Saturday, February 10, 2007

20070209 - Clouded out & Colded

Session name: 20070209.2050

Snippet of Cartes du Ciel screen. Blue was observed; gray was not)

Arrived at TotL with a positive forecast but poor transparency. It went downhill then an improvement sometime around midnight. My scope was already packed. I showed Saturn to the passersby by hat was all. It wasn't worth the effort to look for anything. Occasionally, Kin, Charlie, & myself would step up to Charlie's tripod mounted bins. The screen grab is a snippet from Cartes du Ciel and shows what we saw of Saturn and its moons in the eyepiece at 100x. (Blue - yes; gray - no) The size appears to be close to what we observed. Anything larger was pretty soft.

On 10 Feb, Saturn is in opposition; a syzygy of Sun, Earth, and Saturn. I prefer observing Saturn from another location in Earth's orbit. Saturn's disk casts a shadow on the rings which this enhances the 'sphericity' of the planet. Sometimes I feel like I can see the shadow extend into space. A pretty cool optical or mental trick.

By midnight we all agreed we were men enough having withstood the cold, stomped our feet to the pavement one last time. It would be a short time later when each of us would arrive to a place not so hellish.