San Francisco Bay Area Astronomy > TAC Visual

An observation about observation.

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Prana:
Last Saturday at Pinnacles, I had a brief moment of the type of observing we all hope for.  They're really not all that frequent.  Seeing was incredibly steady, and transparency superb.  It wasn't just me, I head others in the dark mentioning "like Bumpass Hell" or "only seen it like this at Lassen".

My views of the Veil and Crescent Nebulae were tremendous.  So much so, the Veil was at times a confusing large area of nebulosity I couldn't place, as I hadn't seen such detail before.  The Crescent showed easily all those parts that I'd seen previously, but in crisp sinewy details making the views new.

My old friend Dean Linebarger used to say observing is a lot like skiing (he was an avid skier), its all about conditions, and you may get truly great conditions only a few days of the year.

Dean was right.  I think being regular and running into those moments, getting such views, is what really drives the hobby. At least for me.  I got quite lucky, for about an hour, at Pinnacles last weekend.  More of that, please!

Mark

John Pierce:
I was chalking the incredible views of the Veil up to the 30mm 82 deg. eyepiece (6mm exit pupil, 85X, ~1 deg. actual FOV) and NPB filter, neither of which I'd used before ... but yeah, the seeing and transparency in that part of the sky was stunning.

DDK:
Yup, look at the OI's and esp the OR's here, I've been shamelessly proselytizing the Pinnacles thru this last calendar year. You can see why. Still do hit the Peak frequently, and sure Dino in the winter, but the Pinnacles are one more excellent option we have. At this point I've lost count of how many times I've been observing at Pinnacles over the years. The site doesn't have the Peak's laminar flow magic that makes for 5/5 seeing time after time, but as you can see it's highly dark there. Even darker on the east side, for when you're feeling greedy.

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