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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

OBSERVING REPORT FOR JULY 3, 2016

Location:  Saints Rest Beach, West Saint John, NB

Date Time:  July 3, 2016 2330-0100hrs

Weather: Warm, a couple small clouds that passed, excellent seeing conditions, 15C.  

Attendance:  Carla M, Jen W., Wanda K, Mary W, Grace W, Ed O, Mike P, Chris C, and Myself.

Equipment:  Chriss' 11" CPC with o3 filter, Mikes NextStar 6"

Objective:  To view the sky with everyone.

Highlights:
New Moon was the next day.

Seeing conditions were exceptional with the Milky Way standing out very well.

Tide was almost at its highest when we arrived.  Waves were crashing hard on the beach, less than 15 yards away which possibly caused problems with the telescopes tracking as it was shaking the ground.  The mudflats on the north side of the causeway were flooded by the higher tides.  Tides are higher than normal due to the fact that we were close to New Moon.

A special thanks to Chris and Mike for all their efforts in setting up their scopes and sharing their considerable knowledge in astronomy with us!

Targets through Chris's scope:
  • Saturn-No Cassini Division was seen.  Counted nine Moons, some might have been background stars.
  • M13-Very Bright, huge in eyepiece.
  • M80- Faint and small in eyepiece with individual stars difficult to resolve.  A first timer for me.

Image from messier-objects.com
  • M27-Bright nebula with a bright, squarish patch surrounded by fainter, reddish nebulosity.
  • M24- A 'star cloud' just above the teapot lid star of Sagittarius. 
  • The Veil Nebula(East)/NGC6992-In eyepiece, long line of nebulosity, kind of faintish white that was much longer than field of view.  Used hand controller to scan entire nebula.  While scanning down, the nebula 'dog-legged' left into a ball like cloud.  Amazing!
Image from skyhound.com

  • M51-Fainter galaxies with spiral arms that were just barely visible.
  • M8-Huge nebula with a braight lane running down the left side.  Lots of fainter nebulosity surrounding it.
  • M4-Faintish Gobular Cluster two degrees west of Antares.  Uneven distribution of stars across it's face.
Image from messier-objects.com

  • M22
  • M20/Trifid Nebula-Odd shaped Nebula brighter towards the center.
M20 on left, M8 on the right.  From messier-objects.com

  • Swan Nebula/Omega Nebula/M17-Viewed this through both Chris and Mike's scope.  Brighter region surrounded by fainter nebulosity...kind of squarish in the eyepiece.
From messier-objects.com

  • Eagle Nebula
Targets through Mikes' scope:
  • M13
  • Jupiter
  • M17
  • M57
  • M11
Several satellites were seen, as well as a number of shooting stars.

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