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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

OBSERVING FROM SUSSEX, NB AUGUST 23, 2016

Location:  Town & Country Campground, Sussex, NB

Date Time:  August 23, 2016 2100-2230 hrs

Weather:  Partly cloudy, no wind, lots of dew and 16C.

Equipment:  Meade 8" LX 200 telescope with 6mm, 12.5mm and 32mm eyepieces.  Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses.

Attendance:  Myself

Objective:  To view and image Mars and Saturn which were in the SW sky and to view and image Venus and Jupiter which  were reported to be in the Western sky, low just after dark.

Report:
As the Sun set, once again there were clouds on the Western horizon that blocked any possible viewing of the Jupiter/Mercury conjunction.

After dark, nearby streetlights and other bright lighting caused significant light pollution.  However, the impressive formation of Antares/Mars/Saturn stood out nicely in the SW, about halfway up in the sky.

Viewed Saturn through the big telescope with 32 mm, 12.5 mm and 6 mm eyepieces.  Image really started degrade as magnification increased mostly due to poor atmospheric conditions, I think.  At low magnification could see three Moons around the ringed planet with separation between rings and planet clearly visible.  Imaging Saturn was difficult possibly due to high level clouds.  Many images didn't turn out well.

Mars was viewed with same eyepieces.  No detail could be seen across face of the red planet in field of view, however in image, detail clearly seen across its face.  Mars is appearing smaller now than it did in the spring, when it was closer to us.  Its also much dimmer, now almost the same brightness as Saturn.

One shooting star and no satellites were seen.

Images:

Images with camera and lens set at 120 mm focal length.  Much light pollution. 

Saturn imaged through big telescope.

Mars with possible detail across its face imaged through big telescope.

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