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ETX_ASTRO_BOY
July 8th 03, 08:06 PM
Hi all,

After many weeks of not being able to observe (weather related, work
travel related, etc...) I finally got a chance to take my light mug (in
honor of Ron B[ee]) an ETX 105 UHTC out to a fairly dark area this past
weekend.

I went up to Big Bear Ca with my wife's church group. The 1st night We
went to the lake and watched the fireworks. When we cam back I set up
the ETX in as dark an area as I could find in the camp (Lots of security
lights and poorly designed at that (something I hope to have addressed
and changed in the future.)and took some folks on a tour of the skys.

We had a difficult time since there were lots of tall trees so we were
limited to pretty much objects from about 60 deg. up to zenith. I showed
folks a couple of globular clusters and double stars, but not much else
was visible from that locale due to the foliage. However due to the
problems in the area drought, and bark beetles, there were far fewer
trees than the last time I was there, and there are 17 more trees
scheduled to come down.

But I was not too disappointed as the scope performed flawlessly.

The next night I headed to a spot I found on the north shore that
afforded a clear 360 deg. view with very little light interference. It
wasn't perfect, as every so often a car on the road would come around a
curve and I'd see the headlights shining towards me. But they were far
enough away that they didn't really bother me.

I set up and aligned the light mug and since the moon was up decided to
waste little time observing the moon at various powers. Seeing was about
a 6/10 and I noticed quite a bit of boiling in the atmosphere.
Transparency was a 8/10 and just amazing.

I also finally got a chance to nab a lot of the M objects in my 105.
Living in North Orange Cty. the light pollution washes many of these out
and makes it almost impossible to see from my home. Started out with M57
and man it was right in the F.O.V. of the 24-8mm televue zoom I just got
my hands on. I could only go to about to about 153x before the image
broke down but the ring was beautiful.

Got M51, and M31 (the core was bright and the rest trailed off to haze.)
M81 and 82 as well as the 2 globs in Hercules.

At this time I took a break and just watched the sky unaided. The milky
way streached from NE to S. and I was able to make out quite a bit of
structure in it. It was simply breathtaking.

By this time the moon had set behind a hill and Mars was rising in the
SE.

I took a quick look at Mars but it was still in the murk and dancing the
macarena. I did get a few moments of steady seeing and was able to make
out the Southern polar cap/hood as well as Sinus Sebaeus and a few other
dark areas. But I knew I had to wait a while longer till it cleared most
of the murk.

I took this time to try and get some digicam shots through the EP but no
luck in any of the shots. I guess I need to get a hartmann mask and
external LCD to help me focus.

I tried for some wide shots with the camera just pointed up from the
roof my my car but no luck with those either. The shots either showed
trails (30 sec exp.) or were blurry. Next time I won't forget my camera
tripod.

I finally packed it in around 1:30 after observing Mars exclusively for
the last 40 minutes and headed back to camp. During this time I thought
I saw one of Mar's moons just off the limb (eastern I'm guessing) but I
can't be sure. It was only visible with averted vison so I'm not sure if
it was there or it was an illusion caused my the dancing atmosphere.

Around 4:00 am both my wife and I were awake and we headed outside and I
showed her Mars and the milky way without the scope but it was still
impressive.

Matthew B. Ota
July 9th 03, 09:57 AM
Hello there CB

I spent the July 4th evening/July 5th morning alone at Mt. Wilson
Observatory, attempting to image Mars from the main parking lot. I set up at
3 a.m. after snoozing at the monastery. I was voraciously attacked by
mosquitoes, but after an application of bug-off, I set up with my new ToUcam
Pro web camera on my LX50 and shot some AVIs of Mars. The seeing was not
that good and only the polar cap and blurry dark markings were visible. The
resulting image is on the OCA web site.

I intend to go to Mt. Wilson every weekend throughtout the opposition to
image Mars, in conjuction with my TIE volunteer activities there.

Hope to see you at the Atlantic Park outreach next week..also the OCA
general meeting is this Friday. Our guest speaker is very entertaining!

--------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew B. Ota
Orange County Astronomers Astroimagers SIG
http://www.ocastronomers.org/
Telescopes In Education (TIE)
http://tie.jpl.nasa.gov/tie/index.html
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Saturn Observation Campaign
http://soc.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm
--------------------------------------------------------------

ETX_ASTRO_BOY wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> After many weeks of not being able to observe (weather related, work
> travel related, etc...) I finally got a chance to take my light mug (in
> honor of Ron B[ee]) an ETX 105 UHTC out to a fairly dark area this past
> weekend.
>
> I went up to Big Bear Ca with my wife's church group. The 1st night We
> went to the lake and watched the fireworks. When we cam back I set up
> the ETX in as dark an area as I could find in the camp (Lots of security
> lights and poorly designed at that (something I hope to have addressed
> and changed in the future.)and took some folks on a tour of the skys.
>
> We had a difficult time since there were lots of tall trees so we were
> limited to pretty much objects from about 60 deg. up to zenith. I showed
> folks a couple of globular clusters and double stars, but not much else
> was visible from that locale due to the foliage. However due to the
> problems in the area drought, and bark beetles, there were far fewer
> trees than the last time I was there, and there are 17 more trees
> scheduled to come down.
>
> But I was not too disappointed as the scope performed flawlessly.
>
> The next night I headed to a spot I found on the north shore that
> afforded a clear 360 deg. view with very little light interference. It
> wasn't perfect, as every so often a car on the road would come around a
> curve and I'd see the headlights shining towards me. But they were far
> enough away that they didn't really bother me.
>
> I set up and aligned the light mug and since the moon was up decided to
> waste little time observing the moon at various powers. Seeing was about
> a 6/10 and I noticed quite a bit of boiling in the atmosphere.
> Transparency was a 8/10 and just amazing.
>
> I also finally got a chance to nab a lot of the M objects in my 105.
> Living in North Orange Cty. the light pollution washes many of these out
> and makes it almost impossible to see from my home. Started out with M57
> and man it was right in the F.O.V. of the 24-8mm televue zoom I just got
> my hands on. I could only go to about to about 153x before the image
> broke down but the ring was beautiful.
>
> Got M51, and M31 (the core was bright and the rest trailed off to haze.)
> M81 and 82 as well as the 2 globs in Hercules.
>
> At this time I took a break and just watched the sky unaided. The milky
> way streached from NE to S. and I was able to make out quite a bit of
> structure in it. It was simply breathtaking.
>
> By this time the moon had set behind a hill and Mars was rising in the
> SE.
>
> I took a quick look at Mars but it was still in the murk and dancing the
> macarena. I did get a few moments of steady seeing and was able to make
> out the Southern polar cap/hood as well as Sinus Sebaeus and a few other
> dark areas. But I knew I had to wait a while longer till it cleared most
> of the murk.
>
> I took this time to try and get some digicam shots through the EP but no
> luck in any of the shots. I guess I need to get a hartmann mask and
> external LCD to help me focus.
>
> I tried for some wide shots with the camera just pointed up from the
> roof my my car but no luck with those either. The shots either showed
> trails (30 sec exp.) or were blurry. Next time I won't forget my camera
> tripod.
>
> I finally packed it in around 1:30 after observing Mars exclusively for
> the last 40 minutes and headed back to camp. During this time I thought
> I saw one of Mar's moons just off the limb (eastern I'm guessing) but I
> can't be sure. It was only visible with averted vison so I'm not sure if
> it was there or it was an illusion caused my the dancing atmosphere.
>
> Around 4:00 am both my wife and I were awake and we headed outside and I
> showed her Mars and the milky way without the scope but it was still
> impressive.

--

Heretic
July 10th 03, 04:47 PM
superb, sounds like you had a great weekend !

I`m intending to take my 125ec out for a few jaunts over here in
Scotland, up into the highlands somewhere. There`s pleanty of little
campsites within relatively short reach (an hour or two`s drive) so I
may even take a couple of days and set up a kinda base of operation in a
campsite. Only problem is I ride a motorbike !
It`s a big traily, but a bike none-the-less, so the logistics of the
whole thing have to be ironed out first ;]

Can`t wait though. Being stuck more or less in the city, I haven`t even
seen mars through it yet, so I`m determined to make the most of it over
the next couple of months !
....
"global storms" aside ;]
Duggy.

ETX_ASTRO_BOY wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> After many weeks of not being able to observe (weather related, work
> travel related, etc...) I finally got a chance to take my light mug (in
> honor of Ron B[ee]) an ETX 105 UHTC out to a fairly dark area this past
> weekend.
>
> I went up to Big Bear Ca with my wife's church group. The 1st night We
> went to the lake and watched the fireworks. When we cam back I set up
> the ETX in as dark an area as I could find in the camp (Lots of security
> lights and poorly designed at that (something I hope to have addressed
> and changed in the future.)and took some folks on a tour of the skys.
>
> We had a difficult time since there were lots of tall trees so we were
> limited to pretty much objects from about 60 deg. up to zenith. I showed
> folks a couple of globular clusters and double stars, but not much else
> was visible from that locale due to the foliage. However due to the
> problems in the area drought, and bark beetles, there were far fewer
> trees than the last time I was there, and there are 17 more trees
> scheduled to come down.
>
> But I was not too disappointed as the scope performed flawlessly.
>
> The next night I headed to a spot I found on the north shore that
> afforded a clear 360 deg. view with very little light interference. It
> wasn't perfect, as every so often a car on the road would come around a
> curve and I'd see the headlights shining towards me. But they were far
> enough away that they didn't really bother me.
>
> I set up and aligned the light mug and since the moon was up decided to
> waste little time observing the moon at various powers. Seeing was about
> a 6/10 and I noticed quite a bit of boiling in the atmosphere.
> Transparency was a 8/10 and just amazing.
>
> I also finally got a chance to nab a lot of the M objects in my 105.
> Living in North Orange Cty. the light pollution washes many of these out
> and makes it almost impossible to see from my home. Started out with M57
> and man it was right in the F.O.V. of the 24-8mm televue zoom I just got
> my hands on. I could only go to about to about 153x before the image
> broke down but the ring was beautiful.
>
> Got M51, and M31 (the core was bright and the rest trailed off to haze.)
> M81 and 82 as well as the 2 globs in Hercules.
>
> At this time I took a break and just watched the sky unaided. The milky
> way streached from NE to S. and I was able to make out quite a bit of
> structure in it. It was simply breathtaking.
>
> By this time the moon had set behind a hill and Mars was rising in the
> SE.
>
> I took a quick look at Mars but it was still in the murk and dancing the
> macarena. I did get a few moments of steady seeing and was able to make
> out the Southern polar cap/hood as well as Sinus Sebaeus and a few other
> dark areas. But I knew I had to wait a while longer till it cleared most
> of the murk.
>
> I took this time to try and get some digicam shots through the EP but no
> luck in any of the shots. I guess I need to get a hartmann mask and
> external LCD to help me focus.
>
> I tried for some wide shots with the camera just pointed up from the
> roof my my car but no luck with those either. The shots either showed
> trails (30 sec exp.) or were blurry. Next time I won't forget my camera
> tripod.
>
> I finally packed it in around 1:30 after observing Mars exclusively for
> the last 40 minutes and headed back to camp. During this time I thought
> I saw one of Mar's moons just off the limb (eastern I'm guessing) but I
> can't be sure. It was only visible with averted vison so I'm not sure if
> it was there or it was an illusion caused my the dancing atmosphere.
>
> Around 4:00 am both my wife and I were awake and we headed outside and I
> showed her Mars and the milky way without the scope but it was still
> impressive.
>
>
>