Friday, August 7, 2015

#6 - Friday, August 7, 2015

It was relatively cloudy until about midnight, but then all the clouds cleared, and the moon didn’t rise until 1 AM, so we had pretty good darkness.  We went hunting for some deep-sky objects, but could only see dim smudges.  We looked at Bode’s Nebula (well, it's actually a galaxy), the Whirlpool Galaxy, globular cluster M3, and the Andromeda Galaxy.  We looked at the Whirlpool Galaxy and Andromeda with binoculars as well.  We also looked at Neptune, which did have a bluish color to it, but couldn’t quite find Pluto.   We forgot to put the dew shield on, so that ended our night early, plus I really need to clean the corrector plate, both from drying dew spots and my attempt at an isopropyl alcohol solution that I made my own distilled water for that I suspect wasn’t distilled enough. [For all of you who just cringed at the thought of me using semi-distilled water with isopropyl alcohol to clean a multi-coated optic, do not fret - the corrector plate suffered no permanent damage!]  

Next week is the Perseids meteor shower!!  And it will be a moonless night, so I’m going to set up the camera to try and take some long-exposure pictures of some deep-sky objects.  I’m going to order a remote shutter button for my camera when I order the cleaning fluid so I can take more than 30-second exposures on Bulb mode.

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