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TAC Visual / Montebello OR For Thursday, May 18
« Last post by Casey Fukuda on May 20, 2017, 09:23:27 AM »
Thursday night was certainly a good one to kick off the summer observing season.  Even though it is not summer yet, the conditions: weather and temperature, were 'summer-like' as was the observing.  In attendance: Stephen M, David K, Dan W, Rogelio B A, Puneet K, Marek C, Martin S. Marko J. and yours truly.  The observing population for Montebello Open Space Preserve almost hit double digits.  Numbers like that have not been seen since the "Golden Age of Bay Area Amateur Astronomy."  Some of us Montebello (MB) old timers remember the days when the scope count at MB was counted by the dozen.  Far more gravel filled the parking lot road bed.  Famous Bay Area Amateur Astronomers graced the lot back then.  People like Larson, Terzian, Tramiel, Highe, Schwartz, Crisp, Santangeli, Steele, Freeman, Wagner, Felice, Crilly, McKone, Jardine, and the like would show up regularly.  And we had to walk up hill in the snow to get there....No wait, not that last part.  Anyway, to me, the other night had that feel to it and I just like saying the "Golden Age."

The night started out with a double shadow transit on Jupiter.  The rest of the night included Omega Cen, M3, the Black Eye galaxy, Sombrero, NGC4565, M81, M82, M51, M101, the Leo Triplet, and more.  It was a galaxy night at MB.  A galaxy night at MB you might ask?  Yes, for some atmospheric reason (not "black cloud" conditions) the transparency kept the scattering of light to the east minimal.  The regular SF Bay light dome that usually diminishes the swath of the sky from east north east to east south east was much tamer Thursday night. Conditions were well above average for MB.  Maybe it was just the excitement of getting out after a lengthy lay off of ancient photons.  Or maybe conditions were better last night.  In any case, it was wonderful to get out and see old friends again, both human and celestial.

That's my OR and I'm sticking to it.  Casey
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Observing Intents / Re: Observing This Week and Weekend?
« Last post by DDK on May 19, 2017, 06:39:11 PM »
That's a malfunction of those strobe lights, they're supposed to have masks drop at sundown. You can see them from Salinas when this happens. Doesn't usually last long. I'm pretty sure there's nothing we can do about it, though it does suck.
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Observing Intents / Re: Observing This Week and Weekend?
« Last post by pnatscher on May 19, 2017, 02:24:26 PM »
Thursday night At FP was enjoyable -- sketched galaxy groups and Hicksons of magnitude 14-15 in a NELM 6.2 clear sky, calm, 50% RH, 48-50°F, 1.2 arc-sec seeing.  I'm observing and sketching the Astronomical League's Galaxy Groups & Cluster list.  It's sure taking me longer to see and sketch these fainter objects with my 16" Dob. than it was with my past 24".  I'm getting aperture fever again   ;)  Higher power (350X) does help a lot if the seeing is good!

A new issue has cropped up -- there were bright flashing strobes (3 strobes) all night long from the KSBW transmitter tower high above, even casting a shadow around me.   >:(  I wonder how long this has been --  this wasn't happening a couple of months ago.
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TAC Visual / Re: Jupiter Double Shadow Transit Tonight, May 18, 2017
« Last post by Davids on May 19, 2017, 09:48:37 AM »
Seeing was pretty bad last night, but I did get one shot that shows the two shadows pretty clearly.
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TAC Visual / Re: Jupiter Double Shadow Transit Tonight, May 18, 2017
« Last post by Davids on May 18, 2017, 09:55:06 PM »
Pretty cool, just wish the seeing was better tonight here in Santa Rosa.
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TAC Imaging / Re: California Nebula NGC1499 in Perseus
« Last post by jeffweiss9 on May 18, 2017, 08:40:35 PM »
Looks real good, Rob, and nice write-up.  NB is really best for these emission nebula.  I'm just an LRGB person. I use Ha for these guys but they're often pretty monotone.  I do have two spare slots in my filter wheel, however, so some day.
Cheers,
Jeff
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TAC Imaging / Re: California Nebula NGC1499 in Perseus
« Last post by robhawley on May 18, 2017, 03:21:40 PM »
If you are interested this is my photo using narrowband.
http://almadenobservatory.net/16-NGC1499Cal/NHS_6.png
http://almadenobservatory.net/16-NGC1499Cal/index.html

Narrowband is able to separate the various elements.
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TAC Imaging / Re: Using Astro Cameras on the Eclipse?
« Last post by robhawley on May 18, 2017, 03:19:57 PM »
I would be skeptical about using an astro camera for the eclipse.  Your shutter speeds will be short.  Astro cameras are not typically designed with fast shutters (hence the discussing in flat fielding of minimum exposures).

As far as brightness you can get an idea from the table in mreclipse

http://www.mreclipse.com/SEphoto/SEphoto.html
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TAC Visual / Jupiter Double Shadow Transit Tonight, May 18, 2017
« Last post by pnatscher on May 18, 2017, 12:36:31 PM »
There's going to be a double shadow transit on Jupiter tonight from 8:52pm until 9:40pm.  The shadow's of Io and Europa will be seen traveling westward across Jupiter, with Europa leading.  Brighter moon Io will be transiting westward over the darker North Equatorial Belt if you can pick it out.
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Observing Intents / Re: Observing This Week and Weekend?
« Last post by pnatscher on May 18, 2017, 11:53:01 AM »
Yep, the forecast for tonight is very good so I'm heading up to FP for a night of observing, and if the weather holds then Saturday too.  Go lots of sketching to do in galaxy land.
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