Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 13, 2009 Observing Report

After nearly a month, I was finally able to get a session in. We have had 2 weeks straight of cruddy nights. Actually, although clear, tonight was not great either. There seemed to be quite a bit of moisture in the air, even though it was cool for May. That did not stop me from trying using the scope.

I started the session around 10:45pm with Saturn. It was not at its best, but pretty nonetheless, with 2 moon showing nicely. Next was the Leo Triplet. This one was tough. My neighbor's backyard light was on and washed out quite a bit of the sky. In the UWAN 16mm giving me 37x, I was able to faintly see all three galaxies. It made me want to get out to a dark sight. There just are too many street and house lights around, even at 11pm.

After Leo, I then tried to hit M104 (Sumbrero Galaxy) to no avail. The sky was too bright for this attempt. Dejected, I then tried M5, by now it was 11:30pm and my eyes were getting better adjusted. The globular cluster was an easy find, and I was quite happy. The happiness did not last too long, though as the 80mm refractor provided a mushy view of the cluster. I am not sure if it was the aperture or seeing conditions.

I then tried to hit clusters M10 and M12, but at this point the clouds were fighting me and I called it a night. It did feel great to get outside.

Objects seen:
Leo Triplet (M65, M66, NGC3628)
Several doubles

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