Backyard Astronomy Class of 27 Oct 2014

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Backyard Astronomy Class of 27 Oct 2014

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141027 Class Log

Monday, 27 Oct 2014 This isn’t a regularly scheduled class night but we’ve agreed to “flex-time” as tonight should be relatively clear, tomorrow night is forecast to be overcast, and we’ve already used one of our two cancellations. By 18:00 the 14” is up and tracking Neptune, the 6” Dob is on the deck, the 15 X 70 and 28 X 110 binoculars are mounted, and the 6X35 and 7X50 binoculars are set out as well.

And as the frosting on the cake, chairs are set up on the side lawn for viewing a -3 magnitude ISS pass at 6:52. Linda and Tripp can’t make it. Ken’s the first to spot the ISS rising in the NW. The space station’s about 259 miles high and 750 miles to the west, giving it a maximum elevation of about 30°. The full pass takes almost 10 minutes

Moving to the deck for some naked eye orientation we put the green laser on Cygnus, Lyrae, Cassiopeia, Hercules while identifying Vega, Deneb, Altair, and Polaris.

Once in the dome our first object is Neptune viewed thru the 14” with a Nagler 12mm. At 285X we can see a round object but there’s no real color to Neptune because it’s pretty low. And at only 2.3 arc-seconds in size it doesn’t fill the eyepiece 

Other objects viewed over the next hour include:
Albireo (a colorful double star)
Epsilon Lyre (the double-double)
M13 (the great globular cluster in Hercules)
M15 (a globular for the more refined taste)
M57 (the Ring Nebula)
M27 (the Dumbbell Nebula) Viewed with and without an Orion Ultrablock filter it’s very apparent what a great improvement the filter is for emission nebula.
M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy)

Stepping back outside we find M31 in 7X50, 15X70 & 28X110 binoculars. And we locate the double cluster in Perseus using the 6” Dob with a Telrad.

Inside once again we recheck on M31, discovering M32 nearby. And as the last object of the evening the scope’s slewed onto open cluster M52.

Ken and Sandy get to borrow the 6” Dynascope (given to me by Bob Morse and now on a Dob mount). And Tripp already has Kenny C’s 4” homebuilt Dob. So the loaner scopes will hopefully get a bit of use before our final 5th class next Tuesday.

hgp logged 19:51 hrs, 28 Oct 2014
Pete P.