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Sunday, August 7, 2016

MACTAQUAC 2016

Location:  Mactaquac Provincial Park, New Brunswick

Date Time: Aug 6, 2016  2200-0200hrs

Weather:  No wind, 20C, lots of dew, cloud covered sky from 2330-0100hrs.  Lots of cloud activity.  Could see 6 stars  in Pegasus which is very good seeing conditions, when it did clear off.

Attendance:  Ed O'Reilly, Stephen Tomkins, Ted Dunphy, one other, Myself

Equipment:  80 ED/APO telescope on Vixen Alt Az mount with 15mm eyepiece, Canon Rebel Xsi DSLR camera with attachment for telescope and 18-55mm lens with tripod.  Eds 8" Dobsonian with 25mm eyepiece.  Teds 16" Dobsonian with 9mm eyepiece.

Report:  ISS flew over across the northern sky shortly after observing began.  Took a quick image through telescope, but with manual tracking the normally straight line came out looking like a lightning bolt.

Imaged the Coat Hanger cluster near Sagitta.  Was surprised to see different colors in the stars in the image.  Through the eyepiece the night before all of its stars appeared to be the same color.  The cluster spanned across almost the whole field of view when using the telescope as a lens.  Hence, the image didn't need to be cropped.

While imaging the Northern half of the sky, noticed many Perseid meteors streaking across the sky.  They were medium speed, either bluish yellow or just yellow, some very bright and short others dim and long.  All but one left a smoke trail.  Altogether, seen 12 Perseid's and 2 sparadics over the observing period!  It has been widely reported in the media that there is going to be a major outburst of shooting stars when the Perseids peak on Aug 11-12.  Maybe twice as many shooting stars than normal.

After imaging, used 15mm eyepiece in telescope to view the Andromeda Galaxy, The Perseus Double Cluster and Mizar and Alcor.  Seeing conditions were so good when it was clear, all three were easy naked eye objects.

Around 0130hrs Ted located M10 and M12 in Ophiuchus with his 16" telescope.  Ophiuchus was in the south western sky at this time.  The two globular clusters looked similar, both being of almost equal size and brightness.  Many star could be seen across the face of one of them with lesser across the face of the other.  The seeing conditions were so good that the clusters could be seen through the finder scope.  Thanks to Ted for sharing!

As Ted was searching through Ophiuchus, Ed found M92 in Hercules with his 8" telescope.  Again M92 closely resembles the other globular clusters with many stars across its face.

Many satellites were seen, with most of them moving either north south or from the south north.  One Iridium flare was seen by several of us.



Images:
ISS through the telescope with a very unsteady hand.


High overhead to the SE at around 2330hrs.

Coat Hanger through the 80 ED/APO telescope


Note how large the Andromeda Galaxy is.

Andromeda Galaxy through small telescope.

Perseus Double Cluster through small telescope.


Mizar and Alcor through small telescope.

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