title of "most beautiful globular cluster." Once again, the 14-inch resolved it to the core. The major difference between these two clusters is the degree of concentration of the core: 47 Tuc has a far more concentrated core, making it a mor brilliant sight.

The Small Magellanic Cloud, as one of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies, is chock full of deep sky objects. Along its eastern edge I observed two brilliant diffuse nebulae, NGC 460 and IC 1660, and a globular cluster NGC 419. Just to the west of these three is a beautiful little globular, NGC 362, a companion of the Milky Way rather than the SMC.

To finish up the night, I explored the incredibly rich area of the Milky Way in the constellation Carina. Just to the west of the Southern Cross, it includes two outstanding open clusters, the Football Cluster (NGC 3532) to the north and the Southern Pleiades (IC 2602) to the south. The Football has, as its name implies, an elliptical shape, and is considered by some the finest open cluster in the sky because of its large number of bright yellow stars, very unusual for an open cluster. The Southern Pleiades are fully worthy of their name.

Just west of these open clusters is the amazing Eta Carinae nebula. A wreath of brilliant nebulosity encloses an intensely dark nebula known as the Keyhole. Finally, right next to the bright star that gives this area its name, is the Homunculus. In Hubble images it looks like a tiny brain; in the 14-inch it is a remarkable brown colour. This is one of the few deep sky objects to show any colour. A rapidly evolving area, it actually looks different than it did the last time I saw it three years ago. This is the only time I have ever witnessed a change in a deep sky object in a lifetime of observing.

While exploring Carina, I was called over to take a look at the remarkable Spiral Planetary Nebula, NGC 5189 in Musca, which had been located in the 30-inch Obsession. This looked like a Hubble image: a swirl of overlapping arcs. Even in my "little" 14-inch, the multiple spirals were visible.

By this time the dew was becoming heavy, and I knew I had to get to dialysis first thing in the morning, so I called it a night. Very satisfying!

Temperature: 19C

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1498n 2012/02/21–22

1498n 2012/02/21–22 21:00–22:30 Australian EDT Warrumbungle 9–3 ne 10x50b 36cmrl 64cmrl

Reacquainting myself with the southern skies at the OzSky Star Party at Warrumbungle NSW Australia. Mostly using 10x50 binoculars and naked eye, locating landmarks like Crux, Centaurus, Carina, the Magellanic Clouds, Canopus, and Achernar. Observed the Coal Sack, Tarantula, Eta Carinae, Jewel Box, Southern Pleiades, 47 Tucanae, Omega Centauri, and Centaurus A in 10x50s. Also observed "eye candy" in 14" and 25" Dobs: Eta Carinae, Orion Nebula, Jupiter, etc.

I'm finding it hard to negotiate the grounds with my poor balance, and hard to hold my eye steady at the eyepiece while standing, so I was happiest while sitting down and using binoculars. The southern Milky Way is absolutely glorious!

Temperature: 18C