Report submitted by Steve Siok
Have you noticed the 4”refractor in the anteroom? Yup. The telescope with the silver tube and wooden tripod. And a great equatorial mount. This scope was donated to Skyscrapers several years ago and has spent most of its time in the anteroom. So for “Observe The Moon” Saturday, September 22 I decided to take it out and use it. And what a treat it was. We set the scope up in front of the Anteroom and the Dome so we had a good view of the south and west. I used a 25 mm eyepiece in the scope so it gave about a 60 power view of the moon. The night was special because the lunar x was visible most of the night. The clouds bothered us most of the night but they were transparent enough so we always saw the moon. Lots of people stopped by and everyone enjoyed the view. So the message is, even if you see this scope in the anteroom, do not think it is just a static artifact, this scope needs to be used. Be careful however, it is very heavy and can not be moved with the scope on the mount. And even worse, if you remove the two nuts from the screws that hold the tube to the mount, the scope will fall off!! So this is a two person instrument, Do not try to move it alone. But the views at low power will reward anyone’s attempt to use the telescope.
Report submitted by Dave Huestis
The clouds and showers from Friday night into early Saturday morning cleared out very quickly. Still, Saturday night’s forecast called for 25% cloud cover at 6pm, and 75% cloud cover by 7pm.
Since we would be observing the first quarter Moon, we decided ahead of time to meet up at Seagrave just in cast the approaching cold front took a little longer to completely block our view of the Moon.
Some of us arrived at 6:30pm. The sky was crystal clear, and the Moon looked great even with the sun still above the western horizon. Jim Crawford and Bob Forgiel were already there setting up. Alex Bergemann and I opened up the Clark dome. Alex put out the sign at the end of our driveway.
Folks soon began to arrive. More volunteers arrived, including Bob Horton, Jim Hendrickson, Jim Brenek, John Leonelli, Charlie Moszczenski from New Bedford, and Steve and Kathy Siok. Some of our guests first took in some lunar views from the telescopes set up in the courtyard, and then they migrated upstairs to view through the Clark. While they marveled at the beauty of this wonderful instrument, they were even more impressed with the clarity of the Moon though a 25mm eyepiece which provided
The lunar “X” was clearly visible, so we pointed it out to everyone and explained how this feature occurs. While they were observing I also provided a history of Frank E. Seagrave, the Clark telescope, and Skyscrapers.
Then all of a sudden some low clouds rapidly covered the sky. We thought we would have to call it quits early, but as suddenly as they appeared, they disappeared. We were able to observe for about another hour before the second wave of clouds was upon us and completely obliterated our view of the sky.
We had much publicity for our event, as it was mentioned in the ProJo and WJAR meteorologist RJ Heim mentioned it on the 6 o'clock weather report. We estimated that 25-30 guests participated in this event. We also had a good showing of members who brought their telescopes to share the Moon with our visitors. I do wish more of Skyscrapers’ membership would have taken advantage of this great viewing opportunity. I also want to acknowledge that Frank Dubeau and our newest junior member John Eunis did visit to enjoy the experience.
On my drive home I did encounter some fine mist as the clouds thickened. So once again we just barely squeaked by.