Author Topic: OR: Lake Sonoma 8/16/14  (Read 1334 times)


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OR: Lake Sonoma 8/16/14
« on: August 18, 2014, 05:45:53 PM »
Matt Marcus' OI posting was enough to prompt a last minute decision to head up to the lake on Saturday.  For me, Lake Sonoma's Lone Rock Flat is about a 35 minute drive so last minute decisions work well.

As Matt had pointed out, it was a short night with the moon rising around midnight, but it was worth it.  We had a good 2 1/2 hrs of darkness to work with.  I had no plan, but that's ok, summer lends itself to that...

At sunset we checked out Saturn and the seeing was good, even with Saturn getting pretty low.  Cassini was crisp and the cloud bands were clear, I was able to pick out 5 moons, the rest were no shows probably due to only average transparency.

I'm still getting used to setting up and collimating a dob and that was obvious later in the evening when we looked at Epsilon Lyrae as the Double-Double looked like a pair of seagulls.  A quick (or maybe not so quick) tweak of collimation had that fixed and showed a nice clean split at 260x.  Up until this winter all of my observing was with a C8, I'm certainly enjoying the extra aperture that the my Lightbridge 16 provides.

Since I didn't have an observing plan I just spent the evening revisiting eyecandy to see old friends anew.  A couple of the highlights for me were the Veil with an OIII filter (spent a lot of time on that)  and NGC 7331 in Pegasus.  I've seen 7331 many times in my C8, but have never managed to see any of the companions, this time I was able to see 3 of the 4 (7340, 7335, 7337).  The moon was coming up right about then and things soon washed out and that's when I called it a night and packed up.

Although it was a short night it was fun with great seeing and so-so transparency.  The weather was great with no wind and mild temperatures.  It did start to get a bit dewey around midnight, but moon came up and shut things down then anyway, so it was never a problem.

Hoping to get back up there next weekend for new moon.