Post by Mark McLaughlin on Jul 15, 2018 22:00:29 GMT -8
Planning is all done and we are waiting for the final door prizes to arrive.We are going to have some new events this year. For those FVAS members that don't get out that much this is your chance to view the sky at its best. I plan on hauling up the club 20", so now is your opportunity to look through our scope with its awesome mirror. Bring your bucket list! September 8th-16th Loon Lake Observing Site. You get two weekends to choose from. more info at merrittastronomical.com Mark McL
Post by Mark McLaughlin on Aug 2, 2018 13:36:53 GMT -8
Try for the life of me I cannot get the club 20" to stay collimated. The primary moves too much in it's sling. I tried a number of wedges here and there to no avail. You basically have to collimate and use it without too much vertical movement. Anything over a couple of feet up or down shifts the mirror, and the image goes blurry. So this means it is not coming up to Merritt. Sad, because such a fine instrument really does show the sky more or less like people expect these days. I won't give up yet, i still have about a month to go.
If any of the Original Builders would like to contact me, i would be thankful for any information you may have. Mark McL.
Post by Mark McLaughlin on Aug 26, 2018 14:27:48 GMT -8
We are a GO for the Merritt Star Quest 2018. Weather is not an issue. as many times it has been clear up at the observing site when it is socked in downtown Merritt, or Kelowna. Nights do get cold, so have winter gear handy. We have some great door prizes for those that attend as well as the Paul Greenhalgh Memorial certificate from our friends at Markarian Fine Optics. Check out our face book page...merritt astronomical society... for more details.
Post by Mark McLaughlin on Sept 22, 2018 11:00:34 GMT -8
Well that was fun, despite the bad weather. I am glad we planned on some pie eating as well as wine and cheese tasting nights. Thanks to Suzanna for the setup and some memorable tunes. Harvey D. stole the show with his rendition of Northwest passage by Stan Rogers. We did get some nice breaks at night good enough for me to bag 7331 and friends. Best reading on the SQMeter was 21.71 at 1 AM, not sure what night. Comet 21P was very nice with a little tail. We did have one really bright meteor that lit up the ground! It left a nice train for many seconds about a hand width long. Did not hear the Owl family this time, but the Coyote Clan made up for it with an hour of noise. Mark Mc
Post by Mark McLaughlin on Sept 25, 2018 10:17:32 GMT -8
I must tell here that i got to look thorough an image intensifying eyepiece. Certainly gives another way of looking at objects. We tried it on a number of objects including M31, M13 and M57, the Ring Neb. and the Veil Neb. M13 and Andromeda looked nearly identical , just fuzzy balls of fire. I could not make out a dust lane, but could spot the 2 companion galaxies. The Ring was by far the best with a definite oval, not so much a circle, with one end being extra pointy. Center star was no problem, even with a mediocre sky that night. Did i say the Ring was the best? no, not by a long shot!. The Veil Neb was absolutely astounding in size and detail. Even the elusive center was visible, much like a rose unfolding. I did spend some time looking at this very detailed object, noting some things just are not visible with either a UHC or O3 filter. Would i buy one? Not as long as Kim lets me look thru his! While it does give a totally different way of looking, for me it can only add an extra "simulated" layer to my viewing. I still love the view thru an eyepiece. Maybe next time we can try it with the club refactor, that i would like be interesting...... MMc
Post by Mark McLaughlin on Oct 6, 2018 12:54:52 GMT -8
Thanks to all our door prize contributors for making this year a success. There where some happy faces when the numbers where called out. Our own GregS. won the Markarian Fine Optics prize while Kieth won Vernon Telescope grand prize! Some how i won the really nice binoculars from MFO, but (i love this quote) since I am a river to my people, i gave them to a nice Lady we met one night while observing. I love seeing faces light up! MMc