Author Topic: Dinosaur Point rides again  (Read 213 times)

DDK

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Dinosaur Point rides again
« on: October 16, 2017, 12:46:28 AM »
Saturday night, the 14th, we started another observing season at Dinosaur Point. Dino is good from October to March, when the winds let up whistling thru Pacheco Pass.

4 of us where there. Joe Bob Jardine brought his Albert Highe-made 20”, Peter Natscher had his 16”, Dave Cooper brought his trusty refractor, and I brought Felix, my 11” f/4.5 Dobs made by Discovery Telescopes.

It was a beautiful night, with 6.2 limiting magnitude for both Bob and me. Seeing was good, 4/5. Smoke really wasn’t much of a factor at all. We could see more of a low light dome over to ENE, toward Santa Nella, than we’re used to there. And stars weren’t as bright along the southern horizon as they can be at Dinosaur Point. Still a respectable night full of stars.

I looked at a range of objects, from two little galaxies for starters, and the always fascinating Ring Nebula and a sparkly M13, to ngc 253 in Sculptor for dessert at midnight. That big galaxy is as complex and awesome as ever. It’s held up its looks since CalStar, in fact.

Next Saturday, the 21st, weather permitting, we’ll be opening up Dinosaur Point again for observing. So get off your butt, leave this glowing screen behind, and come out to a quality darksky site. Precisely what TAC is all about.
TAC - astro anarchy at work <*>

dnsmiley

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Re: Dinosaur Point rides again
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 05:33:13 AM »
Nice to read your report, with rain forecast for Thursday I am wondering if it's somehow possible Lake Sonoma might be ok by Saturday, but if not Dinosaur Point is definitely on my list. Thanks for your help.

DDK

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Re: Dinosaur Point rides again
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 01:52:33 PM »
Smiley, lemme say out loud if I were living in Mill Valley, I woiuld definitely opt for Lake Sonoma!
That said, those of us who live inside an hour from Dinosaur Point are headed there Saturday night. Yes the 21st.
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DDK

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Re: Dinosaur Point rides again
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 06:01:04 PM »
Now I oughta give out details about one of those little galaxies I started with on Saturday night. As stated, this was in Felix, my 11", now using a 9mm Nagler. NGC 6482 was in a close set of fairly bright stars (turned out to be 12th magnitude), where one wouldn’t come to focus. It had a very compact round halo. What I thought was a bright stellar core is in fact an accurately superimposed foreground star, per Sky Atlas Companion. It was in fact close to those neighbors in brightness, being mag 13, per Luginbuhl and Skiff's truly excellent Observing Guide.

a) I'm pretty sure I've never seen a galaxy in a field like that before, with a set of fairly equal fairly bright stars, it being the one that wouldn't focus. And b) here's one more instance where observing guides like SAC and L&S can be invaluable right on site.
TAC - astro anarchy at work <*>