Tonight was an incredibly rare night - meaning I was home, it was dark and the clouds parted long enough to see strange little dots of light in the sky.
It has been months since this happened so I broke out the SV85S to take a quick peek at the Moon and M42. I set up in the front yard with 4 streetlights shining directly on my location from multiple angles in my cul-de-sac. I decided to keep things really simple and just used a TV 15mm Plossl for the night's activities. I didn't bother with mounting the RDF as it was a two target night.
The surface of the Moon was swimming for about 15 minutes as the scope acclimated from the 72 degree interior temp of my house to the 28 degree outside temp. Even though the view had the wavering effect we all know while waiting for our scopes to cool, the low mag (39X) view showed a crisp preview of what was to come. While waiting for the view to settle I swung over to the Orion Nebula and was smiling to myself as I observed the 4 main stars of the trap as tight little points of light when a friend of my daughter and her mother drove up to say hi to my youngest.
I shared the views of both the Moon and M42 with both of them and there were plenty of "oohs and ahhs" to go around. The mom said "I have never seen the Moon that close!" and the daughter said "The next time I come over can we do this again?"
I think that was a successful night of observing. All packed into about 35 minutes.