Date Time: July 11, 2018 2200-0035hrs
Weather: Hazy conditions gave way to mostly clear skies, lots of dew, mosquitoes and moths. No wind, a very warm 20 C at 2200 hrs. A very cool 18 C where I could see my breath at 0030 hrs. Hurricane Chris was passing just off the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia, which was causing some strange weather conditions of late. Full force of hurricane was not felt here.
Attendance: Mary, Grace, Bradley and David McCashion (Myself).
Equipment: 8" Meade LX 200 telescope with 13.8 mm and 32 mm eyepieces. Cellphone camera with telescope adapter.
Objective: To view planets in the southern sky.
- Saturn was low in the south eastern sky at 2230hrs. Rings were steeply inclined, showing nice separation between the planet and rings. Airplane passed in front of the ringed planet as I was observing it. Two moons were clearly visible with one much closer than the other. We talked about how Saturn's' moons do not line up like Jupiter's' moons.
- Jupiter was much higher in the sky, in the south west. Three of its moons were oddly bunched up on the right side, in the eyepiece. Belts were faintly visible, with hazy conditions causing mostly distorted views. Imaged and videoed with cellphone camera attached to telescope and 32 mm eyepiece.
- Mars didn't rise over the trees in the south-east till after 0020 hrs. Dew on the equipment was an issue at this time, and I could see my breath, even though the thermometer was saying 18 C. Mars was very bright and yellowish in color, which may be caused by a global dust storm that has recently enveloped the Red Planet. Mary and I agreed we could see a brighter region on the NE limb, in the eyepiece. Some slight discoloration across the disk hinted at features, but was very faint. Imaged and videoed with cellphone camera attached to telescope and 32 mm eyepiece.
- No shooting stars or satellites were seen.