Time To Pull The Plug

This is a subtitle. There are many like it, but this one is here.

Astro Log: Dec. 12th, 2009

Equipment: Orion Skyview 6 Deluxe EQ, using the 32, 15, 6, and 4 mm eyepieces.

New object observed: Mars

Previous objects observed: M42, M81, M82

Possibly glimpsed: NGC 3077 or NGC 2976

Notes:

It was still a cold night, but not quite as brutal as the last night out. It was a fairly short session as well, since the sky clouded up, but after using the eyepatch before I went out I was able to see both M81 and M82 again (also, I looked in the right place for M82 this time – d’oh!). I may have also seen one of the nearby NGC galaxies, either NGC 3077 or NGC 2976, but I ended up not being able to find it again so I’m not claiming it as seen at this point.

Other than that, I looked at the always lovely Orion Nebula, and just as the clouds were starting to come in I moved the telescope and looked at Mars briefly. Unfortunately between the transparency issues that night, the clouds that were showing up, and poor seeing, I couldn’t get much out of it.

Using the hair dryer for the purposes of defogging worked pretty well though this night, though. That was nice.

Comments imported from the old site.
M82

I can’t wait for the opportunity to go for these objects again with the setup I have now. I should be able to get some respectable images.

However, it’s currently 3F and it got down to 7F last night. 22F at the top of the mountain … we’ll see how much viewing I do this year with the cold temps. I think With imaging it could be a nightmare without active dew control.

On a good night, you’ll swear you can see the polar cap on Mars. I was able to see it last year with a 130mm f/6 Celestron. Nothing special  for a telescope or viewing conditions and I tried unsuccessfully to image it, but I did manage to see the cap. I’m waiting for a night here some time soon to get a glimpse. I bought a cheap ($15) Universal eyepiece projection adapter for the DSLR and I want to see what it’s going to do for planet imaging.

Next time you look in the direction of Orion, try and see if you can catch the Flame Nebula or The Horsehead. The Running Man Nebula should be visible as well. The Rosette Nebula should be coming in to good view soon too.

-mb