AHSP 2012 – Saturday

Saturday afternoon, I went hunting for a new coat, because I forgot to pack my green LL. Bean parka. My father in law got me that coat before we moved to Pittsburgh, which means it is roughly 18 years old. While it has seen better days, it still works really well… when you remember to bring it. Friday night the temps got quite cold, probably into the upper 40s, so I got pretty chilly and didn’t sleep well.

So after lunch Saturday, I drove to Moorefield to a hunting supply shop I had stopped at on my way to AHSP, because I had seen they had Carhartt gear. I picked up an awesome Carhartt jacket and a pair of fingerless gloves with removable mitten covers. These are really useful if you need to handle eyepieces or little things, but then you flip the mittens up again and your fingers stay toasty.

The new gear worked fantastically Saturday night, which was slightly warmer than Friday. Unfortunately, we fought mostly cloudy skies for much of the evening, hunting down sucker holes that often lasted less than 5 minutes. Fairly early on in the evening, a crowd gathered around my scope, in part because of my location, but in part because I was finding stuff. I was able to share views of M17, M22, M31/32/110 (which looked pretty good, being near the zenith), M101 (not the best I’ve ever seen it), the ET Cluster (NGC457), the Coat hanger Cluster (Collinder 399), the Double Cluster, M52, M15, M57, M27 (which looked fabulous), and NGC6960 (the Witch’s Broom portion of the Veil Nebula). In between the puffy cumulus clouds, the transparency wasn’t great, and the seeing was terrible within 30 degrees of the horizon. But given the conditions, it was nice to be able to share some views, and I think everyone had a decent time despite the weather. By about 1:30 am, it seemed like it was going to be mostly cloudy for the rest of the night, so I went to sleep.

I setup my T2i to do time lapse, and while the result is not great, it does give you a pretty accurate idea of what the night was like. I haven’t finished completely processing them, but I will upload two sequences I was able to obtain.

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