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Observing Reports / Re: What the heck was that?
« Last post by DDK on Today at 12:58:21 AM »
If only they'd moved, Mark. The staying-put part is the real head scratcher.
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Observing Reports / What the heck was that?
« Last post by mccarthymark on Yesterday at 09:02:40 AM »
At the risk of bringing ridicule and shame upon my head, I want to relate an observation I made last night while at Fremont Peak, because I can't figure out what it was.

I was using my 20-inch, around 2:30am, with Cygnus at zenith.  I was poking around the Cygnus Cloud observing a variety of objects, when I come to STF 2609.  Instead of the fairly close pairing I expected, I see two streaks of light, each maybe 10" long, each with bright small disks on the ends.  They looked like staples.  They were parallel to each other and N-S, one was a little dimmer and shorter than the other, and each had a dimming along the major axis between the points at the end.

I thought it was some kind of optical defect, but the streaks remained at all powers I tried (205x, 333x, 533x, 667x).  Other stars were points of light, even those of similar magnitudes.  I took a few minutes break and came back to it: the same.  Seeing was very good; just a few minutes before I made a clean split at 333x of B1289, which has a 0.7" separation.  Transparency was average; SQML was 21.2

STF 2609 is 6.69/7.64, 1.9", PA 21°.  I would say the streaks were of similar brightness, separation, and in the correct PA.  But why in the world would they be stretched out so?
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TAC Visual / Re: Advice needed for Pinnacles East
« Last post by jeffweiss9 on June 22, 2017, 01:09:39 PM »
Sounds good.  I've got my power arranged now but, unfortunately National Weather Service is now saying 17mph winds (23mph gusts) through 10pm both Friday and Saturday nights.   That hopefully will get better for me (I can image up to 10mph). It is predicted to be <~10mph after 11pm so still possible.
Cheers,
Jeff
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** Celestron CGE mount with GPS and Tripod
** Hard pelican case for mount and accessories
** See pictures. Excellent shape!
Price:   $1,300.00
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TAC Visual / Re: Advice needed for Pinnacles East
« Last post by swaroopshere on June 21, 2017, 03:56:05 PM »
I may also be heading to Pinnacles for imaging - either tomorrow or day after. might run into you.
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TAC Visual / Re: Advice needed for Pinnacles East
« Last post by jeffweiss9 on June 21, 2017, 01:15:45 PM »
Thanks, Jamie-
That location (grassy field at the SW end of the campground on the satellite) seems to be the lat/lon of the the Clear Sky Chart for East Pinnacles.  I could drive up to Bear Gulch but that spot in SW end of the campground looks pretty good.  Now to find enough juice to keep the camera going.
Clear skies,
Jeff
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Annual Star Parties / Re: GSSP 2017 Registration is open
« Last post by swaroopshere on June 21, 2017, 01:13:39 PM »
This might be a super late request but if there is anyone who bought a ticket to GSSP but is unable to go, I would be happy to take up your spot. Let me know!
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Hi, Is your spot still available for grabs? I would be happy to take it.
- Swaroop
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Observing Reports / 24 May Pinnacles, caught that supernova
« Last post by DDK on June 20, 2017, 09:49:37 PM »
Just want to log that I did get to see the supernova in ngc 6946, sn2017eaw.
Partly to thank Steve Gottlieb for the timely prompt. And partly to go about the wonder of seeing a supernova. This one was showing at about 13.0 magnitude, so not hard to see in a medium-sized scope.

This was from the Pinnacles with Johannes, my 13" Albert Highe-built grab and go scope. Was a nice night, limiting magnitude 6.2, seeing good 4/5. Now here's this thing showing as bright in the scope as several of the foreground stars, which would be in our arm of the Milky Way, a few hundred lightyears away. 6946 is 15 million lightyears away, at least 20,000 times more distant. Throw in the inverse-square law, and you get the idea that one of these things really puts out as much energy as its whole host galaxy.

6946 is a mondo face-on galaxy, always worth the trip, along with its neighbor, 6939, a bright spangly open cluster, some 4,000 lightyears away, just for comparison.

That night I got to see Omega Centauri well above the horizon. It was vast, imposing and overwhelming in the 9mm at 165x.
Also took a downtown Virgo tour. And Jupiter was fancy, with 2 brown barges in the NEB, and a sharp fat GRS with round distince edges.
Had the coyotes and the crickets for company. Good sound field.
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TAC Visual / Re: Advice needed for Pinnacles East
« Last post by DDK on June 20, 2017, 08:51:35 PM »
Hey Jeff. The one place I've observed at the east side of the Pinnacles is on the far southwestern end of the campground. Tends to be empty, and it sure is as dark there as on the other side of the park.
There are hills to the northern side of that area, but still plenty of sky overhead.

https://www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/maps.htm
shows the whole national park.
There's a parking lot at the trailhead at Bear Gulch, I dunno how the hills are around it.
You can poke around at the ends of the roads, see what the parking lots look like. What the rangers are saying now, "it's your park, you can set up where you please." Very cool.
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