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String of clear nights in the East this weekend - any plans?

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#1 Slartibartfast

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 12:06 PM

Weather forecast is calling for 3 clear nights in a row this weekend!  jump.gif   Not sure where the jet stream is setting up, and the weather will be cold, but it doesn't matter!  I'm goin' deep-sky hunting!  The Moon will be pretty much a non-issue!  I plan on setting up the Lightbridge 16" on my roof for a few nights and kick-starting my Herschel 400 observations again (kind of stalled out on that list for the last year or two frown.gif ).  I'm going to setup in my favorite spot for views to the south around to southeast.  I'm thinking, early on in the evening, there are numerous open clusters in Monoceros and down into Canis Major and Puppis that I haven't seen.  If I can stay up late enough, maybe some galaxies in Leo, Leo Minor, and down into Sextans.  Maybe I'll take a look at some old favorites too, like M44 in Cancer, and M46/M47 in Canis Major (with that tiny super-imposed planetary nebula NGC 2438).

 

Anyone else have plans?

 

gallery_46269_12655_41348.jpg

 


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#2 Jim Davis

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 12:15 PM

Our club is having a member's observing night on Saturday.


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#3 clusterbuster

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 12:30 PM

Awesome, we will be visiting our Dark Sky Site in West Central Florida, on Sat Feb 22nd.

 Enjoy !

 Mark


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#4 mfoose

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 12:46 PM

My ATM Dob is apart, under modification. However, I need to test out an 8" Dob I bought for a boys troop I help lead. I plan on getting out as much as possible with it. 3 clear nights in a row has been a looooooooooong time coming for us in the East.


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#5 Old Rookie

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 04:30 PM

Some of our club members are heading for the club's dark site.  Another member and I are going to hunt down some Herschel's from the 2500 list.


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#6 Slartibartfast

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:29 PM

Another thing I want to try to catch is Comet C/2017 T2 PANSTARRS which is currently in Cassiopeia.  I'll need to move the scope around to view northwest, I don't know if I can avoid the trees.  Maybe I'll drive out to a nearby field around sunset and take a look at Mercury and Venus again. smile.gif



#7 ScottRrtx

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:00 PM

Clear nights predicted for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday where I am. Keeps changing.

 

I'm planning for my first dark site visit. Could be Bortle 2, could be Bortle 3. Could be tent camping, could be a cabin. Just hope something happens and very excited! But also, trying to hold that excitement in case of a letdown....


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#8 clearwaterdave

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 02:18 AM

Temps in the single numbers here.,If I can get my deck cleared I will brave the temps.,if it is windy as well I will stay in..lol.,

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#9 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 02:37 AM

Assuming that it's clear on Friday and Saturday nights, Saturday night will be my fourth consecutive night of observing at the Naylor Observatory and my fifth session there for the week.  That hasn't happened for quite a long time.


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#10 chrysalis

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 04:11 AM

Should be good here in north central NC. Planning to get out tonight...hoping today's sun will melt the 1" of snow that fell yesterday - first measurable snow here since we got 13" in December 2018!


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#11 George N

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 10:08 AM

Winter Star Party (with real "winter") at Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, Vestal, NY is Saturday Night - and it is suppose to be clear: https://www.kopernik.org/

 

So..... Should I listen to Dr. Michelle Thaller from NASA Goddard talk about 'astronomy outreach', and Dr. Ryan MacDonald from Cornell University‚Äôs Carl Sagan Institute talk about "going to Mars" -- or should I be out in the observatory with the scopes (OGS 20" RC, C-14 EdgeHD, Astro Physics 6" F/12)?

 

It is also suppose to be clear tonight and Sunday night too - with temps as warm as just maybe 50 F during the daytime - but in the teens and 20's at night. Normally I'd be in the domes at Kopernik with so much snow and cold -- but I have a brand new Celestron Evo 9.25 to test out - so I may stay home.

 

Actually - it was clear last night too, but there were passing clouds and flurries too. A friend with an observatory just over the border in PA had a clear night to image with his 5" APO -- remotely from inside his "country cabin".


Edited by George N, 21 February 2020 - 10:10 AM.

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#12 Slartibartfast

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 10:57 AM

I put the Lightbridge 16 out this morning to cool throughout the day and this evening.  Hopefully it will be cooled and ready by the time I get home from work tonight!  No snow here, but my koi pond froze over last night.  It's supposed to get down to 23 F (-5 C) here tonight.  The winds don't look too bad.  Got my winter gear ready!

 

Temps in the single numbers here.,If I can get my deck cleared I will brave the temps.,if it is windy as well I will stay in..lol.,

Wow, that picture looks cold!  Here's one of my Zhumell Z12 in the snow from a few years back.  I had shoveled out a spot for it, but then it snowed another inch or so after that.  I forget how cold it was that night, but it was pretty cold.

gallery_46269_12655_53873.jpg


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#13 REC

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 03:46 PM

I put the Lightbridge 16 out this morning to cool throughout the day and this evening.  Hopefully it will be cooled and ready by the time I get home from work tonight!  No snow here, but my koi pond froze over last night.  It's supposed to get down to 23 F (-5 C) here tonight.  The winds don't look too bad.  Got my winter gear ready!

 

Wow, that picture looks cold!  Here's one of my Zhumell Z12 in the snow from a few years back.  I had shoveled out a spot for it, but then it snowed another inch or so after that.  I forget how cold it was that night, but it was pretty cold.

gallery_46269_12655_53873.jpg

Wow, you sure are brave!



#14 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 01:24 AM

Friday night was my third consecutive night of observing at the Naylor Observatory.


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#15 spongebob@55

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 09:51 AM

Wasn't as good as predicted last night, but that's no surprise, right?.  Started off great, but then trans degraded a bit.   Hope its better tonight.  

How was everyone else's night?

SB


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#16 chrysalis

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 10:34 AM

Pretty good night here in north central NC. See this post mfor my report:

 

https://www.cloudyni...h/#entry9998219


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#17 Slartibartfast

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:10 PM

I agree with you, spongebob@55, I think the transparency was not so good.  The sky looked great when I first walked out, but as my eyes adjusted, I could see that it was brighter than usual.  I setup to view into the northwest and looked around for C/2017 T2 PANSTARRS but couldn't find it.  Had a great view of the double cluster, though!


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#18 twjs

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 04:46 PM

Seeing not as good as hoped but OK so I'm going to try solar tomorrow morning.


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#19 Dana in Philly

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 05:27 PM

Had a good night Friday night. Hoping for more tonight (Saturday). Really nice to get the 10" out again. It's been weeks.


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#20 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 07:12 PM

We've had a good turnout so far for the ASH member observing event.


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#21 Tony Flanders

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 06:39 AM

Wow, having three more or less cloudless days and (with any luck) nights back to back makes me realize just how cloudy it's been for the last year or so. Granted, three in a row is never common in the Northeast, but it seems to me that I used to get two or three such runs per year, and sometimes as long as four or even five clear nights.

 

Friday night was magnificent here in upstate New York. Best transparency I've seen all winter, and skies darker than I would expect even for such a transparent night -- perhaps because most of the snow has melted down in the valleys, where all the light pollution is generated.

 

And it was warm -- still above 20F when I came inside a little past midnight! The previous clear night here, the temperature was 10F and falling when I went outside at seven. Gosh, observing in the twenties is civilized -- don't have to worry a bit about staying warm, as long as you're properly dressed. The difference between the single digits and the twenties is much bigger than the difference between the twenties and the forties.

 

In case anybody's wondering, I spent most of Friday evening working over the Herschel 2500, primarily clusters and nebulae in Monoceros graduating to faint galaxies from Cancer on up in right ascension. It's been a while since I've worked objects near my telescope's limit, and boy is it fun! Especially when I had a 100% success rate. Roughly 750 Herschels down and 1750 to go. I wouldn't want the Herschel 2500 to be all that I observe, but it's nice to have a big, long list to draw on when in doubt. And I hit some really nice ones that night.

 

The transparency wasn't quite so good last night, but I still had a great time poking around the sky with my 15x70 binoculars until cramps in my shoulder muscles (and residual exhaustion from the previous night) got the better of me.


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#22 Dana in Philly

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 07:43 AM

The transparency wasn't quite so good last night....

Same down here in southeastern PA. Friday was the better night for transparency -- at least during the hours I was out. I could not split Sirius. But it was fun trying.


Edited by Dana in Philly, 23 February 2020 - 07:44 AM.

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#23 REC

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 02:08 PM

Pretty good night here in north central NC. See this post mfor my report:

 

https://www.cloudyni...h/#entry9998219

Had another one last night here in Gastonia. The seeing was very good, probably 4/5. Even Sirius was rock steady. Mainly spent my time in and around Orion last night, lot's of pretty doubles and a triple just under the first belt star. Really nice star paterns too. M42 looked great as usual with my UHC filter and the Trap stars bright and sharp. I tried to see E&F at 125x in my C102, but not enough scope. I "found" M35 as it was directly over head and I was in an awkward position with the refractor, pretty close to the ground by the time I got it focused. This was the first night I have been out all year. Rain and clouds forecasted for the next 3 days :(


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#24 Heitman

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 02:14 PM

Had another one last night here in Gastonia. The seeing was very good, probably 4/5. Even Sirius was rock steady. Mainly spent my time in and around Orion last night, lot's of pretty doubles and a triple just under the first belt star. Really nice star paterns too. M42 looked great as usual with my UHC filter and the Trap stars bright and sharp. I tried to see E&F at 125x in my C102, but not enough scope. I "found" M35 as it was directly over head and I was in an awkward position with the refractor, pretty close to the ground by the time I got it focused. This was the first night I have been out all year. Rain and clouds forecasted for the next 3 days frown.gif

Yes, Saturday night was awesome! Not only was it clear with good transparency, the seeing was the best I've seen in a long time. Took out the Starblast 6i, everything looked so good. Stars were very steady for long periods of time. Yeah, looks like that's it for a while.


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#25 Stevegeo

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 06:55 PM

Two good nights and another tonite ... 6 hours  each night and hopefully  another  ? tonite . I am blessed!

My dome shutters  were opened up today at 3,  the C11 and C8 ready to go  and last night a first using my Dynamax 8 .

I wasn't disappointed.  

So while I wait for supper to settle in my belly, with an eye through my skylights for stars to appear,  I'm contemplating  what's out there i can see .. 

 

Stevegeo , Area3751  observatory,  Otisco  Lake  NY.


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