Observation report - 7/18/2006

It was a great night stargazing – even though the mosquitoes (my least favorite word, I think, ever) we particularly vicious. The lack of wind allows for good seeing, but those little buggers get so brave in its absence.

I initially aligned the scope on Vega and Arcturus. I had to do this a couple of times because the power plug from my battery kept falling out. With more tape and more care I was off to the races. My go-tos were a little low and off to the right all night in my 30mm eyepiece (my favorite one by far) but I was able to see just about everything I wanted to see. My planetarium software on the Palm M125 I have worked flawlessly through the RS232 connection on the scope. All in all a good performance from the equipment.

Globular clusters: M5, M12, M10, M14, M15, and M53

I have an affinity for the section of the sky that houses M10, M12, and M14. M9 and M107 are also in the neighborhood, but, to me, they seem like they are crashing the party the other three globulars are having.

Open clusters: M23 (a wonderful sight!), C37 (my first Caldwell object)

I realized that the open clusters are becoming more and more my favorite targets as I get a nice wide-field view through the 30mm eyepiece. The sky was not nearly as dark as I would have liked it to have been, so the next time I go out I’ll go to a darker spot. Even with the light pollution M23 was wonderful and C37 was more than interesting.

Planets: Jupiter (with 4 visible moons)

I did not stay on Jupiter long. The seeing was good so I could have bumped up the magnification a bit, but there were other things to see I guess.

I am looking forward to the next session and the next clear night!

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