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Observing Intents / Re: Lake Sonoma Monday July 24
« Last post by dnsmiley on July 24, 2017, 09:41:24 AM »
Hi,

Just wanted to confirm that I will be going to Lake Sonoma tonight, Monday July 24, should be arriving around 7:30 pm, a friend also with a C8 will join, there will also be a Televue TV76 APO for Milky Way wide field enjoyment. Everyone is welcome!
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Observing Reports / Re: Sharpless 2-71, an unusual planetary in Aquila
« Last post by DDK on July 23, 2017, 06:13:49 PM »
I was privileged to see and overhear that confirmation. "You saw it and I caught a hint, you can log it."
McCarthy you have become a maven of subtle pleasures.
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Observing Reports / Re: Pinnacles West with SCAC
« Last post by DDK on July 23, 2017, 05:46:23 PM »
a) Pierce, that one guy who had counted the 16 telescopes in the lot was me, and there was still daylight when I told you.

b) same Pierce - you got spoiled quick over the sky, buddy. Hardly fair to say the NW quadrant sucked. There was a 5 degree light dome that was maybe 15 degrees long. That's always there from the prison. The other 345 degrees had stars to the horizon. To the south the False Comet in Scorpius was well up and bright. South of Sagittarius there were stars well into Corona Australis.

c) Peter Natscher, tsk. Going on about a modest 16" telescope. You'll have to deal with me in person. Yes good news that people had fun on both sides of our new national park.

Limiting magnitude for Jardine and me was 6.0. Seeing was good 4/5 thru the night. The Milky Way got all the way to impressive by midnight. There were easily 2 dozen people in the lot, cool given that many of them had about a 2-hour one-way drive. Two of the TAC Marks were there, Wagner and McCarthy. Navarrete the Beastmaster is as pretty as ever. A bunch of the SCAC astroids were there having fun, appropriately. Heard Seiler and Gose doing all kinds of useful outreach.

We saw a pass of the ISS that crossed half the sky. And at one point there was a brightly flashing satellite, which turned out to have a paired partner. They traveled together from Ursa Minor thru Cassiopeia all the way into Andromeda. I had never seen such a thing, but it brought out stories of such phenomena as a satellite trio that Richard N had seen.

I just took 10x50 binocs this time, had fun scanning all over the sky. Mooching was also highly successful. Ended with a fun comparison of M33 in binocs and in Bob Kohlenberger's 20 (20?) inch scope.

After very clear dark skies, less than 40 miles to the north, we had marine layer all the way to the ground in Salinas. I am personally all for hilltops.
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Observing Reports / Re: Pinnacles West with SCAC
« Last post by John Pierce on July 23, 2017, 12:09:17 PM »
oh, one guy told me he counted at least 16 telescopes in the westside visitor center parking area around twilight.  he didn't count people.    several of the old TAC gang were there, as well as a goodly number of SCAC folks.
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Observing Reports / Re: Pinnacles West with SCAC
« Last post by Peter Natscher on July 23, 2017, 11:41:22 AM »
Four of us were set up at the Pinnacles NP East side in the Bear Gulch Day Use Area parking lot.  SJAA had a large group back near the park's entrance.  We were a good 5 miles west farther inside the park towards the mountain ridges and trail heads.  The drive there took slightly longer than a drive to Dino for me from Monterey - 1hr25min.  Dave C. from Palo Alto made the drive south on 101 and 25 in 1hr30mins!  Horizons are aren't as good as the West side with Sagittarius barely clearing the east mountain top.  It was my first visit to the East side since 1975.  Jeff Weiss, Al Howard, Dave Cooper and myself were set up in a parking lot surrounded with some trees and mountain ridges blocking 17°-20° of the sky up from the horizon.  I had to change my observing list after seeing that I wasn't going to observe Sagittarius very much as planned as it partially passed behind a few trees in its movement west.  Spent more time with planetaries higher up in Aquila and Cygnus.  We had very dark skies SQL 21.76 and decent seeing in 65° shirt sleeve weather all night. Upon arrival at 6pm the temp. was 95°F.  A NELM 6.5 sky does wonders for a modest 16" telescope.  The tea pot sat on the mountain top still allowing me to grab one stellar planetary in Sagittarius for a sketch - NGC 6567.  I would go to the East side again during cooler and less populated times, perhaps during the late fall through early spring. During summer time, there are lots of all-night hikers with bright head lamps walking by ;(  The park has a 24hr activity policy.
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Observing Reports / Re: Sharpless 2-71, an unusual planetary in Aquila
« Last post by mccarthymark on July 23, 2017, 11:18:05 AM »
"And what about the huge (roughly 25' in size), low surface brightness HII region Sh 2-72? Is this a visual object?"

Yes, it is. 

I observed it last night from the Pinnacles with my 20-inch, after first observing NGC 6749 (@ 205x a fairly large but very faint irregularly round glow, with slightly more concentration in the middle, just distinguished from rest of field) & Sh 2-71 (205x w/ OIII, pretty large 3:2 N-S, fairly bright, with ragged edges; presumed central star noticed with averted vision then held direct.)

Sh 2-72: Using HBeta filter at 101x 3.1 exit pupil, I could discern very faint mottling in the field and scanning about the adjacent areas, with a line of distinct crenellations along the eastern edge of the glow -- the edges of the nebula set off against the darker sky background.  Averted needed to brighten the view but it could be seen direct vision.  At 87x 4.4 ep, the mottling was maintained within the larger 1° field.  UHC had a similar but somewhat weaker effect.  Surprisingly not too difficult, considering transparency and seeing were about average.

Thanks to Mark Wagner for the confirming view
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Observing Reports / Pinnacles West with SCAC
« Last post by John Pierce on July 23, 2017, 04:59:17 AM »
awesome night tongiht at Pinnacles West.

I had the club's 20" Obsession, and my pelican case of nearly complete set of ES 82 wide eyepieces (I don't have the 11mm).   I was especially interested in evaluating a borrowed DGM NPB 'nebula' filter, and wow, that was some fun stuff...    the veil was WAY brighter and had WAY more detail with my ES 30mm and the NPB than I've ever seen with O-III filters.

I've *never* see the Triffid look so awesome.  Ditto Lagoon/M8.   I tried pulling big power on the Dumbell M27 again like I had at GSSP, but the seeing was pretty sketchy much above 290X, and even at 290X it wasn't as detailed as it was at this year's GSSP.

The north/western quadrant of the sky sucked a bit with light pollution from the salinas valley and/or BA, so I spent more time in the south and northeast.    Saw some cool new things I'd never looked for before... Fireworks Galaxy NGC 6946 (flat on spiral, faint but distinct).   Iris Nebula NGC 7023 (faint bright nebula around a fairly bright star).   Tried various powers on the Catseye planetary near Sadr, again, much over 290X was kind of mushy.  at 290X, the central star was fairly distinct.

I'm forgetting what else I wandered around. 
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Observing Intents / Re: 2017-07-22 - Santa Cruz Astronomy Club at Pinnacles West
« Last post by DDK on July 22, 2017, 01:47:23 AM »
No such light. There's a light in the bathroom that's motion-sensitive but goes out after a few minutes. Better to stay away from the bathroom anyway.
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As I recall the visitor's center has an outside light on all night, and it shines into the parking lot.  Suggest one of the club people ask the ranger if it can be turned off, or bring something to shield it.
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Observing Intents / Re: 2017-07-22 - Santa Cruz Astronomy Club at Pinnacles West
« Last post by Mark on July 21, 2017, 03:28:08 PM »
See you there.  Navarrete coming too.
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