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Friday, August 15, 2014

OBSERVING REPORT FOR AUGUST 12, 2014

Location:  Little Lepreau, New Brunswick, Canada

Date Time:  August 12, 2014 2030-2330hrs

Weather:  Some high wispy clouds, kind of hazy skies 18 degrees Celsius @ 2030hrs.  Dark at 2115 hrs.  It was 12 degrees Celsius at 2330 hrs and there was lots of dew.

Equipment:  Meade LX 200 8" telescope, 19mm and 6mm eyepieces, CT 3000 Planetary Imager, Canon 450D DSLR camera with 18-55mm lens.  

Attendance:  Maddison, McKenzie, Jessica and Myself.

Objective:  To view, image and show to others the ISS fly over which was scheduled for 2126hrs and 2300hrs according to heavens-above.com.  Also to view and image the Moon.

Report:  Set up early for the 2126hrs ISS fly-over.  At 2127 ISS was spotted low just over the house going through the Big Dipper.  It was going from the NW to NE and did not come high enough to image with camera attached to telescope.  Called Maddison and Kenzie out to view the fly-over and they both seen it and were amazed.  They both thought I was showing them aliens.

Aligned telescope on Arcturus, then turned scope towards Saturn, which was close to Mars in the SW using the Goto function.  It was close, but scope still need some manual adjustment to center in eyepiece.  

Started viewing Saturn with 19mm eyepiece.  Showed this to Maddison, Kenzie and Jessica.  All were amazed.  Kenzie said Saturn looked like a 'bright light with a beam'.  We could clearly see two of Saturn's moons.  Jessica asked if I could make it bigger, so the 6mm eyepiece was put in.  This greatly enlarged Saturn and much detail could be seen.  Separation could clearly be seen between the planet and its rings.

After this, scope was slewed to M51, near the Big Dipper, using the GoTo function on telescope.  Wanted an image of the ISS fly-over which was scheduled for 2300hrs, so the scope needed to be in the NW general direction.  This is where the space station was first going to appear.

Sure enough, a very bright moving star came into view some time after 2300hrs, moving just above the Big Dipper going East.  It was just within view of camera which was attached to telescope to take advantage of its tracking capabilities.  Two 45 second elapse time images were taken at ISO 1600.

After this, the Moon was just starting up in the East...it could be seen, reddish through some trees.  The effect on the rest of the sky was not good.  It was definitely dimming everything else with its brightness.

At this point, there were other things, not astronomy related that called me away.  When returned, the Moon was up over the trees in the East and was so bright, that it washed out most of the deep sky objects that are in Sagittarius and just coming into view from behind some trees.  Was going to do a search for these M objects but decided against it with the bright Moon as it was.

Decided to image the Moon with Planetary Imager attached to telescope eyepiece at prime focus.  Many nice images were taken, but there was clearly a disturbed atmosphere when viewing.  The imaged swayed sometimes like when you are underwater.

Many satellites were seen and no shooting stars.  The Perseid Meteor Shower was suppose to peak on this night, but never seen one.














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