AL DSC Quest, Part 2

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Apollo XX
MSSF Coordinator
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:11 pm

AL DSC Quest, Part 2

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Some of you may remember that I had embarked on a mission to conquer the Astro League's Double Star Club challenge. For whatever reasons, some to do with sky conditions (actually that was a big part of it) and some to do with just life getting in the way, the last time I had engaged in the pursuit was this past June, just before our trip to MSSF.

At MSSF I had a grand 'ol time just enjoying the dark sky and the camaraderie of fellow club members, but I failed to take advantage of the opportunity to make progress on this project. After that the sky went bad for a loooong time, and so did my motivation to "git 'er done" as they say. Last night I met Bob and Jerry at Destruction Brook for an evening of observing, and my primary objective was to get going on this again. As it turns out the sky conditions were not good for us while we were there, so although I got started again, there wasn't a lot of progress made. However, I did manage to get one more AL DSC item checked off from Destruction Brook, and under the conditions it was a challenge. Sigma Cas is a mag 5.0/7.1 combo spead just 3" apart. The high thin cloud cover was just killing the contrast, and it was making just locating the pair in the finderscope challenging. After finally locating them, it took 200x to get a firm confirmation on the existence of the secondary star. There it was though, and it's good to be under way again after a significant layoff from the pursuit.

We wrapped it up after we were convinced that the conditons were not going to cooperate, but upon arriving home (which is a good 1hr drive from there) it was apparent that we were duped into giving it up. The sky had cleared up nicely, at least at my house. I really didn't feel like cooling the scope down again, so after getting everything put away I plunked a chair down in the back yard and just took a bino tour. It was pretty good by then, with M36, 38 & 37 coming in loud and clear. I clicked off the rest of the usual suspects for this time of year, then called it a night.
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras