Lakeville, Friday 12/27

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Apollo XX
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Lakeville, Friday 12/27

Unread post by Apollo XX »

Bruce put out an invite on Friday for observing at his place in Lakeville, and I was happy to take him up on it. I was looking forward to plugging away a little more on the Bino Messier list, and also seeing what else was on tap through Bruce’s scope. Heavy cloud cover persisted throughout the afternoon, but by 5:00 there wasn’t a cloud to be seen. It was looking like it would be a great evening.

Getting to Bruce’s around 7:00pm, I didn’t see his scope set up where we usually observe. When I hopped out to take a look around, Bruce yelled out from the front porch to tell me that we were setting up out front tonight and that Andy would be coming by with his 20” dob to try and split Sirius. This was serious stuff…haw haw haw! I then proceeded to demonstrate my Hicksville nature by parking up on the sidewalk out front and plunking down my setup on Bruce’s neighbor’s property. Hey, I didn’t see any lines drawn! Now all I was really trying to do was hide from the Xmas light displays that normal, mainstream people tend to keep on around this time of year, but I had to be understanding when in the name of neighbor relations Bruce moved to remediate this situation. Sorry Bruce! I’ll try to be better behaved next time!

All during setup it was apparent that there were clouds advancing in, or developing in place, I don’t know which, but of course we were hopeful that the forecasts for clear skies would hold true. As it turns out it was what we would call a “sucker hole” night, with copious cloud cover most of the time and some teaser sections of clear, dark sky. Still, I would say that it didn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the evening.

At about 7:30 Andy pulled up with his big dob in tow and proceeded to set it up. Now this thing is a monster that most people wouldn’t really consider putting in the effort to assemble for an iffy night of observing. I mean he brings it in its own trailer! But Andy being the great sport that he is got right down to business putting it together. I’m glad he did. This thing is an absolute joy to look through, even in not so ideal conditions
While Andy was finalizing his setup, a couple of Bruce’s neighbors came by as they were out walking their 2 month old daughter. They were thrilled to see Jupiter through my binos and Bruce’s scope, and it was nice meeting them and talking with them for awhile.

With Andy all set up and collimated and whatnot, we got down to the serious business of trying to break apart Sirius A & B. Uh huh, O/K. Well, we did try…and try…and try, but this would not be the night for that. The atmosphere was doing the tango up there, and if that wasn’t destroying the shape of the image then the clouds would impede our efforts. We tried no filter, filter, makeshift masking, edge of field viewing, and just plain staring at it, and while we definitely saw some interesting stuff, it was never anything that resembled the Pup. We played around with Jupiter a bit, spent a few moments on the Pleiades, and mostly told war stories. It was getting on towards 11:00 when we finally decided to pack it in. No, we hadn’t seen much, but we sure had a good time doing it. While we were packing up, another one of Bruce’s neighbors was compelled to venture out into the night and see what the heck was going on. He was just a wee bit suspicious of three guys with red headlights on scampering around Bruce’s property and loading up a truck and a trailer. I think Bruce will have some more neighborly company for future viewing sessions now that he knows what we were really up to.

All told it was another great night spent in the company of fellow enthusiasts, doing an activity we all enjoy so much that the conditions hardly matter when we’re driving home thinking to ourselves, “hey, that was a good time”. Thanks for hosting us, Bruce!

Mike M.
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras
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Dr. Powell
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Re: Lakeville, Friday 12/27

Unread post by Dr. Powell »

Sounds like a fun evening Mike even with the clouds. Thanks for the report.
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Mark G
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Re: Lakeville, Friday 12/27

Unread post by Mark G »

Yup Astronomy is best when shared with friends :!: Glad you all had fun :!: Reminds me to blow the cob webs out from my gear and get some invites going again. Winter Is the best time to observe. Even better when you have to clear out the snow to observe :!: :lol:
Clear skies,


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