Sunday, March 12, 2006

20060311 - Day trip to the Promenade

Session Name: 20060311.1530

Earlier in the morning, Charlie & Kin had observed Comet Pojmanski and other objects from Carl Schurz Park (CSP). I had missed the email and thus missed them. From an eMail by Kin and Charlie's report, it sounded like a successful event.

I like the John Finley Walk, having called this the promenade in the past. I typically enter the park from the 86th St. entrance and set up anywhere along where the map reads Finley. From here there are great views to the NE, looking through the Triborough Bridge down to the SSW where Queensborough Bridge stands in the distance. Most of the <- eastern -> horizon is below us though the sky is schmucky up to about 4° ~ 6°. Some fantastic looking sunrises. The atmosphere attenuates the disk enough for naked eye and the turbulent air about the bridge distorts the solar disk's shape.

During morning events we start off on our own, on rare ocassion a passerby or maybe a police car will happen by. As twilight rises and the hours pass, pedestarian traffic picks up. I imagine most are residents of this community and they're truly friendly and inquisitive persons. Daytime events, like this outing draws many of the same type. Today's warm weather brought out the numbers out to jog, read on the benches, run the dogs toss & kick balls, and observe & sketch Moon.

I persevere with lunar sketching and identifying the major features. I still need to reference an atlas for most features other than the most obvious ones like maria, ray craters, one lacus, and one sinus.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

20060305 - A quick outing

Session name: 20060305.0900

If I were to compare last year's observing schedule with this year's, I would note a marked difference. Last year, and priors, I went out at every chance, even if the weather was partial. This year I am bailing. My worst fear of the scopes doing more closet time than set up time appears to be true for these past couple of months.

Today I made it up to the park to put in some time with Sun, Moon, and Venus. I really didn't expect much, nor did I anticipate any challenges. Venus was very easy to pick up naked eye, and in the bins the phase is quite obvious.

It just took a bit longer for Moon to rise above the skyline. The one surprise for me was to see so plainly Cyrillus & Theophilus, Catharina was slightly harder. Contrast was low but enough to pick up the maria along northeastern and eastern limb, some roughness in the exposed southern quadrant.

Met Brid & Pat, an older couple from Dublin, here visiting their daughter. They took up the challenge to spot Venus which they did successfully. Brid looked through the bins before she was finally able to locate Venus naked eye.


p.s. today at 6 pm will be 5 days - 120 hours - since my last cigarette. Now that's a long time and I have counted most of those hours pass. Can't wait until this no longer occupies my every thought. Vicious addiction!

20060226 - Last Sunday's try for C/2006 A1

Session name: 20060226.0530

Last week I got up early to observe with Charlie at Carl Schurz Park. Our object was C/2006 A1, Comet Pojmanski. I was to meet Charlie at 0500 ut arrived about 30 minutes late. Didn't see the comet and really didn't expect to since twilight was evident. Some of the brighter stars were still obvious like Arcturus, Vega, and Antares. Venus was brilliant! Jupiter was bright with a nu Lib as close as Ganymede was to the planet. I saw 3 moons all to the east of Jupiter; Charlie picked up the 4th one, Europa, to the west.

I didn't realize it at the time, but Charlie mentioned that this is the oldest Moon we have seen. We had made some preactice runs last year when chasing the opposing crescents, but apparently this was the oldest. I can't rememebr without checking out the log book. (This is where a digitized log, a database, would work out well.)

Charlie caught the slender crescent in his bins. I think he relied on the drift method. After he noted its location above a low deck of clouds, it was apparent naked eye for a good period of time. Later I would lose it naked eye. Threw the solar filter on one of the bin's objectives to observe Sol. Nada. Just a big 1/2 degree, resolved star ;^D.

Ever since that day, I wake up to some nice looking morning skies. If I lived a little closer to Carl Schurz Park, it could be easy to do morning sessions. It seems that I haven't been to anxious to do evening sessions this season.