Sunday, October 18, 2009

Finally, Some Astronomy!

This weekend was the New Moon weekend. Somehow, some way, the Gods cleared the skies and presented Central Texas with excellent viewing conditions. A friend of mine booked a camp site for his pop-up trailer/caravan at the RV park next to the Canyon of the Eagles observatory site, along with another mate of his. We spent Friday and Saturday night up there, and had an excellent time.

I took both my LX200 for astrophotography, and my Lightbridge for visual work. I had a few targets that I wanted to revisit for AP work, and also wanted to start hunting down the Caldwell Catalogue objects. I found myself often going between both scopes while also just staring up at the nice dark sky. I bought a tarp cover to put on the ground, which worked out very well. The observing field is covered with burrs, and I was tired of getting pricked all night while moving around the scopes. The tarp on the floor did a great job of protecting me while I heard other astronomers curse as they suffered the onslaught.

The Orionid meteor shower was ramping up to its peak, which occurs in a few days time. Still, I think they were coming down at a rate of around 10-15 per hour, maybe more. Most were pretty ordinary, but several were quite bright and left short trails after them.

With respect to my hunt for Caldwell objects, I picked off a few objects, mostly around the Cassieopia region. I need to verify a few more and then will update my logbook. It is a great way to learn about objects outside of the Messier catalogue, and moreso a great way to learn your way around the sky.

Anyway, two nights out in the cold. I have lots of image data to go through and if any of it comes out nicely I'll post it to the blog.

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