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MadHungarian
sage


Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Rainy WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5669312 - 02/08/13 03:57 PM

I'll be heading out shortly for Yakima Canyon myself. My boss was kind enough to give me some time off at short notice.

I did sneak out to the local playfield for a few minutes last night when it was unexpectedly quite clear and actually managed to bag my illusive M93! Not the greatest viewing of it, but just as a backup in case M93 is bashful tonight at Yakima.


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Spaced
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/01/05

Loc: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: MadHungarian]
      #5669327 - 02/08/13 04:06 PM

Emery, I apologize in advance for the upcoming after-dark headlights & activity.

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SteveG
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/27/06

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: Spaced]
      #5669635 - 02/08/13 07:13 PM

Yea - Rattlesnake or anything on this side of the hills is not looking good! You guys have fun ;-)

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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: SteveG]
      #5669724 - 02/08/13 08:31 PM

Nice short Robert!

Man I'd love to get over there. Can't take the RV over the pass this time of year without chains. Guess I'd better get some

Hope you guys have some clear skies!

Stacy


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zerro1
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: Stacy]
      #5669797 - 02/08/13 09:25 PM

Thanks Stacy
Wish I could have made the trip too, but coming from north of Marysville on a Friday after working near Paine Field all day... just couldn't Swing it.

I did see this: Douglas A-1 Skyraider come in and land, and "heard" it take off to head back to Bellingham


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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: zerro1]
      #5669859 - 02/08/13 10:05 PM

Quote:


I did see this: Douglas A-1 Skyraider come in and land, and "heard" it take off to head back to Bellingham




Wow! That must have been cool! And loud


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zerro1
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 new [Re: Stacy]
      #5669914 - 02/08/13 10:40 PM

Quote:

Wow! That must have been cool! And loud



the funny thing, I had my camera with me, but was so stunned to see it, I just watched him fly right over head. We're working right next to the north end of the runway. You hear round engines every once in a while (mostly DeHavilland Beavers) but that big engine is a whole nuther animal. That airplane is actually kind of large, there is door in the side of it

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bluedandelion
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Hazy Hollow, Western WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5670003 - 02/09/13 12:30 AM

If anyone is under clear skies, you might want to try and spot Mercury at sunset. I found this:
http://www.space.com/19688-mercury-night-sky-observing-tips.html
Mercury and Mars are supposed to be close to each other at sunset. Good Luck.

Nice work Robert.

Ajay

Edited by bluedandelion (02/09/13 01:29 AM)


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square_peg
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: bluedandelion]
      #5670575 - 02/09/13 11:39 AM

Hope you guys had a great night last night. How cold was it? How clear was it?

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rainycityastro
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/29/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: square_peg]
      #5670873 - 02/09/13 02:48 PM

Just got back. We had a great time observing and imaging. High clouds came in around 11 and persisted until 1:30 or so. Then it cleared up and the transparency was back to excellent.
It was fascinating to see Winter objects (Orion etc.) in the evening, then see spring objects (M51, M101, M65, M66 etc.) and then finally summer objects (Vega, Deneb, Altair) all in a single night.

--Ram


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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5670908 - 02/09/13 03:22 PM

Sweet!

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square_peg
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5671659 - 02/10/13 12:18 AM

Quote:

It was fascinating to see Winter objects (Orion etc.) in the evening, then see spring objects (M51, M101, M65, M66 etc.) and then finally summer objects (Vega, Deneb, Altair) all in a single night.




I was pleasantly surprised to see the summer triangle yesterday morning. Spring is just around the corner!


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MadHungarian
sage


Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Rainy WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5671712 - 02/10/13 01:23 AM

Quote:

Just got back. We had a great time observing and imaging. High clouds came in around 11 and persisted until 1:30 or so. Then it cleared up and the transparency was back to excellent.
It was fascinating to see Winter objects (Orion etc.) in the evening, then see spring objects (M51, M101, M65, M66 etc.) and then finally summer objects (Vega, Deneb, Altair) all in a single night.
--Ram




And I made my very first (unsuccessful) attempt there to view the infamous Horse (with many unsuccessful attempts to follow, i'm sure). Should've taken my HBeta filter over to Mike's dobsonian. But I did get a few Herschels knocked off.


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rainycityastro
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/29/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: MadHungarian]
      #5671830 - 02/10/13 05:22 AM

Here is a link to the full image from yesterday

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramv/8461183498/in/photostream


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Spaced
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/01/05

Loc: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5672569 - 02/10/13 03:41 PM

Ram, your Whirlpool image is a revelation -- I don't recall seeing the arms coming off NGC 5195 before. And I think I can (barely) see a halo around the entire M51/5195 complex, which I've never seen before.

I was very impressed with the Umptanum site as an observing location. The ridgeline to the south blocks the brightest part of Yakima's light dome, although when periods of haze came through it was still pretty bright; same situation to the north, with Ellensburg. The south ridge still permits fairly low viewing, if sky conditions permit. Even with the light domes north and south, it was a significantly darker site than I know of on the west side, and only a couple of hours from Tacoma. High in the sky it's quite dark.

If you go there, I recommend setting up in the area to the left of the short entrance road. If a guy goes to the right, there's more shelter from highway headlights but there's a floodlight on a pumphouse or outhouse or something, that impacts night vision. The setup area is compact crushed rock and dirt. OK to set up on but I recommend a tarp to keep things clean.

Emery set up to the right of entrance road and later came down and joined us at the dark end.

I was brutally reminded that it's a lousy idea for me to set up after dark. It probably took me twice as long to get my gear operational as it would in some daylight. Also, especially in winter, temperature was dropping so fast that, even with the fan going, starting that late took quite a while for my optics to cool to ambient temperature. . . not that I mind recliner/binoc time. So the take-away lesson for me is that I don't even *think* about going back to that place unless I can take the afternoon off for travel and setup. Fortunately, road conditions weren't a factor. It was bare and dry on both sides of Snoqualmie (hear me, Stacy? )

Ram was joined by an imaging buddy, Andy, who was a very enjoyable star time companion. I hope to see him again. He seemed enthused about the June Pixieland party. Mentioning him reminds me of an astonishing thing he told me: he doesn't own an eyepiece! Apparently imagers suffer from photon phobia; the guy has a nice scope and doesn't look through it! Maybe never has! I just don't understand. OTHOH, they doubtless think I'm nuts.

Late -- I wasn't watching a clock -- after some early haze had departed and everything was running smooth, I enjoyed my favorite view of the trip, the Cocoon Galaxy, NGC 4490 & 4485, in Canes Venatici. I learned about it through a Sue French column in S & T a month or two ago. It's two interacting galaxies, post-collision or near-miss. Both are stretched out by their gravitational pull, and the smaller of the two is pulled into pieces by the gravity of the larger. It was an incredible, highly detailed view, which I will revisit and highly recommend. Ram or Andy or both overcame their photon phobia and audibly gasped when looking at it, and said he/they would take a shot at imaging it in the future.

This was the first time I've used the Mini iPad + Sky Safari at a telescope eyepiece. It met my highest hopes. The unit is a convenient size to hold in one hand while handling the scope. I spent a fair amount of time doing just that in the Markarian Chain and nearby components. And the hard case I bought for it came in handy when I dropped it once while in the recliner.

So in summary, it was a great outing and I hope to repeat it, as soon as "the stars align."


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zerro1
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: Spaced]
      #5672600 - 02/10/13 04:03 PM



Sounds Great



I think it rained here that night


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bluedandelion
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Hazy Hollow, Western WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: Spaced]
      #5673076 - 02/10/13 09:07 PM

Sounds like a very productive outing. Ram's image looks great!

One thing to be careful about the Umptanum site as it gets warmer are ticks. If any of you take dogs you may regret it even if they have tick treatment. Flea treatment or a combination will not be effective. Ticks will also climb on to you if they get a chance and go for the ride. We were finding them in our car and on our jackets even days after a hike we undertook last summer. Two days after the hike, we pulled off a big fat swollen tick from one of our dogs - yech!

Ajay

Edited by bluedandelion (02/10/13 09:23 PM)


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Spaced
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/01/05

Loc: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: bluedandelion]
      #5673372 - 02/11/13 12:33 AM

Quote:

One thing to be careful about the Umptanum site as it gets warmer are ticks.




Thanks for the warning, Ajay. I despise the little buggers. I'd think a rattlesnake or three might wander through there in the summer, too. Too cold now.


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rainycityastro
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/29/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: Spaced]
      #5674010 - 02/11/13 12:51 PM

Quote:


Thanks for the warning, Ajay. I despise the little buggers. I'd think a rattlesnake or three might wander through there in the summer, too. Too cold now.




Even worse than ticks and Rattlers are some human campers. In summer they have campfires burning all night that disturbs transparency. Campgrounds are not great for astronomy in Summer.


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MadHungarian
sage


Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Rainy WA
Re: Pacific NW Mt St Helens EternaThread Pt 6 [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5674142 - 02/11/13 02:15 PM

Quote:


Even worse than ticks and Rattlers are some human campers. In summer they have campfires burning all night that disturbs transparency. Campgrounds are not great for astronomy in Summer.




At least in the summer, we have the mountaintops.

One thing that amused me -- i read this little interpretive sign at the campground that was explaining the difference between canyon daytime and nighttime life. Then right afterwards, i watched all the daytime fishermen leaving and the nighttime starwatchers arriving. A different sort of daytime vs nighttime canyon life...


Edited by MadHungarian (02/11/13 02:21 PM)


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