Date   

Sun this morning

jimcoble2000
 

The sun continues to be very active as of this morning. The large sunspot is easier to see naked eye today and is obvious when viewed through my #14 welders glass.

In Ha there is a very very large active area stretching far beyond the immediate area of the sunspot. This is the largest hot region I have seen in a long time. Several proms are in evidence around the limb of the sun with a large semi loop close to limb where the sunspot is located. Numerous filaments are also in evidence a quarter of the way around from the sunspot. Surface detail is very good this morning with good seeing and transparency.

This week has made up for the past two years of very little activity. Things seem to be progressing nicely for the new cycle.


Re: My 2021 S&T articles

Roy Diffrient
 

Congrats Ted and thanks for the heads-up.  Looking forward to the improvements.  Now, about ATM ...

Roy


On Nov 29, 2020, at 12:31 PM, Ted Forte <tedforte511@...> wrote:



Please forgive me a bit of shameless self-promotion.

 

I just received my advance copies of the January 2021 Sky &Telescope which includes my article: “Winter’s Galaxy Groups “ (Head off the beaten path to expand your January observing list). 

 

That will be closely followed by my contribution to the March 2021 issue titled: “Springtime blossoms – a tour of Planetary Nebulae.”

 

I’ll have one more piece in 2021 – the September “Going Deep” column will be mine.

 

I don’t know about you, but I sense a real effort toward revitalization of S&T now that it has become a publication of the American Astronomical Society.   For better or worse, there is a new respect for changes in the hobby too.  There will be a new column that alternates every other month between something called “Suburban Stargazer”  by Ken Hewitt-White that will focus on what you can do from the light polluted suburbs and “First Exposure” (multiple authors) which is advice for the nascent astro-photographer.  Also new in the new year is “Pro-Am Conjunction”  by Diana Hannikainen that will report on professional/amateur collaborations.  

 

And in case you didn’t know, astronomy club  members can subscribe to S&T for $32.95 (40% off of the regular $54.95 rate).

 

Ted

BBAA west

 

 


Free to Good Home

charles jagow
 

 

Equatorial Tripods     $FREE

 

I have two used Equatorial Tripods, both are missing the knobs for DEC/ALT adjustment.

 

I think they work.  GIVEN away AS IS.  First Come First Served.

 

I will NOT ship these to ANYONE.  LOCAL pickup is required.

A close up of a tripod

Description automatically generated

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

,_


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 


Re: My 2021 S&T articles

Ian Stewart
 

Good on you Ted!

On 11/29/2020 12:31 PM, Ted Forte wrote:

Please forgive me a bit of shameless self-promotion.

 

I just received my advance copies of the January 2021 Sky &Telescope which includes my article: “Winter’s Galaxy Groups “ (Head off the beaten path to expand your January observing list). 

 

That will be closely followed by my contribution to the March 2021 issue titled: “Springtime blossoms – a tour of Planetary Nebulae.”

 

I’ll have one more piece in 2021 – the September “Going Deep” column will be mine.

 

I don’t know about you, but I sense a real effort toward revitalization of S&T now that it has become a publication of the American Astronomical Society.   For better or worse, there is a new respect for changes in the hobby too.  There will be a new column that alternates every other month between something called “Suburban Stargazer”  by Ken Hewitt-White that will focus on what you can do from the light polluted suburbs and “First Exposure” (multiple authors) which is advice for the nascent astro-photographer.  Also new in the new year is “Pro-Am Conjunction”  by Diana Hannikainen that will report on professional/amateur collaborations.  

 

And in case you didn’t know, astronomy club  members can subscribe to S&T for $32.95 (40% off of the regular $54.95 rate).

 

Ted

BBAA west


My 2021 S&T articles

Ted Forte
 

Please forgive me a bit of shameless self-promotion.

 

I just received my advance copies of the January 2021 Sky &Telescope which includes my article: “Winter’s Galaxy Groups “ (Head off the beaten path to expand your January observing list). 

 

That will be closely followed by my contribution to the March 2021 issue titled: “Springtime blossoms – a tour of Planetary Nebulae.”

 

I’ll have one more piece in 2021 – the September “Going Deep” column will be mine.

 

I don’t know about you, but I sense a real effort toward revitalization of S&T now that it has become a publication of the American Astronomical Society.   For better or worse, there is a new respect for changes in the hobby too.  There will be a new column that alternates every other month between something called “Suburban Stargazer”  by Ken Hewitt-White that will focus on what you can do from the light polluted suburbs and “First Exposure” (multiple authors) which is advice for the nascent astro-photographer.  Also new in the new year is “Pro-Am Conjunction”  by Diana Hannikainen that will report on professional/amateur collaborations.  

 

And in case you didn’t know, astronomy club  members can subscribe to S&T for $32.95 (40% off of the regular $54.95 rate).

 

Ted

BBAA west

 

 


Solar activity

Kent Blackwell
 

Sunday, November 29, 2020. There's a considerable amount of solar activity, both in H-alpha and especially in white light. I counted at least a dozen sunspots; one is especially large. A good 80mm fitted with a solar filter is all that is required. In fact, the image was crisper in my 80mm than my 5" refracto


Re: Dark Site Exploratory Committee

Roy Diffrient
 

Congrat’s to BBAA for exploring a club dark site.  I hope that somehow happens.  But it’s a long shot, a real challenge, and it certainly will not happen as soon as we would like.  So something is needed as a temporary solution at least.

So far as I know, KOA has not really been approached to define the extent they would be willing to work with us.  All I have seen is that we have just been dissuaded by the $50/night nonrefundable tent camping fee.  The KOA web site says they do work with groups.  Now that they have been in operation for a full season maybe they can provide better answers.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Roy


On Nov 26, 2020, at 10:39 AM, Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...> wrote:



Chuck,

Thank you very much for the comments/information!  All of your points are well taken and will certainly be part of any consideration on going forward to explore the idea.   The dollar amounts you mention that might be assessed to individuals interested in building a site are reasonable, i.e., it would probably cost somewhere in that range per person assuming that the effort rode solely on them.  That methodology of procuring funding is not, however, how I see it happening.  Heck, I don't have that kind of money myself to contribute and I doubt the great majority of the membership does either.  Further, though there could certainly be some amount of funding contributed by the club and/or individual members that are financially able to do so (with no strings attached except maybe the observatory dome being named after them! - Ha, ha!), the site would be for all BBAA members, not just those who contributed.  

I don't see it as a viable project without outside financial assistance that could take the form(s) of a grant, go-fund me site, corporate donation, etc.  I also think that we'd start out with a site like they have at my old club, Ponchartrain Astronomy Society in New Orleans, where they have improved access, paved parking lot, 10 person bunkroom, electric power, pavilion and a 3-meter Dome (see attached picture).  We would grow as funding allows and start with just a plot of land as far away from light pollution as feasible, 3 acres plus or minus, that had reasonable access/parking and a good sized open area for observing.  After that, improvements are made as funding allows in priority order determined by the club.   


Thanks again for your input.  Good stuff to consider.  Best of luck to you at your new site when you move.  I'm sure you'll be missed by all.

Best regards,

Scott


On November 26, 2020 at 7:05 AM charles jagow <chuck@...> wrote:

Richard,

 

The BBAA did look into securing a dark sight within a two hour drive of the Tidewater area down in SE North Carolina.  I was a member of that committee, however, in my recent PURGE of things no longer needed due to my impending retirement, I deleted all of my electronic and printed material on the effort.

 

Initially it looked like it was going to cost the interested members about $2K-$5K each to get things rolling and if memory serves we had almost twenty interested people, however, once we found out how much the minor improvements would be, crushed gravel and culverts for a roadway in/out of the property, surveying costs, a monthly port-a-potty rental, getting electrical to the site and a mish mash of other things quickly brought the price per interested party closer to $9K-$12K.  Then interested parties started dropping out due to the prospective increase in cost, this further increased the prospective costs.  The final blow was when we discovered that we could just go camping at the campground where we enjoyed the East Coast Star Party at was open and available for about $25 a day (Now the campground is operated by KOA and is considerably more to camp).  So we abandoned the project as the number of interested parties dwindled to two, I was one of them. 

 

Sorry I can’t be of much help, my interest in the project is zero, as I am moving to very dark skies in just a few months after my retirement.

 

However, if you want to take a look at a successful such adventure, go checkout the SDAA website at https://www.sdaa.org/tds.htm this is the club that inspired me.  I was member of this club as I travelled for work to/from San Diego area OFTEN for my work and kept a Meade ETX-125 in storage out there.  Their observing site is named Tierra Del Sol and is located East of San Diego into the Laguna Seca mountains about 110 miles SE of San Diego.

 

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 3:54 PM
To: <backbayastro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Hi everyone,

At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site.  I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility.  Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.   

There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below.  Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward.  Some of the positive reasons might be:

1.  The potential for darker skies, less light pollution 

2.  Ability to hold public or private member-only activities

3.  It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership

4.  The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc... 

Some of the negative reasons might be:

1.  Site would require effort from club members to maintain.

2.  Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?

3.  Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed

4.  Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain.  Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds.  Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none.  The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site. 

5.  Property taxes?  Could we get an exemption?

6.  We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons. 

Well, these are just a few thoughts.  If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below.  I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started.   If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!

Regards,

Scott Saunders

P.S.  If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way!  Thanks.

My email is rsaun58043@....  

 



 


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 


 

<Dome1.jpg>


Re: Dark Site Exploratory Committee

Richard Saunders
 

Chuck,

Thank you very much for the comments/information!  All of your points are well taken and will certainly be part of any consideration on going forward to explore the idea.   The dollar amounts you mention that might be assessed to individuals interested in building a site are reasonable, i.e., it would probably cost somewhere in that range per person assuming that the effort rode solely on them.  That methodology of procuring funding is not, however, how I see it happening.  Heck, I don't have that kind of money myself to contribute and I doubt the great majority of the membership does either.  Further, though there could certainly be some amount of funding contributed by the club and/or individual members that are financially able to do so (with no strings attached except maybe the observatory dome being named after them! - Ha, ha!), the site would be for all BBAA members, not just those who contributed.  

I don't see it as a viable project without outside financial assistance that could take the form(s) of a grant, go-fund me site, corporate donation, etc.  I also think that we'd start out with a site like they have at my old club, Ponchartrain Astronomy Society in New Orleans, where they have improved access, paved parking lot, 10 person bunkroom, electric power, pavilion and a 3-meter Dome (see attached picture).  We would grow as funding allows and start with just a plot of land as far away from light pollution as feasible, 3 acres plus or minus, that had reasonable access/parking and a good sized open area for observing.  After that, improvements are made as funding allows in priority order determined by the club.   


Thanks again for your input.  Good stuff to consider.  Best of luck to you at your new site when you move.  I'm sure you'll be missed by all.

Best regards,

Scott


On November 26, 2020 at 7:05 AM charles jagow <chuck@...> wrote:

Richard,

 

The BBAA did look into securing a dark sight within a two hour drive of the Tidewater area down in SE North Carolina.  I was a member of that committee, however, in my recent PURGE of things no longer needed due to my impending retirement, I deleted all of my electronic and printed material on the effort.

 

Initially it looked like it was going to cost the interested members about $2K-$5K each to get things rolling and if memory serves we had almost twenty interested people, however, once we found out how much the minor improvements would be, crushed gravel and culverts for a roadway in/out of the property, surveying costs, a monthly port-a-potty rental, getting electrical to the site and a mish mash of other things quickly brought the price per interested party closer to $9K-$12K.  Then interested parties started dropping out due to the prospective increase in cost, this further increased the prospective costs.  The final blow was when we discovered that we could just go camping at the campground where we enjoyed the East Coast Star Party at was open and available for about $25 a day (Now the campground is operated by KOA and is considerably more to camp).  So we abandoned the project as the number of interested parties dwindled to two, I was one of them. 

 

Sorry I can’t be of much help, my interest in the project is zero, as I am moving to very dark skies in just a few months after my retirement.

 

However, if you want to take a look at a successful such adventure, go checkout the SDAA website at https://www.sdaa.org/tds.htm this is the club that inspired me.  I was member of this club as I travelled for work to/from San Diego area OFTEN for my work and kept a Meade ETX-125 in storage out there.  Their observing site is named Tierra Del Sol and is located East of San Diego into the Laguna Seca mountains about 110 miles SE of San Diego.

 

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 3:54 PM
To: <backbayastro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Hi everyone,

At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site.  I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility.  Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.   

There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below.  Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward.  Some of the positive reasons might be:

1.  The potential for darker skies, less light pollution 

2.  Ability to hold public or private member-only activities

3.  It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership

4.  The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc... 

Some of the negative reasons might be:

1.  Site would require effort from club members to maintain.

2.  Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?

3.  Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed

4.  Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain.  Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds.  Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none.  The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site. 

5.  Property taxes?  Could we get an exemption?

6.  We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons. 

Well, these are just a few thoughts.  If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below.  I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started.   If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!

Regards,

Scott Saunders

P.S.  If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way!  Thanks.

My email is rsaun58043@....  

 



 


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 


 


Re: Dark Site Exploratory Committee

Richard Saunders
 

Thanks Chuck, that's one hurdle that would not have to be jumped if it is decided to continue to explore the idea.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Regards,

Scott

On November 26, 2020 at 9:41 AM charles jagow <chuck@...> wrote:

As Jim said, the BBAA is actually BBAA Inc.

Sent from Chuck's iPhone

On Nov 26, 2020, at 8:58 AM, Jim Tallman <jctallman@...> wrote:

Richard,

  I’ll pile on to the thread also. Sometime back Chuck and I were successful in getting the BBAA incorporated. So if the yearly fees have been paid we should still be BBAA Inc.

 

:)

 

 

Jim

 

From: BackBayAstro@groups.io <BackBayAstro@groups.io> On Behalf Of charles jagow
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2020 7:05 AM
To: BackBayAstro@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Richard,

 

The BBAA did look into securing a dark sight within a two hour drive of the Tidewater area down in SE North Carolina.  I was a member of that committee, however, in my recent PURGE of things no longer needed due to my impending retirement, I deleted all of my electronic and printed material on the effort.

 

Initially it looked like it was going to cost the interested members about $2K-$5K each to get things rolling and if memory serves we had almost twenty interested people, however, once we found out how much the minor improvements would be, crushed gravel and culverts for a roadway in/out of the property, surveying costs, a monthly port-a-potty rental, getting electrical to the site and a mish mash of other things quickly brought the price per interested party closer to $9K-$12K.  Then interested parties started dropping out due to the prospective increase in cost, this further increased the prospective costs.  The final blow was when we discovered that we could just go camping at the campground where we enjoyed the East Coast Star Party at was open and available for about $25 a day (Now the campground is operated by KOA and is considerably more to camp).  So we abandoned the project as the number of interested parties dwindled to two, I was one of them. 

 

Sorry I can’t be of much help, my interest in the project is zero, as I am moving to very dark skies in just a few months after my retirement.

 

However, if you want to take a look at a successful such adventure, go checkout the SDAA website at https://www.sdaa.org/tds.htm this is the club that inspired me.  I was member of this club as I travelled for work to/from San Diego area OFTEN for my work and kept a Meade ETX-125 in storage out there.  Their observing site is named Tierra Del Sol and is located East of San Diego into the Laguna Seca mountains about 110 miles SE of San Diego.

 

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 3:54 PM
To: <backbayastro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Hi everyone,

At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site.  I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility.  Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.   

There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below.  Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward.  Some of the positive reasons might be:

1.  The potential for darker skies, less light pollution 

2.  Ability to hold public or private member-only activities

3.  It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership

4.  The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc... 

Some of the negative reasons might be:

1.  Site would require effort from club members to maintain.

2.  Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?

3.  Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed

4.  Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain.  Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds.  Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none.  The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site. 

5.  Property taxes?  Could we get an exemption?

6.  We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons. 

Well, these are just a few thoughts.  If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below.  I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started.   If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!

Regards,

Scott Saunders

P.S.  If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way!  Thanks.

My email is rsaun58043@....  


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 

 



 


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 


 


Re: Dark Site Exploratory Committee

Richard Saunders
 

Jim,

Thank you for passing that bit of info along.  I will definitely get confirmation that the corporation is still in effect.  That would certainly remove one hurdle if it is decided to continue to go forward and explore the idea.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Regards,

Scott

On November 26, 2020 at 8:58 AM Jim Tallman <jctallman@...> wrote:

Richard,

  I’ll pile on to the thread also. Sometime back Chuck and I were successful in getting the BBAA incorporated. So if the yearly fees have been paid we should still be BBAA Inc.

 

:)

 

 

Jim

 

From: BackBayAstro@groups.io <BackBayAstro@groups.io> On Behalf Of charles jagow
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2020 7:05 AM
To: BackBayAstro@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Richard,

 

The BBAA did look into securing a dark sight within a two hour drive of the Tidewater area down in SE North Carolina.  I was a member of that committee, however, in my recent PURGE of things no longer needed due to my impending retirement, I deleted all of my electronic and printed material on the effort.

 

Initially it looked like it was going to cost the interested members about $2K-$5K each to get things rolling and if memory serves we had almost twenty interested people, however, once we found out how much the minor improvements would be, crushed gravel and culverts for a roadway in/out of the property, surveying costs, a monthly port-a-potty rental, getting electrical to the site and a mish mash of other things quickly brought the price per interested party closer to $9K-$12K.  Then interested parties started dropping out due to the prospective increase in cost, this further increased the prospective costs.  The final blow was when we discovered that we could just go camping at the campground where we enjoyed the East Coast Star Party at was open and available for about $25 a day (Now the campground is operated by KOA and is considerably more to camp).  So we abandoned the project as the number of interested parties dwindled to two, I was one of them. 

 

Sorry I can’t be of much help, my interest in the project is zero, as I am moving to very dark skies in just a few months after my retirement.

 

However, if you want to take a look at a successful such adventure, go checkout the SDAA website at https://www.sdaa.org/tds.htm this is the club that inspired me.  I was member of this club as I travelled for work to/from San Diego area OFTEN for my work and kept a Meade ETX-125 in storage out there.  Their observing site is named Tierra Del Sol and is located East of San Diego into the Laguna Seca mountains about 110 miles SE of San Diego.

 

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 3:54 PM
To: <backbayastro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Hi everyone,

At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site.  I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility.  Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.   

There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below.  Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward.  Some of the positive reasons might be:

1.  The potential for darker skies, less light pollution 

2.  Ability to hold public or private member-only activities

3.  It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership

4.  The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc... 

Some of the negative reasons might be:

1.  Site would require effort from club members to maintain.

2.  Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?

3.  Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed

4.  Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain.  Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds.  Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none.  The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site. 

5.  Property taxes?  Could we get an exemption?

6.  We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons. 

Well, these are just a few thoughts.  If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below.  I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started.   If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!

Regards,

Scott Saunders

P.S.  If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way!  Thanks.

My email is rsaun58043@....  


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 

 



 


 


Re: Dark Site Exploratory Committee

charles jagow
 

As Jim said, the BBAA is actually BBAA Inc.

Sent from Chuck's iPhone

On Nov 26, 2020, at 8:58 AM, Jim Tallman <jctallman@...> wrote:

Richard,

  I’ll pile on to the thread also. Sometime back Chuck and I were successful in getting the BBAA incorporated. So if the yearly fees have been paid we should still be BBAA Inc.

 

:)

 

 

Jim

 

From: BackBayAstro@groups.io <BackBayAstro@groups.io> On Behalf Of charles jagow
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2020 7:05 AM
To: BackBayAstro@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Richard,

 

The BBAA did look into securing a dark sight within a two hour drive of the Tidewater area down in SE North Carolina.  I was a member of that committee, however, in my recent PURGE of things no longer needed due to my impending retirement, I deleted all of my electronic and printed material on the effort.

 

Initially it looked like it was going to cost the interested members about $2K-$5K each to get things rolling and if memory serves we had almost twenty interested people, however, once we found out how much the minor improvements would be, crushed gravel and culverts for a roadway in/out of the property, surveying costs, a monthly port-a-potty rental, getting electrical to the site and a mish mash of other things quickly brought the price per interested party closer to $9K-$12K.  Then interested parties started dropping out due to the prospective increase in cost, this further increased the prospective costs.  The final blow was when we discovered that we could just go camping at the campground where we enjoyed the East Coast Star Party at was open and available for about $25 a day (Now the campground is operated by KOA and is considerably more to camp).  So we abandoned the project as the number of interested parties dwindled to two, I was one of them. 

 

Sorry I can’t be of much help, my interest in the project is zero, as I am moving to very dark skies in just a few months after my retirement.

 

However, if you want to take a look at a successful such adventure, go checkout the SDAA website at https://www.sdaa.org/tds.htm this is the club that inspired me.  I was member of this club as I travelled for work to/from San Diego area OFTEN for my work and kept a Meade ETX-125 in storage out there.  Their observing site is named Tierra Del Sol and is located East of San Diego into the Laguna Seca mountains about 110 miles SE of San Diego.

 

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 3:54 PM
To: <backbayastro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Hi everyone,

At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site.  I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility.  Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.   

There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below.  Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward.  Some of the positive reasons might be:

1.  The potential for darker skies, less light pollution 

2.  Ability to hold public or private member-only activities

3.  It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership

4.  The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc... 

Some of the negative reasons might be:

1.  Site would require effort from club members to maintain.

2.  Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?

3.  Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed

4.  Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain.  Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds.  Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none.  The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site. 

5.  Property taxes?  Could we get an exemption?

6.  We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons. 

Well, these are just a few thoughts.  If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below.  I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started.   If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!

Regards,

Scott Saunders

P.S.  If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way!  Thanks.

My email is rsaun58043@....  


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 


Re: Dark Site Exploratory Committee

Jim Tallman
 

Richard,

  I’ll pile on to the thread also. Sometime back Chuck and I were successful in getting the BBAA incorporated. So if the yearly fees have been paid we should still be BBAA Inc.

 

:)

 

 

Jim

 

From: BackBayAstro@groups.io <BackBayAstro@groups.io> On Behalf Of charles jagow
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2020 7:05 AM
To: BackBayAstro@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Richard,

 

The BBAA did look into securing a dark sight within a two hour drive of the Tidewater area down in SE North Carolina.  I was a member of that committee, however, in my recent PURGE of things no longer needed due to my impending retirement, I deleted all of my electronic and printed material on the effort.

 

Initially it looked like it was going to cost the interested members about $2K-$5K each to get things rolling and if memory serves we had almost twenty interested people, however, once we found out how much the minor improvements would be, crushed gravel and culverts for a roadway in/out of the property, surveying costs, a monthly port-a-potty rental, getting electrical to the site and a mish mash of other things quickly brought the price per interested party closer to $9K-$12K.  Then interested parties started dropping out due to the prospective increase in cost, this further increased the prospective costs.  The final blow was when we discovered that we could just go camping at the campground where we enjoyed the East Coast Star Party at was open and available for about $25 a day (Now the campground is operated by KOA and is considerably more to camp).  So we abandoned the project as the number of interested parties dwindled to two, I was one of them. 

 

Sorry I can’t be of much help, my interest in the project is zero, as I am moving to very dark skies in just a few months after my retirement.

 

However, if you want to take a look at a successful such adventure, go checkout the SDAA website at https://www.sdaa.org/tds.htm this is the club that inspired me.  I was member of this club as I travelled for work to/from San Diego area OFTEN for my work and kept a Meade ETX-125 in storage out there.  Their observing site is named Tierra Del Sol and is located East of San Diego into the Laguna Seca mountains about 110 miles SE of San Diego.

 

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 3:54 PM
To: <backbayastro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Hi everyone,

At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site.  I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility.  Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.   

There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below.  Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward.  Some of the positive reasons might be:

1.  The potential for darker skies, less light pollution 

2.  Ability to hold public or private member-only activities

3.  It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership

4.  The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc... 

Some of the negative reasons might be:

1.  Site would require effort from club members to maintain.

2.  Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?

3.  Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed

4.  Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain.  Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds.  Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none.  The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site. 

5.  Property taxes?  Could we get an exemption?

6.  We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons. 

Well, these are just a few thoughts.  If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below.  I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started.   If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!

Regards,

Scott Saunders

P.S.  If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way!  Thanks.

My email is rsaun58043@....  


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 


Re: Dark Site Exploratory Committee

charles jagow
 

Richard,

 

The BBAA did look into securing a dark sight within a two hour drive of the Tidewater area down in SE North Carolina.  I was a member of that committee, however, in my recent PURGE of things no longer needed due to my impending retirement, I deleted all of my electronic and printed material on the effort.

 

Initially it looked like it was going to cost the interested members about $2K-$5K each to get things rolling and if memory serves we had almost twenty interested people, however, once we found out how much the minor improvements would be, crushed gravel and culverts for a roadway in/out of the property, surveying costs, a monthly port-a-potty rental, getting electrical to the site and a mish mash of other things quickly brought the price per interested party closer to $9K-$12K.  Then interested parties started dropping out due to the prospective increase in cost, this further increased the prospective costs.  The final blow was when we discovered that we could just go camping at the campground where we enjoyed the East Coast Star Party at was open and available for about $25 a day (Now the campground is operated by KOA and is considerably more to camp).  So we abandoned the project as the number of interested parties dwindled to two, I was one of them. 

 

Sorry I can’t be of much help, my interest in the project is zero, as I am moving to very dark skies in just a few months after my retirement.

 

However, if you want to take a look at a successful such adventure, go checkout the SDAA website at https://www.sdaa.org/tds.htm this is the club that inspired me.  I was member of this club as I travelled for work to/from San Diego area OFTEN for my work and kept a Meade ETX-125 in storage out there.  Their observing site is named Tierra Del Sol and is located East of San Diego into the Laguna Seca mountains about 110 miles SE of San Diego.

 

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 3:54 PM
To: <backbayastro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] Dark Site Exploratory Committee

 

Hi everyone,

At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site.  I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility.  Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.   

There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below.  Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward.  Some of the positive reasons might be:

1.  The potential for darker skies, less light pollution 

2.  Ability to hold public or private member-only activities

3.  It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership

4.  The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc... 

Some of the negative reasons might be:

1.  Site would require effort from club members to maintain.

2.  Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?

3.  Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed

4.  Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain.  Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds.  Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none.  The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site. 

5.  Property taxes?  Could we get an exemption?

6.  We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons. 

Well, these are just a few thoughts.  If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below.  I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started.   If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!

Regards,

Scott Saunders

P.S.  If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way!  Thanks.

My email is rsaun58043@....  


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 


Re: Dark Site Exploratory Committee

preciousmyprecious
 

Five or 15 years ago we formed a committee and had a place in NC all picked out and were ready to bring it to the club when we discovered that Coinjock was open any time one wanted. 

Chuck was on that committee but  I don't remember who else. Perhaps someone still had our notes. It might help get a jump start on this project or a jump stop.

Carpe Noctem
Bill McLean


On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, 03:54:49 PM EST, Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...> wrote:


Hi everyone,

At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site.  I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility.  Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.   

There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below.  Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward.  Some of the positive reasons might be:

1.  The potential for darker skies, less light pollution 

2.  Ability to hold public or private member-only activities

3.  It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership

4.  The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc... 

Some of the negative reasons might be:

1.  Site would require effort from club members to maintain.

2.  Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?

3.  Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed

4.  Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain.  Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds.  Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none.  The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site. 

5.  Property taxes?  Could we get an exemption?

6.  We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons. 

Well, these are just a few thoughts.  If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below.  I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started.   If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!

Regards,

Scott Saunders

P.S.  If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way!  Thanks.

My email is rsaun58043@....  


Dark Site Exploratory Committee

Richard Saunders
 

Hi everyone,

At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site.  I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility.  Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.   

There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below.  Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward.  Some of the positive reasons might be:

1.  The potential for darker skies, less light pollution 

2.  Ability to hold public or private member-only activities

3.  It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership

4.  The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc... 

Some of the negative reasons might be:

1.  Site would require effort from club members to maintain.

2.  Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?

3.  Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed

4.  Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain.  Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds.  Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none.  The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site. 

5.  Property taxes?  Could we get an exemption?

6.  We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons. 

Well, these are just a few thoughts.  If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below.  I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started.   If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!

Regards,

Scott Saunders

P.S.  If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way!  Thanks.

My email is rsaun58043@....  


Re: "Astronomy" Mag. gives George Reynolds a shout out.

vp
 

Yay!  The club got a national plug.

George
On November 23, 2020 8:12 PM Jim Tallman <jctallman@...> wrote:



Very cool! Go george!



On Nov 18, 2020 at 18:08, bob414 < bob414@...> wrote:

"Astronomy" Mag. Dec. 2020, pg. 58.  Glenn Chaple article on "Astronomy Guides; Readers Picks" gave George Reynolds of Back Bay Amateur Astronomers a plug for recommending "Turn Left at Orion" by Guy Consolmagno.

George Reynolds and BBAA get recognized for all their hard work!

Bob

George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
BBAA 
Outreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org



Re: "Astronomy" Mag. gives George Reynolds a shout out.

vp
 

That's right, I put it there so one of the little kids could see the sunspots.  I don't need it for a while.  You can give it to me at Skywatch on Dec. 5.  (I was going to say, bring it to the December meeting, but it's hard to get a stool through the modem.)

George
On November 23, 2020 8:24 PM charles jagow <chuck@...> wrote:


Hey George, 

Are you missing your folding stool?

I found it under my 8” dob.  Let me know and I can get it to you 

Sent from Chuck's  iPhone

On Nov 23, 2020, at 8:12 PM, Jim Tallman < jctallman@...> wrote:


Very cool! Go george!



On Nov 18, 2020 at 18:08, bob414 < bob414@...> wrote:

"Astronomy" Mag. Dec. 2020, pg. 58.  Glenn Chaple article on "Astronomy Guides; Readers Picks" gave George Reynolds of Back Bay Amateur Astronomers a plug for recommending "Turn Left at Orion" by Guy Consolmagno.

George Reynolds and BBAA get recognized for all their hard work!

Bob

--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512



George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
BBAA 
Outreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org



Re: Comet Erasmus

jimcoble2000
 

I am already paying.................

On Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 11:51:53 AM EST, Roy Diffrient <mail@...> wrote:


Nice observation Mark, and very wise not calling Kent at 5 AM.  Paybacks are hell.

Roy


On Nov 24, 2020, at 7:32 AM, Mark Ost <jimcoble2000@...> wrote:


I had a very narrow observation window for this comet which lies east of Venus in the morning. The comet rises at 0500 and the sun is closely following at 0600 with the sky lightening at 0530 if you are in a dark place. Erasmus is heading toward the sun if I am not mistaken and has become a nice telescopic comet in the past few days.

I headed out at 0415 for a remote spot out by Fentress Airfield. The spot is right between 4 large farm fields on a very little used public one lane road. There is a perfect spot right before one of the obscure back gates that access the airfield. It is really a gate with no fence blocking access to a back track on government property. There is a twenty foot paved section prior to the gate where it is easy to park. You are covered by the one bush in the area. The east has a low horizon with light domes of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake at your back. This gave access to Venus and the comet easily. I arrived at 0450 and quickly set up my 20x80 binoculars on the mount. Venus was orange in the low sky. I was able to acquire the comet quickly as it lies level with Venus and slightly left of Corvus. It only took a second to see it low in the gloom. At first it was hard to estimate the magnitude being so low in the sky but as it rose I estimated it to be 7th to 8th magnitude. No way to see it from the city or suburbs. As it got higher in the morning sky and my eyes adapted to the dark surroundings I could detect a tail extending away from the comet. This was averted vision so in no way was as bright as NEOWISE. It appears to have a bright condensed core though that would be more easily seen with a 4 inch or larger telescope. I observed it until 0530. By then the comet was getting brighter and was easy to distinguish from the background in a somewhat blank part of the sky. It was worth observing for 40 minutes as more detail was coming available. The sun though was also beginning to lighten the horizon by 0530 so there is a very narrow window to observe this comet. A good telescopic comet it is nowhere near naked eye. Quit easy to find and observe in the big binoculars though.

No one disturbed me at that hour. I did see hunters packing their trucks on the way out to the site at 0430. Coming back, I was lucky enough to see a barred owl at ground level alongside the road  in front of the Methodist church at Fentress in my headlights. Traffic was starting to pick up by 6 coming back into VB. Arrived back home as the sky was now light. Venus still shown at 0630 as I unpacked the car. A very successful hunt. I resisted the urge to call Kent at 0500 when I spotted the comet. I know he will be disappointed in not being notified in a timely manner but self preservation won out.


Re: Comet Erasmus

Roy Diffrient
 

Nice observation Mark, and very wise not calling Kent at 5 AM.  Paybacks are hell.

Roy


On Nov 24, 2020, at 7:32 AM, Mark Ost <jimcoble2000@...> wrote:


I had a very narrow observation window for this comet which lies east of Venus in the morning. The comet rises at 0500 and the sun is closely following at 0600 with the sky lightening at 0530 if you are in a dark place. Erasmus is heading toward the sun if I am not mistaken and has become a nice telescopic comet in the past few days.

I headed out at 0415 for a remote spot out by Fentress Airfield. The spot is right between 4 large farm fields on a very little used public one lane road. There is a perfect spot right before one of the obscure back gates that access the airfield. It is really a gate with no fence blocking access to a back track on government property. There is a twenty foot paved section prior to the gate where it is easy to park. You are covered by the one bush in the area. The east has a low horizon with light domes of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake at your back. This gave access to Venus and the comet easily. I arrived at 0450 and quickly set up my 20x80 binoculars on the mount. Venus was orange in the low sky. I was able to acquire the comet quickly as it lies level with Venus and slightly left of Corvus. It only took a second to see it low in the gloom. At first it was hard to estimate the magnitude being so low in the sky but as it rose I estimated it to be 7th to 8th magnitude. No way to see it from the city or suburbs. As it got higher in the morning sky and my eyes adapted to the dark surroundings I could detect a tail extending away from the comet. This was averted vision so in no way was as bright as NEOWISE. It appears to have a bright condensed core though that would be more easily seen with a 4 inch or larger telescope. I observed it until 0530. By then the comet was getting brighter and was easy to distinguish from the background in a somewhat blank part of the sky. It was worth observing for 40 minutes as more detail was coming available. The sun though was also beginning to lighten the horizon by 0530 so there is a very narrow window to observe this comet. A good telescopic comet it is nowhere near naked eye. Quit easy to find and observe in the big binoculars though.

No one disturbed me at that hour. I did see hunters packing their trucks on the way out to the site at 0430. Coming back, I was lucky enough to see a barred owl at ground level alongside the road  in front of the Methodist church at Fentress in my headlights. Traffic was starting to pick up by 6 coming back into VB. Arrived back home as the sky was now light. Venus still shown at 0630 as I unpacked the car. A very successful hunt. I resisted the urge to call Kent at 0500 when I spotted the comet. I know he will be disappointed in not being notified in a timely manner but self preservation won out.


If you have a solar scope today is the day to look

jimcoble2000
 

The sun has it all today in spades. Proms, flares, huge sunspots. and filaments. Best I have seen in ages

GO LOOK

1261 - 1280 of 53515