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  1. #1
    John Nichols's Avatar
    John Nichols Guest

    Default Black River Astronomy Society 2005 Ohio Turnpike Astronomy Association Convention Observing Report

    Part One:

    September 10, 2005 Observing Report

    Black River Astronomy Society 2005 Ohio Turnpike Astronomy Association
    Convention, Birmingham Methodist Church, Birmingham, Ohio.

    I arrived about 4:00, signed in, and bought door prize tickets. There were
    two categories, general door prizes, and a 80mm refractor on an EQ mount
    that had been donated by Hardin. I bought tickets for each group, put the
    food I brought for the potluck dinner on the general food table and then
    went back to my car to unload and set up.

    I have a Meade 90mm multi-coated refractor on a Celestron CG-4 mount with a
    R.A. motor drive that I bought at this convention in 2004. I set the scope
    up with a Telrad finder and a 25mm Celestron Ex-Cel eyepiece. Auxiliary
    equipment consisted of a folding table for my charts and books, Night Watch,
    Night Sky magazine’s September sky chart, Sky and Telescopes September sky
    chart, and charts for the local sky at 9:00 P.M. and 1:00 A.M. that I
    printed out from StarryNight before driving out. (I had ambitions of
    observing Mars once it was high enough.) I also brought my 9mm ortho, a
    40mm e.p. and a 15mm e.p. I also brought C.J. Cherrington’s book on
    observing the Moon.

    Nice potluck dinner at 5:30. After eating and talking, I went back to my
    scope and sighted on the Moon, which was about half full and clearly visible
    in the clear blue sky. The door prize drawing was held at 6:30, so I went
    in for that, and found a good aisle seat, and important consideration for my
    severely arthritic right knee. I had six tickets for the general drawing,
    which considering the turnout, I thought were decent odds. Quite a few
    people had winning tickets, and most of what I would have chosen was
    selected. I did get lucky, however, and had two of my ticket numbers
    called. I won two $25.00 gift certificates from Scope City. To use them, I
    have to spend a hundred buck each, but this way better than last year when I
    won a pair of blinking red lights.

    The drawing was over, and I went back out at 7:22 to observe the Moon. I
    had my copy of Night Watch open to its moon map on page 143, and identified
    the seas of Crisis, Serenity, Tranquility, and Nectar. I could see several
    craters, especially along the terminator line. Usually, with the help of a
    may I can usually identify a few. For whatever the reason, this wasn’t the
    case last night. I think this is partly because so few are named in Night
    Watch, and Cherrington’s map labeling can get rather busy, which for me,
    makes it difficult to tell one crater from another.

    I did pick crater in the upper northwest quadrant of Tranquility. I _think_
    this was Ross, but I am not sure. Just after 8 I inserted my Orion Moon
    filter, which tremendously improved the contrast. At 8:08 I was able to
    make a naked eye observation of Venus in the WSW. This is only the second
    time this year I’ve been able to sight Venus. My usual viewing location at
    home makes observing anything in WSW direction virtually impossible.

  2. #2
    John Nichols's Avatar
    John Nichols Guest

    Default Black River Astronomy Society 2005 Ohio Turnpike Astronomy Association Convention Observing Report

    Part Two:

    Anticipating Mars rise in a couple of hours, I went inside and bought a Mars
    filter from a B.R.A.S. member who was selling used ones for five bucks each.
    I wasn't sure what color to get, and he and another member advised me that
    for the my scope's size, an orange filter would be best.

    At 8:30 the twilight was dark enough that I could pick out Antares to the
    right of the Moon, I decided to try and sight on it with my Telrad. The
    combination of the Moon's brightness and the dew that I think was already
    building up on the finder's mirror made this too difficult, so I went back
    to the Moon.

    At 8:55 disaster struck, my drive became inoperable, just as it was getting
    dark enough to start picking out stars. One of the wires from the drive's
    battery pack broke. This is the third time this was happened to me. I
    switched to my binoculars (Bushnell 16x50s) for a bit, and then wandered
    around looking at other people's telescopes. One person with what appeared
    to be a 10 inch dob showed me the Ring Nebula and M31. I figured out that I
    can find the Ring Nebula at home, but it just shows as a blurry smudge,
    mostly due to the light pollution I have at home. We also looked at a pair
    of globular clusters in the constellation of Perseus.

    About 10:00 I packed everything up and drove home. I was a bit disappointed
    in my drive's failure, but felt I had a pretty good time. I'm planning to
    attend Hidden Hollow in Mansfield at the end of the month, am looking
    forward to it and will definitely have the wire from the power pack repaired
    by then. I've also decided to by the dew shield for my Telrad, also to be
    done before Hidden Hollow.

  3. #3
    Esmail Bonakdarian's Avatar
    Esmail Bonakdarian Guest

    Default Black River Astronomy Society 2005 Ohio Turnpike Astronomy AssociationConvention Observing Report

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your report, sorry to hear about your
    drive giving up at a bad time.

    I managed to get out observing the night before and
    had some decent seeing, but was busy the following


  4. #4
    John Nichols's Avatar
    John Nichols Guest

    Default Black River Astronomy Society 2005 Ohio Turnpike Astronomy Association Convention Observing Report

    Hi Esmail,

    I got it fixed on Sunday. I'm hoping this time the repair holds, else I may
    just replace the unit just to get better wires. I'm keeping my fingers
    crossed for Hidden Hollow at the end of the month.




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