« on: June 01, 2016, 12:10:34 PM »
Last night (Sunday night, May 29, 2016) from the FPOA area, Mark McCarthy, Dave Cooper and I observed a nice variety of celestial wonders from the three most popular outer planets to galaxies and globular clusters. The Wx forecast from Weather.com and Clear Sky Clock for the evening was ominous: 100% humidity and dew by 11pm and poor transparency from very high sky moisture. None of this occurred! Instead, we enjoyed warmer and dryer conditions with no dew and very good seeing, no wind and a fairly dark sky reminiscent of fine summertime conditions. I was observing with my 16" JP Astrocraft Dob with tracking. The seeing so good we were able to sharply watch a Io shadow transit on Jupiter, a tack sharp Saturn, and a feature rich Mars at 350X with brighter polar regions, fine darker surface markings and white atmospheric limb haze. I followed Io's transit across Jupiter's face with its shadow trailing behind. I was using my bino's for my planetary observing. I also was able to discern magnitude 14-15 galaxies in Hickson 61 (ComaBern) and 68 (CanesVen) as well as studying the complex Hercules Galaxy Cluster Abell 2151 featured with images by Steve Gottlieb's S&T July 2016 article. Steve's S&T article with labeled photos were very helpful in finding the many galaxies. I also was able to see the distant and obscure globular cluster Palomar 5 in Serpens. A satisfying evening!