Monday, April 03, 2006

Does that have UV protection?

Session name: 20060402.1700

Got out on late Sunday afternoon to get some time in at TotL for solar observing. The previous night Team TotL: Kin, Ben, Charlie, and myself had gone to Staten Island to observe the Pleiades event so I was still in the mood to observe. Clear Sky Clock forecasted with line of little blue squares! It actually was cloudy and hazy.

I brought the Tak refractor out. I had disassembled it b/c I put it up for sale for a short period of time and as a result forgot the diagonal. This was the first time I used a refractor sighting straight through an EP in line with the optical path of the scope. It worked out okay since Sun was low enough to observe bending over or kneeling on a towel. It was great for the younger ones because they stood right up to the EP, hands hanging lightly on the focuser, and a long scope radiating out of their head. They looked like professional astronomers! Or land-loving pirates.

Almost without exception, the scope in the park during a weekend day attracts many people. This day was no different. I imagine that many ask "Does that have UV protection?", but yesterday that seemed to be a very popular question. Even as the next person in line would step up after the previous person, someone in the back would ask about the filter. Fair enough it's safety. Following is a picture of the scope with the filter on the end. (This is taken from another day and another place.)
Some also took some peeks through the viewing window to see Sun & the passing clouds.

For those that may have missed the Sun it may still be available on here on

One of my favorite sights is watching Sun set into the silhouette of a foreground building, sometimes seeing Sun through the windows. This building's profile was interesting with its terraces and jagged edge. It was apparent that this was exciting for others as well.

After Sun set I packed up. I pointed the scope on luna but contortion was not part of the observing plan. I was talking with a familiar passerby when Charlie arrived. I stayed with him until ~9:30 or so while he waited for Jupiter to rise above the tree line. For a couple of hours we checked out 5 open clusters, 1 quadruple & nebula, and Moon in his Canon 15x binoculars. We debated some time over the identities of a Mickey Mouse arrangement of craters (Hommel, Vlaqc, & Pitiscus). We walked around the sky naked eye picking up what stars & constellations would yield themselves in a slighltly hazy New York City sky.