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Observing Reports / Re: Speaking of subtle...
« Last post by mccarthymark on July 27, 2017, 12:12:46 PM »
I guess I have gone off the "deep" end, haven't I...    ;)
Observing Reports / Re: Speaking of subtle...
« Last post by DDK on July 26, 2017, 11:00:16 PM »
McCarthy, have you gone thru the TAC Eye Candy List? Compilation of the RASC, Saguaro and Caron lists, plus some extra goodies thrown in. The whole selection is eyepiece-based.

Might just be time for an intervention, buddy.
Observing Reports / Speaking of subtle...
« Last post by mccarthymark on July 26, 2017, 08:41:33 PM »
There were a couple of other observations the other night at Pinnacles which intrigued me.  I was observing “without a list” and just seeing what I could find on the chart, so I saw these without knowing what they were beforehand:

GN 18.32.5 = PNG 27.0 +1.5, 18 35 11.6 -04 29 06.  Using 333x, the nebula sprouts to the SW of a relatively bright star, but is only seen with averted vision and OIII.  It is a diffuse, extremely faint small cloud which brightens near the star and fades to a round diffuse edge.  Searching the internet, I find one other observation from a German observer using a 27-inch; his sketch shows the object much brighter than what I saw*.  Simbad calls it a reflection nebula but it is plotted as a PN. 

Sherwood 1, PN, = Sd 1 = K 3-77.  Plotted in Interstellarum at the eastern edge of LDN 889, which is is part of the Gamma Cygni nebula complex.  I had to star hop from Gamma around this blank space in the sky to get to Sherwood 1, as it was labeled.  At 333x and only with OIII, a very small, excessively faint round shell with diffuse edges swam into view, held 50% with averted vision.  Very low surface brightness and no central star.  Very close star just to the ESE.  After getting home and searching for the object online, I found the discovery paper by William A. Sherwood who, as a graduate student in 1969, was blinking photographic plates at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh.  I precessed the 1950 discovery coordinates and searched the result in Aladin, which confirmed the observation for me as my sketch matched the star field.  Distance: 18000 ly.  17.2 mag, 7.0” size.  Today I received Kent Wallace’s excellent (or better yet, monumental) Visual Observations of Planetary Nebulae book, and I find his observation in a similarly sized telescope revealed a faint stellar object, though I was 100x higher in magnification.  I observed this during the “peak” seeing and transparency period during our time at Pinnacles, so I believe that helped.

J014709+463037 = Andromeda's Parachute.  This object was noted on Deep Sky Forum** earlier in the week, a gravitationally lensed quasar with an incredible red shift z=2.377.  I printed some AAVSO charts and gave it a try.  But, now it was 2am and the good seeing window had closed, and the sky began to haze.  I spent almost a half hour in the field searching.   Unfortunately my charts were confusing, and I could not very well match the star fields with the eyepiece view, though I was very certain my star hop was correct.  In any case, there are better charts available at DSF now, so I hope to try again at CalStar.

TAC Visual / Re: An observation about observation.
« Last post by DDK on July 26, 2017, 03:19:37 PM »
Yup, look at the OI's and esp the OR's here, I've been shamelessly proselytizing the Pinnacles thru this last calendar year. You can see why. Still do hit the Peak frequently, and sure Dino in the winter, but the Pinnacles are one more excellent option we have. At this point I've lost count of how many times I've been observing at Pinnacles over the years. The site doesn't have the Peak's laminar flow magic that makes for 5/5 seeing time after time, but as you can see it's highly dark there. Even darker on the east side, for when you're feeling greedy.
TAC Visual / Re: An observation about observation.
« Last post by John Pierce on July 26, 2017, 02:29:56 PM »
I was chalking the incredible views of the Veil up to the 30mm 82 deg. eyepiece (6mm exit pupil, 85X, ~1 deg. actual FOV) and NPB filter, neither of which I'd used before ... but yeah, the seeing and transparency in that part of the sky was stunning.
TAC Visual / An observation about observation.
« Last post by Mark on July 26, 2017, 02:22:11 PM »
Last Saturday at Pinnacles, I had a brief moment of the type of observing we all hope for.  They're really not all that frequent.  Seeing was incredibly steady, and transparency superb.  It wasn't just me, I head others in the dark mentioning "like Bumpass Hell" or "only seen it like this at Lassen".

My views of the Veil and Crescent Nebulae were tremendous.  So much so, the Veil was at times a confusing large area of nebulosity I couldn't place, as I hadn't seen such detail before.  The Crescent showed easily all those parts that I'd seen previously, but in crisp sinewy details making the views new.

My old friend Dean Linebarger used to say observing is a lot like skiing (he was an avid skier), its all about conditions, and you may get truly great conditions only a few days of the year.

Dean was right.  I think being regular and running into those moments, getting such views, is what really drives the hobby. At least for me.  I got quite lucky, for about an hour, at Pinnacles last weekend.  More of that, please!

Observing Reports / Re: The Pinnacle of Dark Skies
« Last post by Brad on July 26, 2017, 01:12:38 PM »
Nice report! Hope to visit the Pinnacles some lovely, dark evening. Camping will probably limit me to the east side however.
Observing Intents / 2017-08-21 Eclipse from McDaniel Ranch near Prairie City, Oregon
« Last post by Brad on July 26, 2017, 01:04:44 PM »
Hello Tacos!

After not being able to get a spot at OSP (and crying), the frantic consideration of other sites began. My first plan was to camp on BLM land in eastern Oregon. The amount of people that might have the same idea got me thinking about forest fires and beer binging, gun toting hill-billies. Next consideration was the big SolarFest event in Madras. But that seemed to get bigger, louder and brighter by the week. About a month ago I settled on the McDaniel ranch, as recommended by someone on Cloudy Nights. So, here's an OI in case other TACOs are still undecided and looking for an available spot. They are setting aside a dedicated area for astronomers, hopefully the skies will be relatively dark. The site has gorgeous panoramic views of the mountains and should be great for the eclipse with 2 minutes and 3 seconds of totality.

Google street view:,-118.7880597,3a,78.4y,205.56h,88.76t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s2ZUf8pBwvfzxNgCabeq02Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Here is some info in PDF (on page 2):

And on FaceBook:

$100 for Sunday night in a tent, $50 for other nights. Be sure to indicate that you are with telescope and want to be put in the dark area.

I plan to be there Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights with my 10" Dob. Looking forward to meeting new people, but it would be great to see a few familiar faces as well!

If I don't see you in Oregon, have a great eclipse and see you at CalStar!

Observing Reports / Re: First time Lake Sonoma 7/24/17
« Last post by sgottlieb on July 25, 2017, 07:52:33 PM »
Glad to hear you had a good time at Lake Sonoma.  I've observed there on 150 nights and feel the skies are surprisingly good (generally SQM 21.3-21.45) -- particularly to the west of the meridian -- for so close to the bay area.
Observing Reports / Re: The Pinnacle of Dark Skies
« Last post by Mark on July 25, 2017, 07:47:42 PM »
Smart choice going home.  It's really an easy drive.  I got some sleep in my car, setting the alarm for 6:30 to be gone before the rangers arrived.  I was something of a zombie on Sunday.
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