Old 06-08-2016, 12:40 AM
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Location: Long Island, New York, USA
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Cool 29 July 2016 - Long Island, NY, USA

29 July 2016 - Long Island, NY, USA

After dinner I settled into my Lazy Boy Love seat with the cat settled right next to me. My wife was in her Lazy Boy rocker/recliner. We were settled in suburban marital bliss in front of the TV. Around 10 pm we both doze off.

1:30 am I wake up. As I get up she awakes and asks if I am going to bed. "Well, since I took a nap I think I will check outside."
She gives me THAT look. She insisted that my next hobby has to be lower cost and indoors.

"Oh, look, I see stars. I will be outside" She reminds me to be quiet and not to scare the neighbors.

Earlier in the day I had prepared a list of targets using Tonight's Sky, no dimmer than mag 6.5. I wanted to spend some time in Cassiopeia which would be above 40 degrees and had about 6 targets selected as well as others in that part of the sky. Cassiopeia was about 60 degrees above the horizon at 1:30 am. This is also not far from the Radius point of the Perseids meteor shower which is growing in activity so I thought I might catch a few flashes. I didn't.

7/30/16 - 1:45 am. Orion XT8 Intelliscope, ES 70 25 mm and Celestron 8-24 zoom. Laser pointer

The sky seemed especially bright tonight even though there was no moon. Probably due to the passing wisps of clouds.

Transparency 2/5 and seeing 3/5 There were wisps of clouds floating through but I thought I would be able to work through that.

I aligned the Intelliscope on Altair and then Vega. Success. Then I asked it to find Altair as an accuracy test. Looking good! :waytogo:

First target NGC 457, the Dragon Fly cluster also called the Owl Cluster - Mag 6.4 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_457

I could not recognize it in the 9X50 finder scope. However the Intelliscope put it in the center of the zoom at 24 mm/50X. I tried the ES 70 25 mm eyepiece. Also a good view and more context around it. Best view seemed to be in the zoom at about 18 mm, about 66X. I could see the major star groups that made up the cluster.

That is a cool looking formation. I pulled out my laser pointer to confirm where it was in the mostly blank sky. Then I tried to spot it with the 10X50s. Probably too dim and too small. And there was a thin cloud layer rolling through. Perhaps on a clearer night or darker site I could find it in the 15X70s.

I pulled the pad out and did a rough sketch. I was on it for about 10 minutes and then it started to fade. I looked up and there was a huge sea of clouds coming into view. The advanced edge had covered my target and soon the whole sky.

Oh well! At least I got to see a Dragon Fly at 2 am. By 2:15 am I was back in the house. If the sky had stayed clear I would have likely been out there for 2 hours.

Now that I have finished my report it is off to sleep, with visions of Dragonflies dancing in my head.

Clear Skies all!
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:51 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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