Dave Huestis and Alex Bergemann– 8” Clark
Tom Thibault – 12” Meade
Jim Hendrickson – Helper
Open: 9:00 – Closed: 11:00
What started out as an overcast day and remained that way for most of it, cleared. The skies began to open up around 4:30 and had cleared completely by 9:00. Arcturus, Vega, and Altair were shining brightly and assisted in the alignment of the 12” Meade. As the skies darken, it became obvious we would have an excellent night of viewing prior to the moon rising after 11:00.
Dave and Alex were still able to capture Saturn though the eyepiece of the Clark which was enthusiastically noted by the one group of public visitors I received this evening. I spent the 1st hour of the evening at the 12” Meade speaking with Bob Napier. When Bob left, fellow members Tom Gilson and Bob Simon joined me for rest of the evening. We took in the views of M13, the Hercules Cluster followed by M92 the other beautiful globular in the constellation in Hercules. Our 3rd globular was M56 in Lyra which truly showed the variances in brightness and make-up of this class of star cluster. While M13 and M92 were bright and large, M56 appearance was dimmed and sparse in star count. We took in a number of Messier objects that included M51, M81, M82, and M101 a nice sampling of galaxies.
Our only visitors at the 12” Meade arrived at 10:30. They were a family of 5 returning from an evening in Providence and wanted to take in the views before heading home. They all noted the awesome sight of Saturn through the Clark as well as double star of Alberio. We provided them with views of M13 followed by M57, the Ring Nebula. Our final target for them was the Double Double in Lyra, the seeing was just good enough to begin splitting the pairs with the 12” with a 25mm lens. The family thanked us for the views which capped off a great night out for all of them. The glow of the moon was brightening to the southeast and we ended our evening at Seagrave at 11:00.
Submitted by Tom Thibault
Public Open Night Report for July 7, 2012
Submitted by David A. Huestis
After the July monthly meeting several members remained to observe with the society's telescopes, despite clear but hazy sky conditions. Alex Bergemann and I volunteered for the Clark refractor, while Tom Thibault settled in on the 12-inch Meade out back.
Our primary focus was Saturn. The image was fairly steady, and as always the Clark provided an excellent image of this beautiful ringed world. While eight or so members did come up for a quick view of Saturn, only four remained through most of the evening until closing time at 11pm.
Throughout the evening we had eight members of the public visit us. There was one young nine year-old girl, Jacklyn, who was initially very shy and even reluctant to look through the scope. However, after observing Saturn for the first time, she kept getting back in line to catch additional views.
Eventually we slewed over to Albireo, a beautiful double star system that we often refer to as the “Cub Scout” stars because the components are blue and gold. Albireo was a big hit. Our guests left the dome to visit Tom out back. We decided to go for M57, the Ring Nebula. Tom Gilson quickly acquired this ghostly smoke-ring in Lyra.
After we all got a good look, it was time to close for the night.
I hope more of our members will remain to observe after the next few meetings. That is one of the reasons president Ed Haskell decided to hold our monthly meetings on a Saturday evening and to forego a business meeting.
The facilities at Seagrave are the envy of many amateur astronomers who either don’t 1) own a telescope 2) belong to a club that doesn’t have a permanent observatory or observing site 3) or live in skies suffering from light pollution.
Even if the next Saturday night is not a meeting night, please consider stopping by Seagrave. Providing the skies are clear, the telescopes will show many splendid views of the heavens and reveal the majesty of the universe.