Post by deepskydarrell on Nov 16, 2014 22:19:53 GMT -8
That went really well.
Driving through the eastern Fraser Valley showed quite a bit of white haze in the hills near sunset. Adrian and I arrived at the site at 5:30 in the near dark. There was No Wind! This time we had to dress very warmly even before we set up -- it was Cold. Set up went well but I'm getting slower at it -- must streamline some of my packing procedures. Craig showed up a bit later.
Observing was good. We had a tendency to wait for things rising slowly in the east. In the Fall, always starting just after twilight ends, we're stuck with the same sky for months on end as the twilight advances with the sky from after midnight in July to just after 6:00 PM in November. We were all waiting for Orion. By 7:00 Sky Quality Meter readings were 21.15 and got slowly better to 21.32 then declined to 21.16 by quitting time at 11:30.
Temperatures started at -9°C. and finished at -11°C --- tied with my personal record. This was definitely a test for our winter clothing. My snow boots really helped and gloves were a necessity. Even though there were outflow north winds in the Fraser Valley we were almost calm (maybe 1 mph) with the occasional little breeze from a variety of directions -- just to show us how good we really had it.
The seeing was Fair to maybe Fair plus. The haze we saw while driving was there for most of our observing and that put a stop to any fine, faint galaxy cluster hunting that I had planned / hoped for. Craig's 4 inch refractor performed well and Adrian's C-5 was crisp. His go-to functions packed it in halfway through the night (due to cold) but his drives still worked and he enjoyed star hopping to lots of new showpieces including some fine 'sidekicks' nearby. It's always rewarding to see the fine companion clusters near M52, M38 and M35 plus companion nebulosity near M78.
On my scope we enjoyed a pretty good view of M73 and discerned some spiral structure. There was a bit of detail in the Crab and late in the evening we saw the dark dint of the Horsehead even though the Flame nearby was only fair.
All in all we had an enjoyable 5 hours of observing. The Shylock site will be very nice until the snow comes -- then it will be Chilliwack Lake for me.
Best regards to all and happy observing.