Thursday Night at Stellafane, 2010/8/5

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Thursday Night at Stellafane, 2010/8/5
Posted by DaveMitsky on Friday, August 06, 2010 12:04 PM

I'm posting this from the Whiting Library in Chester, Vermont. Well, the forecast for Thursday night was off the mark so I was able to get a couple hours of observing in at Stellafane after all. As I drove up to Breezy Hill from Chester, I had my moonroof open and I was able to observe a few deep-sky objects with my Celestron 8x42s such as M39 from inside my car after I arrived at the lower campgrounds. I was parked next to the McGregor Observatory so the first object I saw telescopically last night was M13 through a 22mm Panoptic and the 13" f/10 "Super-Schupmann", the world's largest Schupmann medial refractor.

I scanned the southern sky with the binoculars before heading down the hill. I swept up M4, M6, M7, M8, M11, M17, M22, M24, Barnard's E (B142 and B143), and the Pipe Nebula (LDN 1773). The transparency was not the best but I certainly wasn't complaining. I also witnessed a fine pass of the Lacrosse 5 spy satellite.

I heard the voice of "Uncle" Al Nagler and said hello. He had the new 3.7mm Tele Vue Ethos in his 127mm Tele Vue apochromat. I had looked through this 110 degree AFOV ocular at NEAF but hadn't had a chance to observe anything at night with it. Al had M22 in view and a great view it was. Not only were stars sharp to the very edge of the 110 degree field but the eye relief was excellent. It was definitely the best view I've ever had through an eyepiece that short in focal length. We then looked at M11, which looked great for such a small aperture. I asked Al if he had ever noticed that M11 resembles a five-pointed star and described it to him. He took a peek and agreed.

John Vogt and his excellent homemade 32" f/3.9 Dob were just to the left of Al's refractor. I climbed the ladder and beheld M51 and its companion NGC 5195 through a 17mm Ethos, IIRC, and the new Tele Vue Paracorr prototype for ultrafast mirrors. A bit later I returned and saw NGC 6960, the western segment of the Veil Nebula, through a 21mm Ethos. It was the best view I've ever had of the "Witch's Broom". I was able to detect a faint pink hue in the nebulosity. A few other observers indicated the same.

I spent most of the remainding time I was there with Al and observed a variety of celestial objects through a variety of Tele Vue (naturally!) eyepieces, including M17, M24, M27, M31, M32, M110, the Double Cluster, Stock 2, and Jupiter. I also saw NGC 7662 (the Blue Snowball Nebula) through a homemade 12.5" Dob, Uranus through a 16" Meade LightBridge, and NGC 7331 through a 20" Dob. At one point, a brilliant meteor slashed eastward into, and not out of, Perseus, so I suppose one could call it an anti-Perseid. I also caught the pass of the Cosmos 2360 rocket.

Some clouds began to appear in the north but dissipated. However, the transparency in the southwest was deteriorating rapidly. Soon only the northeast and eastern sky was clear and most people began closing down for the night. I took my leave and got a good night's sleep at the bed and breakfast in Chester where my wife and I are staying.

The forecast for tonight is excellent.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by zachsdad on Friday, August 06, 2010 2:09 PM

Thanks for the report, Dave.  I hope your forecast holds so you can get the chance to view through more of the many fine instruments that gathering always draws.  Keep the reports coming.

Terry's Law of Cosmology: "Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."

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Posted by Antitax on Friday, August 06, 2010 2:22 PM

DaveMitsky
I took my leave and got a good night's sleep at the bed and breakfast in Chester where my wife are staying.

You have several wives? Pirate

TS 8x40 Wildlife, 10x50 Marine/Fujinon 16x70/TS 80mm triplet, 6x30 finder, EQ-3 mount, TS 2" 99% diagonal/Celestron C5+ and 6x30 finder, DIY tripod/5" Bahtinov/12" GSO dob, 8x50 finder/Meade 2" 24mm 82°/Hyperion 24,13,10mm 68°/TS Expanse 17mm 70°/SW 7mm Panorama 82°/Ultima 2x barlow/Astronomik UHC-E filter/Baader O-III/Astro Solar 5" & 80mm filters/Sky Atlas 2000/Rükl's Moon Atlas/Canon 400D/5mW green laser

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Posted by leo731 on Friday, August 06, 2010 3:42 PM

DaveMitsky
As I drove up to Breezy Hill from Chester, I had my moonroof open and I was able to observe a few deep-sky objects with my Celestron 8x42s such as M39 from inside my car after I arrived at the lower campgrounds.

Had me worried there for a minute Dave until you got to the end of the sentence.

DaveMitsky
It was the best view I've ever had of the "Witch's Broom". I was able to detect a faint pink hue in the nebulosity. A few other observers indicated the same.

Can't imagine seeing colour in the Witches Broom!  What an awesome sight that must have been.

Sounds like a great evening that was unlooked for.  Sometimes those turn out to be the best.

Thanks for the look,

L

A nebula in the eyepiece is worth two in the Atlas.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Sunday, August 08, 2010 3:07 PM
Antitax

You have several wives? Pirate

My allotted computer time was over so I was unable to check for editing errors before posting the message.

One wife is (more than) enough!  My wife told me to say that, by the way.  (Posted via my wife's iPad from east of Troy, New York.)

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Sunday, August 08, 2010 4:07 PM

Friday and Saturday nights were even better! This was the second year in a row that we had three nights of observing at Stellafane. Even though it sprinkled for a few seconds early Friday morning, with Jupiter and a few stars visible at the time, I can't consider that brief "star shower" to be "Stellarain".

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by nfredrick2002 on Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:18 PM

 For those who couldn't make Stellafane here is a nice video of this years convention

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puSaYA0qh1s

Norm

 

 

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Friday, August 13, 2010 12:52 AM

I ran into Eva on Saturday near the Porter Turret Telescope and chatted with her briefly.  On Thursday night, I met reporter Paula Routly.  Her article on this year's Stellafane convention  appears at http://7dvt.com/2010stellafane

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Friday, August 13, 2010 1:08 AM

Another video on the convention is posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W1Puoxo7us&feature=related

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Friday, August 13, 2010 7:07 PM

Norm,

It was a pleasure to meet you on Saturday.  Here's another Stellafane video that features you and the Porter Turret Telescope.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYXgJEebxeI

Dave Mitsky 

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Monday, August 16, 2010 5:04 PM

I've posted some of the photographs that I took at Stellafane this year on CN beginning at http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/3852929...

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:33 AM

A short article on this year's Stellafane with a number of photos has been posted here.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Thursday, August 19, 2010 2:50 PM
I've posted some additional shots of the convention here.

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Monday, August 23, 2010 9:45 PM
I just finished posting the final one of my Stellafane 2010 photographs here.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by Ming on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 12:53 AM

Tks , DaveMitsky,

your pictures are great .

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Posted by leo731 on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 10:26 AM

Thanks Dave.  You covered this very well.

It almost feels like I was there.

L

A nebula in the eyepiece is worth two in the Atlas.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 2:26 PM

You're both welcome. 

The observing on Friday night was exceptionally good.  The skies weren't quite as good on Saturday but were certainly more than acceptable.  I saw three new Berkeley star clusters through Scott Ewart's unique 12.5" split-ring equatorial Newtonian, a big prize-winner at Stellafane five years ago, and had fine views of M51 (and NGC 5195) and a very colorful NGC 6572 through John Vogt's 32" Dob.  I also had a chance to view NGC 7009 and Jupiter through a 16" classical Cassegrain that was another big prize-winner two years ago. 

One solar observing highlight was witnessing the solar flare that took place on Saturday afternoon through the double PST and double Lunt H-alpha rigs.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 2:49 PM

I just came across some more photos taken at the convention.  They're posted at http://www.gfphoto.com/atm/Stellafane2010/

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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