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Topics - DDK

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1
Waited a bit to let someone else in on the yellow jacket question from Lassen - "Anyone remember the trip with all the Yellow Jackets?"

The reason the yellow jackets came out in force that one year, aside from it being their season, is that was the year we over-advertised the Lassen jaunt and filled up Lost Creek campground. There were many city people there who had no idea of camping - trash and food scattered around everywhere. Saw something unforgettable - one person hadn't liked their dinner, so dumped a potful of stew onto the drain rock under one of the water spigots. The yellow jackets went mad there.

Yes I cleaned that mess up; it might be just as well I never found out who was the culprit.
Under the genius label, that was the year I remembered everything else for a Lassen trip but my shoes. 2007.

2
Observing Intents / Dinosaur Point Saturday night
« on: January 24, 2017, 07:00:08 PM »
Two nights will be open at Dinosaur Point this week, Thursday the 26th as posted, and Saturday night the 28th as well.
You can see the regs on the Thursday post, if you're new to Dino. Beautiful spot, deep southern horizons, can have very dark skies.

3
Observing Intents / Dinosaur Point Thursday night, 26 January
« on: January 24, 2017, 06:57:31 PM »
New Moon is on Friday and the rain let up. I'll definitely be at Dinosaur Point well before sunset on Thursday and again on Saturday night. That's the 26th and the 29th of January. There are 2 others who are likely to be there on Thursday, and maybe 3 others on Saturday.

Here are the regs. They're actually simple and I'm guessing you have them memorized. The rangers ask us to post them:
>>>
Dinosaur Point is behind a locked gate. Access is only on announced nights. A Gatekeeper must make reservation, be present at all times, and escort observers through the gate.

Upon arriving at Dino's parking area, currently you arrive at another temporary gate at the bottom of the hill that's set up for the daytime boaters inspection. There, you will be asked by a CA Parks ranger to pay the $10 CA Parks use fee, or show your CA Parks annual pass in order to proceed to the parking area.
 
General rules for using Dinosaur Point
  1.. Pay the day-use fee.
   1a .. Please write "Stargazing" in big letters on the envelope we put in the iron ranger, to make sure the money goes to the right place.
  2.. Access to Dinosaur Point after dark is by reservation only. Only Gatekeepers can call the rangers and make reservations.
   a. Send observing requests and questions to DinoGatekeepers at yahoogroups dot com.
   b. Do not post OI's for Dinosaur Point until a Gatekeeper has announced it is available, and his arrival and departure times.

  3.. At least one Gatekeeper must always be present.
  4.. Everyone must be escorted out by a Gatekeeper.
  5.. Observers are not allowed to stay overnight.
  6.. Observers must arrive before sunset.
  7.. Locate the Gatekeeper(s) and introduce yourself when you arrive. Confirm your departure time.
  8.. Be prepared to leave on time or wait for the next scheduled escort to the gate.
         When you are ready to leave, proceed to the SW corner of the parking lot and wait there. At the scheduled time, a Gatekeeper will escort you out.
  9.. Leave the park as you found it. Make sure your area is clean.
 10.. Absolutely no boats allowed in the parking lot after dark.
 11.. No overnight camping.
 12.. Do not call the emergency number posted on the gate unless you are reporting an emergency. The ranger you get out of bed won't arrive for over an hour. Get a Gatekeeper to escort you out.
 13.. If you bring guests, you must ensure that they follow all these rules and procedures.

4
Observing Intents / Dino, standing down this week, before the New Year
« on: December 28, 2016, 03:16:41 PM »
Please see the end of the thread just below. Don't want anyone stranded at a cloudy Dinosaur Point inside a locked gate. Oh no.
Here's to 2017!

5
Observing Reports / more from the Pinnacles, Wednesday the Solstice, 20 Dec
« on: December 27, 2016, 02:03:45 AM »
Wednesday night, while The Animal, Carter Scholz and Bob Douglas were observing at Lake Sonoma, Peter N, Steve Winston our token Dubliner and I were out stargazing some 250 miles south of them, at the Pinnacles.

Peter pretty much caught the tone of the session, pure fun with clement weather. I had a fun list - a couple years back I went over my observing logs and picked up objects that I’d labelled as either interesting or favorites, to see again. Had 5 left, in Cetus, Perseus and Monoceros, and made sure of catching them. This was all thru Johannes, an Albert Highe made 13" f/4.5 grab and go scope. Was using a 24mm Panoptic, 16mm UO Koenig, 9 and 7mm type 6 Naglers, with an Orion Ultrablock for the Flame.

Eye candy night, starting with ngc 151 in Cetus. Peter and I had both severally set that galaxy aside for this night. Looking at my notes for my last time there, I was comparing views with the same Peter Natscher at Dinosaur Point, 5 years ago. Has arms that showed in Felix my 11” back then, swirls of dust lanes around the nucleus, and a trailing arm that touches a following star.

Most of the scads of galaxies we see in Cetus are distant, with few details. But another showpiece is ngc 908, a big bright oval with lots of structure lengthwise along its disk. Splashy galaxy. In January ‘03, with Felix the 11, it looked “big, complex with longitudinal lanes.” So no doubt those big dust lanes run along the length of 908.

Then went to play around with some fancy open clusters. 1513 in Perseus is a knockout. In the 13, I counted >50 bright stars across the field in the 16mm, so 2/3 of a degree. Lots more in the background.

On to Monoceros. The following will be highly familiar to some, but it’s useful. Betelgeuse, Procyon and Sirius form the Winter Triangle, with contains most of the constellation Monoceros (one-horn, like rhinoceros being nose-horn) You tell me why it’s supposed to look like a unicorn, go figure. This is a very rich area of the sky, with the winter Milky Way going right thru here. It’s full of pretty reflection nebulae, like 2282, -83, -85 all in a row, and some snazzy opens, and features the Rosette Nebula, which is rich and complex and never gets old.

I just had 2 of the OC’s listed to revisit. 2324 was first, a lovely dense mat of stars, with at least 3 dozen resolving in the 13 that night. 9 years ago, from Toro Park, our county park just south of Salinas, I said it was “dynamite at 126x.” Here I kept using the 16 Koenig, at 93x. Then while scanning with the 9x50 finder across those fields of dense winter Milky Way, I got curious about a cool-looking column of stars, turned out to be the next target, 2301. A must-see in any telescope. Back in 2000 I called 2301 a “pretty chain in the finder. Lovely bright shapely cluster. Classic Milky Way OC.” No kiddin’. What I wrote Wednesday night was, “stately set of ca 50 bright stars. Reddish bright pinpoint star at center. Gorgeous in 16mm.” DDK says do check it out.

Sky Atlas Companion cites an observer, Leland Copeland, calling 2301, “a curving group topped with a flying wedge of suns.” It has that kind of dynamic look.

Played around with M42, Mintaka, sigma Ori, Castor and the Flame for dessert. This was one of those nights when the Flame actually looked better unfiltered. Very nice night. Sure do like the Pinnacles.

Thursday next, yes the 29th, as noted in the OI list, we have Dinosaur Point open. C’mon out and see some stars.
Thanks for reading,
Jamie Dillon

6
Observing Intents / Dino again this year!
« on: December 27, 2016, 12:07:05 AM »
We're clear from the rangers to observe at Dinosaur Point Thursday night. I'll be there by 4. Do get there by sunset.

Here are the regs, the rangers ask us to post them, you likely have them memorized.
>>>
Dinosaur Point is behind a locked gate. Access is only on announced nights. A Gatekeeper must make reservation, be present at all times, and escort observers through the gate.

Upon arriving at Dino's parking area, currently you arrive at another temporary gate at the bottom of the hill that's set up for the daytime boaters inspection. There, you will be asked by a CA Parks ranger to pay the $10 CA Parks use fee, or show your CA Parks annual pass in order to proceed to the parking area.
 
General rules for using Dinosaur Point
  1.. Pay the day-use fee.
   1a .. Please write "Stargazing" in big letters on the envelope we put in the iron ranger, to make sure the money goes to the right place.
  2.. Access to Dinosaur Point after dark is by reservation only. Only Gatekeepers can call the rangers and make reservations.
   a. Send observing requests and questions to DinoGatekeepers at yahoogroups dot com.
   b. Do not post OI's for Dinosaur Point until a Gatekeeper has announced it is available, and his arrival and departure times.

  3.. At least one Gatekeeper must always be present.
  4.. Everyone must be escorted out by a Gatekeeper.
  5.. Observers are not allowed to stay overnight.
  6.. Observers must arrive before sunset.
  7.. Locate the Gatekeeper(s) and introduce yourself when you arrive. Confirm your departure time.
  8.. Be prepared to leave on time or wait for the next scheduled escort to the gate.
         When you are ready to leave, proceed to the SW corner of the parking lot and wait there. At the scheduled time, a Gatekeeper will escort you out.
  9.. Leave the park as you found it. Make sure your area is clean.
 10.. Absolutely no boats allowed in the parking lot after dark.
 11.. No overnight camping.
 12.. Do not call the emergency number posted on the gate unless you are reporting an emergency. The ranger you get out of bed won't arrive for over an hour. Get a Gatekeeper to escort you out.
 13.. If you bring guests, you must ensure that they follow all these rules and procedures.

7
Observing Intents / Pinnacles Wednesday night, 21 December
« on: December 19, 2016, 06:41:14 PM »
Yep, Peter Natscher and I are meeting up in the big lot just inside the park. Easy road, not far off 101, very dark there.

8
Observing Reports / Presolar light at Dinosaur Point last night
« on: December 02, 2016, 07:51:42 PM »
Last night, 1 December, we opened Dinosaur Point for another winter of stargazing at one of our best darksky spots in the region. Once again we have our own TAC combo lock on the gate, thanks to help from the Four Rivers rangers and our own persistent sponsors.

Really don’t want to bury the hot story here. Thru prompts from Carter Scholz and Steve Gottlieb, we got to see this blazar, CTA-102, that’s an astounding 8 billion lightyears from here. Light twice as old as our Sun. The thing usually glows at around 17th magnitude, dim for the likes of us, but it has outbursts.
Bob King in S&T has a good finderchart, though his story sure wanders and gets too cute.
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/quasar-cta-102-historically-bright-violently-variable/

So this is a highly compact quasar that puts out rare bursts. It was easy in McCarthy’s 10” and my 13. We came up with a consensus that it was around 12.6 or 12.7 vM. Little star sitting there with direct vision, brighter than several in the field, only a whole whole lot farther away.

I’d seen 3C 273, the brightest quasar, and one other in Camelopardalis last year, PKS 0716 +71, when it had its own outburst. Those are measured at 2.4 and 3.5 billion lightyears distant. But there’s this whole other category of presolar light, that’s been on its way since before our local star formed. My first time there, and it’s gonna take me a while to wrap my head around this one.

Conditions were really good last night, with starfields at 6.3 limiting magnitude, seeing good, 4/5. Plus the company was superb, with Joe Bob Jardine, Peter Natscher, Mark McCarthy and George Feliz out for fun. The 5 telescopes there were ethnically interesting as well. George brought his 13” grab and go scope, that he made as a sibling for Johannes, the 13” that I bought from its maker, Albert Highe, this past June. Those two scopes have worked side by side at Dinosaur Point countless times over the years.

Joe Bob brought his mondo Albert-made 20”. McCarthy had his new scope that he brought to CalStar, his McCarthy-made Springsonian design, where the trunnions are around the focuser, so the observer sits in one place while the scope goes up and down. With McCarthy’s Terminagler in the focuser, he gets a 2.4 actual fov.

Peter meanwhile had his 16”, which he continues to say is his last scope. This is the man who has bedhopped thru more telescopes than some of you striplings have had hot dinners. Gotta say, this 16 is a serious scope and Peter continues to be happy.

We had a lovely row of planets after sunset, with Mercury perched under a sliver of a 2-day Moon, Venus well above that and Mars farther up, all in a row. There was a long ISS pass at 6 pm, and Jardine somehow caught it going across the earthlight part of the Moon. Cool. Another major highlight was the California Nebula in McCarthy’s 2.4 deg field, yes with an H-beta filter. I had no idea it had that kind of detail and structure, very beautiful.

Toward midnight I made sure and pointed at the Fornax Cluster, with the little equilateral triangle of hop stars for that rich cluster well over the horizon. Galaxies all piled up. It had gotten cold but moderated again, we were all bundled up anyway. At midnight, high clouds were coming in, and we really didn’t mind packing up. Very fun, fascinating, satisfying, congenial night.

9
Observing Intents / Dinosaur Point Thursday night, 1 December
« on: November 23, 2016, 12:27:09 PM »
The rain forecasts sure shifted! Thursday the 1st looks like the next good night for Dino. I'm certainly planning on being there. We may even have other Gatekeepers there. Eager Gatekeepers.
Do get there by 4:30 if you want to get in.

Here are all the regs laid out. Actually they're simple, and I'll bet you have them memorized already. Can Dino-Q's be far behind?
>>>
Use Policy
Dinosaur Point is behind a locked gate. Access is only on announced nights. A Gatekeeper must make reservation, be present at all times, and escort observers through the gate.

Upon arriving at Dino's parking area, currently you arrive at another temporary gate at the bottom of the hill that's set up for the daytime boaters inspection. There, you will be asked by a CA Parks ranger to pay the $10 CA Parks use fee, or show your CA Parks annual pass in order to proceed to the parking area.
 
General rules for using Dinosaur Point
  1.. Pay the day-use fee.
   1a .. Please write "Stargazing" in big letters on the envelope we put in the iron ranger, to make sure the money goes to the right place.
  2.. Access to Dinosaur Point after dark is by reservation only. Only Gatekeepers can call the rangers and make reservations.
   a. Send observing requests and questions to DinoGatekeepers at yahoogroups dot com.
   b. Do not post OI's for Dinosaur Point until a Gatekeeper has announced it is available, and his arrival and departure times.

  3.. At least one Gatekeeper must always be present.
  4.. Everyone must be escorted out by a Gatekeeper.
  5.. Observers are not allowed to stay overnight unless accompanied by a Gatekeeper.
  6.. Observers are strongly urged to arrive before sunset. Gatekeepers may escort observers in after dark at their discretion. (But please understand if your request is denied).
  7.. Locate the Gatekeeper(s) and introduce yourself when you arrive. Confirm your departure time.
  8.. Be prepared to leave on time or wait for the next scheduled escort to the gate.
         When you are ready to leave, proceed to the SW corner of the parking lot and wait there. At the scheduled time, a Gatekeeper will escort you out.
  9.. Leave the park as you found it. Make sure your area is clean.
 10.. Absolutely no boats allowed in the parking lot after dark.
 11.. No overnight camping.
 12.. Do not call the emergency number posted on the gate unless you are reporting an emergency. The ranger you get out of bed won't arrive for over an hour. Get a Gatekeeper to escort you out.
 13.. If you bring guests, you must ensure that they follow all these rules and procedures.

10
TAC Visual / How to go observing at Dinosaur Point
« on: November 21, 2016, 09:54:43 PM »
Yep our season at Dino has started again. We will have gatekeeper coverage (at least me) on Saturday night next. Directions to the spot are very clearly laid out on the Observing Sites page here.
I'm posting the regs again here for clarity. Really pretty simple. Mostly do get there before sundown. Beautiful spot.
We've put work over the years into keeping Dinosaur Point open for observing. If you've been there you know why.

Personal vouching - I've explored the little galaxies in the Bowl of the Dipper there, got 25 of them in Felix my 11", and those little suckers are not chopped liver. Also have had lots of fun in the spectacular Fornax Cluster from Dino. Good southern horizons there.
>>>
Use Policy
Dinosaur Point is behind a locked gate. Access is only on announced nights. A Gatekeeper must make reservation, be present at all times, and escort observers through the gate.

Upon arriving at Dino's parking area, currently you arrive at another temporary gate at the bottom of the hill that's set up for the daytime boaters inspection. There, you will be asked by a CA Parks ranger to pay the $10 CA Parks use fee, or show your CA Parks annual pass in order to proceed to the parking area.
 
General rules for using Dinosaur Point
  1.. Pay the day-use fee.
   1a .. Please write "Stargazing" in big letters on the envelope we put in the iron ranger, to make sure the money goes to the right place.
  2.. Access to Dinosaur Point after dark is by reservation only. Only Gatekeepers can call the rangers and make reservations.
   a. Send observing requests and questions to DinoGatekeepers at yahoogroups dot com.
   b. Do not post OI's for Dinosaur Point until a Gatekeeper has announced it is available, and his arrival and departure times.

  3.. At least one Gatekeeper must always be present.
  4.. Everyone must be escorted out by a Gatekeeper.
  5.. Observers are not allowed to stay overnight. The rangers do not want to see us in the morning.
  6.. Observers must arrive before sunset.
  7.. Locate the Gatekeeper(s) and introduce yourself when you arrive. Confirm your departure time.
  8.. Be prepared to leave on time or wait for the next scheduled escort to the gate.
         When you are ready to leave, proceed to the SW corner of the parking lot and wait there. At the scheduled time, a Gatekeeper will escort you out.
  9.. Leave the park as you found it. Make sure your area is clean.
 10.. Absolutely no boats allowed in the parking lot after dark.
 11.. No overnight camping.
 12.. Do not call the emergency number posted on the gate unless you are reporting an emergency. The ranger you get out of bed won't arrive for over an hour. Get a Gatekeeper to escort you out.
 13.. If you bring guests, you must ensure that they follow all these rules and procedures.

11
Starting a fresh thread, herewith.
I did call the rangers today and amazingly got thru on the first call. We're cleared for the 6 nights. That's the potential part.
When Gatekeepers are lined up for any of the nights from Saturday thru Thursday, you'll see OI's pop up, yes well ahead.
And yes Clear Skies!
DDK

12
TAC Visual / Fresh gate mojo at Dinosaur Point
« on: November 09, 2016, 04:37:17 PM »
So I just got an email from Rangers Nathan and Duke at Four Rivers, and we are on. There's a new gate at Dinosaur Point with a place for our lock. Yes. And the rangers are friendly and glad to have us coming.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, the 26th, has good-lookin' moontimes. Tuesday following is New Moon, and times look good till Thursday the 1st. Yes.

How we say, Clear Skies!

13
Observing Reports / Pinnacles Wednesday night, 2 November
« on: November 08, 2016, 01:40:41 AM »
On Wednesday night the 2nd, I headed down to the Pinnacles, had a fun night. The last time I’d gone to the Pinnacles, 2 months ago, I had been watching swaths of smoke heading east from the Santa Lucias, coming off the Soberanes fire. Also good for time perspective, I cleaned some dust off the base when putting my scope together, that could only have come from Whiissper Canyon, from the last time I’d been out, at CalStar.

Good conditions, limiting magnitude 6.3 across the sky, with seeing good 4/5. There was a fancy Milky Way overhead, with Cygnus at zenith after dark. A pretty crescent Moon and Venus took their time to set. Did a starcount out of curiosity not long before and after moonset at 8:30, saw a jump from 5.9 to 6.3 LM. Even a thin 3-day Moon makes a substantial difference in how many stars you see.

My main goal that night was to go over Abell 194, a fairly distant and interesting galaxy cluster in Cetus, that Carter Scholz had been playing around in at CalStar. After getting started there last month, I found out I’d been exploring in that cluster 8 years ago from the Peak. Did make good use of one of Carter’s handy custom findercharts.

Now that same Mr Scholz, at CalStar ‘08, on some really excellent nights with his 12”, caught 19 galaxies in this cluster. Here on a very decent night with my 13”, I was patting myself on the back to catch 8. The difference is those teeny UGC near-stellar galaxies. Also clearly my lack of character.

This was with Johannes, an Albert Highe made 13" f/4.5 grab and go scope. Was using a 24mm Panoptic, 16mm UO Koenig, 9 and 7mm type 6 Naglers. Just got this scope from Albert this past June, and the novelty will take a while to wear off. Elegant design, serious optics.

In Abell 194, ngc 547 and 545 are a very close pair, right next to one another. 541 is just to the southwest; the 3 form a pretty view just for starters. I’d seen these 3 from the Peak yes 8 years ago in Felix my 11”, without breathing too hard. 530 is the one galaxy in this group that’s charted in SkyAtlas, and I’d caught that galaxy in 2011, almost exactly 5 years back, from Dinosaur Point. Got one new one at CalStar last month, 538. This is after figuring out which finds from CalStar I’d already seen years before. This is a warning, children, you can’t be too diligent with your logs.

Others in the group were less obvious. 535 took some work. Camped out on the spot, got it 50% of the time to averted vision. Even more subtle was ugc 974, which was there 50% of the time to averted vision only when jiggling the scope. Several deepsky tricks for one galaxy; this one gave a measure of what my limits might be with Johannes, with a visual magnitude of 14.0 and a size of 1.1 x 0.2 arcminutes. It’s small enough the surface brightness looks more tolerable, at 12.2. Piffle, it was barely there. The one more ngc in that group, 548, I could not see, after camping out where it lives.

More fun was 543, close to the bigger bright starter pair. That one I could hold in averted vision, enough to measure the position angle. Figured 80 deg, and the official number is 90 deg. David Kingsley and I are the two people I know who constantly play with PA’s. It may be compulsive, but so is a lot of what we all do. And it’s a good method to make yourself sit down and take in everything that object has to show. Plus it’s fun when you get an angle right.

There were crickets and peepers going all night, which doesn’t always happen in November. Coyotes were singing at sundown. Conditions stayed friendly till midnight when I started packing, ca 55 deg F, only light occasional dew, an occasional light breeze. Beautiful night. After getting all I was personally gonna get in agc 194, I stared for the nth+1 time at ngc 253, inexhaustible major galaxy. Put in the 24 Panoptic for a 1.1 deg field and took the tour of cool open clusters in Cassiopeia, gawked at the Double Cluster. Just generally had fun that night.

More of this, please,
DDK

14
Observing Intents / OI Pinnacles Wednesday night, 2 November
« on: November 02, 2016, 01:22:19 PM »
Moonset is at 8:30. Will set up by the new visitors center. Yes on the west side, coming in from Soledad.
Have newly unanswered questions from CalStar with Abell 194, pretty cluster in Cetus.

Had posted this OI for Wednesday, 3 November. This is better now.

15
CalStar XVII was even more fun than expected. After getting smoked out the year before and still having plenty of fun, this year we had 3 really good nights in a row. Limiting magnitude for me was 6.2, 6.3 and 6.3, solidly dark, with seeing starting at 4/5, good, each night and steadying out to 5/5, excellent. Marko, Carter, Rozerman and I formed a mini-ghetto toward the north end of the field.

We did miss the people who weren’t there and you know who you are.

Here’s the hard astro science part of the weekend:
On Saturday, I pulled out of my notes a set of instructions from Steve Gottlieb for an HII starforming region in IC 10 in Cassiopeia, one of the little dwarf galaxies in our Local Group. Have been carrying around this 2-paragraph guide for years, finally decided to go for it. IC 10 itself isn’t very hard to identify, but it’s a subtle glow. The Astro Animal’s directions made for an easy unambiguous hop. The starforming region itself was a distinct glow in direct vision.

These were all with Johannes, an Albert Highe made 13" f/4.5 grab and go scope. Was using a 24mm Panoptic, 16mm UO Koenig, 16mm Brandon, 9 and 7mm type 6 Naglers.

So for incidental contrast on Thursday night, Marko and I were studying HII regions in ngc 55, much bigger and brighter than IC 10. Whiisssper Canyon has good southern horizons. I was sitting gazing at Ankaa, the alpha star in Phoenix, decided to go look at 55, just up from there in Sculptor. It’s a splashy long lanky galaxy that I hadn’t seen in years.

Both in Marko’s 17.5 and my 13, it looked assymetrical, like a flattened comet, with a bright nucleus on the western end and a long halo extending to the east. There’s a bright knot to the east of the core, and another toward the far eastern end.

Next day, with the reference books at home, we had The Animal right there to ask. Steve said sure those are both starforming regions. Interesting conceptual and visual contrast between a little Local Group dwarf at ca 2.15 million lightyears away, and a major spiral, brightest of its own group, some 4 mly from here.

While poking around in Sculptor, certainly stopped and gawked at 253, the Sculptor Galaxy Itself, one of the most spectacular things we get to see in a telescope. And not far from there, following SkyAtlas for something I hadn’t seen before, I got onto ngc 134, a very pretty, interesting galaxy. What I saw was a “bright nucleus, stellar core, bright star just west of the nucleus, raggedy long pennant with tapered ends. Lots of lanes and mottling across the whole halo.” Worth the trip and a fun surprise. Never know what you’re gonna run into in this big zoo of galaxies.

Speaking of which, just off 134, I caught 131, a little slash, not in SkyAtlas but sure enough in Uranometria. Always fun to “discover” an object you didn’t know to look for.

Carter on Thursday night had been studying Abell 116, a busy cluster of galaxies in Cetus. I’d seen one of ‘em, ngc 530, years ago without suspecting it had neighbors. No idea how I missed 547 and 545 in the same half degree field, a very close pair and brighter than 530. Carter had made one of his cool zooming-in findercharts that features a labelled DSS image of the cluster. In a first visit on Saturday night I could count 8 galaxies in that close half-degree field. This is gonna be fun.

For the 17th time, CalStar was a blast. The food, the people, the place were all unassailable. Very glad we have Whiisssper Canyon for the starparty. Larry and Jennifer are gracious and funny. My only issue was that 2 of 3 people who brought guitars left them in their cars. We need better live music discipline next year.

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