Astro log: Sept. 22th, 2009

Equipment: Orion Skyview 6 Deluxe EQ, using the 32, 9, 6, and 4 mm eyepieces and the OIII and broadband filters.

New object observed: NGC 6934

Previous objects observed: Vega, M57, Albeirio, M13, M31, M32


Despite the Clear Sky Chart saying that last night was going to be super transparent, sadly the Tacoma smog was pretty bad last night, dashing hopes of super good observing. I could see long beams from the headlights on the C17s flying in and out of McChord all night, and the skyglow was pretty bad.

Still, not a wholly terrible night. I only found one new object - NGC 6934, which last night at least was kind of dim - and was never able to find the Little Dumbbell Nebula (which doesn't seem too surprising; it's apparently a difficult object), but I took my 5 year old daughter out to look at some objects, which was fun. Her patience was wearing thin, but I showed her:

  • Vega, because it's bright
  • M57, because it's neat and it's one of her grandpa's favorites
  • Alberio, because it's an easy and attractive double
  • M13, because it's an impressive globular (although not in fine form last night)
  • and M31, because she wanted to see a galaxy.

I also saw M32 (but of course no M110), but she didn't notice it. After she'd gone to bed, I tried my hand at finding some galaxies and planetary nebulae, but the only thing I turned up was NGC 6934. I was unable to find that on a previous night though, so finding that was nice at least. The weather for the rest of the week doesn't look promising, but we'll see.

I seem to have gone through a lot of the easier deep sky objects that are out right now and visible from Tacoma's light polluted skies. New things will be showing up as the year progresses, of course, but sometime I'm going to have to take a trip out to the middle of nowhere to see dimmer objects.

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