Time To Pull The Plug

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

Astro Log: Sept. 21th, 2009

Equipment: Orion Skyview 6 Deluxe EQ, using the 32, 15, 10, 6, and 4 mm eyepieces and the ultrablock filter.

New object observed: Uranus

Previously observed objects: Epsilon Lyrae, M57, M31, M32, Pleiades


Sadly, it looks like tonight (the 22nd) will be the last really good observing night at least for the next several days. Last night was pretty darn good, but tonight looks like it’ll be absolutely amazing. Mostly last night I just identified objects to show my daughter when I take her out tonight rather than looking for anything new. M57 is probably the best planetary nebula to try and show her; she might be too young to explain averted vision to, but she should be able to see something anyway. Hopefully Jupiter will clear the neighbors’ house before she has to go to bed, and I have some double stars in mind to show her.

The only new object I found last night was Uranus. I was able to resolve it as a small disk at high magnification, which is better than I was able to do with Neptune. I also looked for M72, M73, and the Iris Nebula (NGC 7023), but couldn’t find any of them. Conditions were good enough last night though that I was able to do a naked eye split of Epsilon Lyrae, which isn’t too shabby. I had a tentative split of Epsilon Lyrae’s components as well (gett the Double Double part of it), but at that extreme magnification on my scope it was hard to tell last night. Alas. M57 was looking good however, and M31 and the Pleiades are both pleasing objects. M31 even sort of seemed to be lighting up more of the sky than usual, but if so it was vague enough that it was hard to to tell if I was seeing a somewhat brightened background or not; in any case, Tacoma’s light pollution does not lend itself to looking at galaxies and nebulae.