Astro Log: October 6th, 2012

Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm eyepiece

New objects observed: NGC 7606, NGC 404, NGC 488, NGC 1023, NGC 891, NGC 7479, Palomar 13

Previously viewed objects: Messier 31, Messier 32, Messier 33, Messier 110

Location: Sunrise, up at Mt. Rainier.

This was not the best night to have gone up to Sunrise, but it’s unclear if I’ll be able to make another trip up this year, so I went last night. To get a feel for how the night was going to go I found M33 and was not encouraged; it was rather faint, despite being at 45ยบ altitude. I was hoping the haze that was hanging around Tacoma might not be a problem up there, but it seemed to be.

The night wasn’t getting off to the best start anyway, because I had left the house later than I wanted to. The moon was coming up at 10:38pm or so, and I only got to Sunrise around 9:30pm. I wasn’t feeling very well at that point anyway, so figured it would be a short trip no matter what. I had brought some heading pad things to use, but ended up not going to the effort of putting them on. My hands and feet did get really cold, so perhaps I should have, but I didn’t end up feeling like going to the effort.

Still, I did observe some more Herschel 400 objects, and while it wasn’t my best night at Sunrise ever it was not a total loss. Among the more curious things I saw were Palomar 13, which was some dim globular cluster (took a while, but I was finally convinced I saw it) near NGC 7479, and while I was observing M31 a meteor flashed by in my telescope field of view. There were some 13th or so magnitude galaxies near NGC 891 I would have liked to observe, but the conditions were too murky to put much effort into it. A pity, because I’ve seen objects around there in brightness at Sunrise before. I also saw another pretty impressive meteor while I happened to be looking in that direction. NGC 404 was interesting (and seems like I shouldn’t have been able to find it, but here we are). It really is quite close to Mirach, and kind of hard to see because of that. I noticed that it was a little easier if you aimed the telescope in such a way that Mirach was out of view but NGC 404 was still in the field of view.

All in all, an OK but not great night. Got some new objects, despite being in kind of bad shape and having the night cut short because of the Moon and the cold. Depending on how I feel and the weather next week I may try to slide in one last time next weekend, but we’ll have to see.

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