Date   

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


Re: Comet Erasmus

jimcoble2000
 

If it was -27th magnitude that would be the last thing you would see! It would be over in a second but if you were in the right spot for that fraction of a second as the comet tears through the atmosphere you might see into dark space with stars visible to your naked eye as the atmosphere opens up in a circle around the comet due to the vacuum created by it's passage through the atmosphere.

UNFORTUNATELY you would have no memory of this as you are about to be vaporized.

On Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 9:02:04 AM EST, S. Kent Blackwell <kent@...> wrote:


Very nice report, Mark. I'm so glad you saw it, but not as glad that you didn't call me. As stated before if the comet was -27 magnitude I ~might~ be persuaded to get up at the ungodly hour and drive to a dark sky.

Kent

--- jimcoble2000@... wrote:

From: Mark Ost <jimcoble2000@...>
To: kentblackwell <kent@...>, Roy Diffrient <mail@...>, BBAA Groups Io <backbayastro@groups.io>, VPAS <vpas@groups.io>, Ted Forte <tedforte511@...>
Subject: Comet Erasmus
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2020 12:32:47 +0000 (UTC)

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

Kent Blackwell
 

Very nice report, Mark. I'm so glad you saw it, but not as glad that you didn't call me. As stated before if the comet was -27 magnitude I ~might~ be persuaded to get up at the ungodly hour and drive to a dark sky.

Kent

--- jimcoble2000@... wrote:

From: Mark Ost <jimcoble2000@...>
To: kentblackwell <kent@...>, Roy Diffrient <mail@...>, BBAA Groups Io <backbayastro@groups.io>, VPAS <vpas@groups.io>, Ted Forte <tedforte511@...>
Subject: Comet Erasmus
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2020 12:32:47 +0000 (UTC)

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.


Comet Erasmus

jimcoble2000
 

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

charles jagow
 

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


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

Jim Tallman
 

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


Re: Sunspots Monday November 23 2020

Jim Tallman
 

Woot, woot!


On Nov 23, 2020 at 13:27, Kent Blackwell <kent@...> wrote:

There are two large sunspots near the eastern limb and three smaller ones on the meridian. It's about time we have some activity. There is also a fairly large prominence on the eastern limb in H-alpha light.


Sunspots Monday November 23 2020

Kent Blackwell
 

There are two large sunspots near the eastern limb and three smaller ones on the meridian. It's about time we have some activity. There is also a fairly large prominence on the eastern limb in H-alpha light.


Re: What's in the sky?

Jim Tallman
 

Here is a shot I took today. More than one spot group :)






On Nov 21, 2020 at 07:01, charles jagow <chuck@...> wrote:

Tried last night @ Rott’n Paws with the 12” Dob and could not see the comet or even anything remotely fuzzy or ANYTHING in the area of the comet.

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Kent Blackwell <kent@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Friday, November 20, 2020 at 9:55 AM
To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] What's in the sky?

 

November 20, 2020
Telescope fitted with a solar filter:: Look for a fairly large sunspot on the solar meridian. You'll probably need about 20x to see it. 
Telescope with a H-Alpha filter: A large prominence on the eastern limb, as well as several interesting filaments around the above mentioned sunspot.

In the night sky, Mars is slipping away so its angular size continues to shrink. Look fast, if you haven't already.
There's a fairly bright telescopic comet in Orion: C/2020 M3 ATLAS. It's beautiful in the 25" from a dark sky. Not sure you can see it at all with a small telescope in the city but it should show nicely with an 8" or larger telescope.
If you're running SkySafari ignore the fact they list it at 13.5 magnitude. I estimate it to be closer to 8-9th magnitude. But bear in mind it'll look fainter than that due to low surface brightness of comets. 
05h 28' RA
+13 32' DEC

Kent B


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 



Re: What's in the sky?

Roy Diffrient
 

Alas, C/2020 M3 ATLAS is reported to be slowly fading.  But for those who may observe before dawn there is comet C/2020 S3 Erasmus, appearing low in the southeast and brightening now on the way to 6th or perhaps 5th magnitude.  A great long tail is reported.

Good comet info is available here:


The Space Weather site for today includes an observing report on Erasmus:


Let us know what you see!

Roy


On Nov 21, 2020, at 7:19 AM, jimcoble2000 via groups.io <jimcoble2000@...> wrote:


Yes I tried the other night from here and no go. Shows how important the sky quality is. The comet was easy in the 4 inch from Coinjock a couple of days ago. Amazing how widely spread brightness reports for comets are.

On Saturday, November 21, 2020, 7:01:27 AM EST, charles jagow <chuck@...> wrote:


Tried last night @ Rott’n Paws with the 12” Dob and could not see the comet or even anything remotely fuzzy or ANYTHING in the area of the comet.

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Kent Blackwell <kent@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Friday, November 20, 2020 at 9:55 AM
To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] What's in the sky?

 

November 20, 2020
Telescope fitted with a solar filter:: Look for a fairly large sunspot on the solar meridian. You'll probably need about 20x to see it. 
Telescope with a H-Alpha filter: A large prominence on the eastern limb, as well as several interesting filaments around the above mentioned sunspot.

In the night sky, Mars is slipping away so its angular size continues to shrink. Look fast, if you haven't already.
There's a fairly bright telescopic comet in Orion: C/2020 M3 ATLAS. It's beautiful in the 25" from a dark sky. Not sure you can see it at all with a small telescope in the city but it should show nicely with an 8" or larger telescope.
If you're running SkySafari ignore the fact they list it at 13.5 magnitude. I estimate it to be closer to 8-9th magnitude. But bear in mind it'll look fainter than that due to low surface brightness of comets. 
05h 28' RA
+13 32' DEC

Kent B


Re: What's in the sky?

jimcoble2000
 

Yes I tried the other night from here and no go. Shows how important the sky quality is. The comet was easy in the 4 inch from Coinjock a couple of days ago. Amazing how widely spread brightness reports for comets are.

On Saturday, November 21, 2020, 7:01:27 AM EST, charles jagow <chuck@...> wrote:


Tried last night @ Rott’n Paws with the 12” Dob and could not see the comet or even anything remotely fuzzy or ANYTHING in the area of the comet.

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Kent Blackwell <kent@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Friday, November 20, 2020 at 9:55 AM
To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] What's in the sky?

 

November 20, 2020
Telescope fitted with a solar filter:: Look for a fairly large sunspot on the solar meridian. You'll probably need about 20x to see it. 
Telescope with a H-Alpha filter: A large prominence on the eastern limb, as well as several interesting filaments around the above mentioned sunspot.

In the night sky, Mars is slipping away so its angular size continues to shrink. Look fast, if you haven't already.
There's a fairly bright telescopic comet in Orion: C/2020 M3 ATLAS. It's beautiful in the 25" from a dark sky. Not sure you can see it at all with a small telescope in the city but it should show nicely with an 8" or larger telescope.
If you're running SkySafari ignore the fact they list it at 13.5 magnitude. I estimate it to be closer to 8-9th magnitude. But bear in mind it'll look fainter than that due to low surface brightness of comets. 
05h 28' RA
+13 32' DEC

Kent B


Re: What's in the sky?

charles jagow
 

Tried last night @ Rott’n Paws with the 12” Dob and could not see the comet or even anything remotely fuzzy or ANYTHING in the area of the comet.

 

Member #1495 – Norfolk County Rifle Range

 

From: <BackBayAstro@groups.io> on behalf of Kent Blackwell <kent@...>
Reply-To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Date: Friday, November 20, 2020 at 9:55 AM
To: <BackBayAstro@groups.io>
Subject: [BackBayAstro] What's in the sky?

 

November 20, 2020
Telescope fitted with a solar filter:: Look for a fairly large sunspot on the solar meridian. You'll probably need about 20x to see it. 
Telescope with a H-Alpha filter: A large prominence on the eastern limb, as well as several interesting filaments around the above mentioned sunspot.

In the night sky, Mars is slipping away so its angular size continues to shrink. Look fast, if you haven't already.
There's a fairly bright telescopic comet in Orion: C/2020 M3 ATLAS. It's beautiful in the 25" from a dark sky. Not sure you can see it at all with a small telescope in the city but it should show nicely with an 8" or larger telescope.
If you're running SkySafari ignore the fact they list it at 13.5 magnitude. I estimate it to be closer to 8-9th magnitude. But bear in mind it'll look fainter than that due to low surface brightness of comets. 
05h 28' RA
+13 32' DEC

Kent B


--

v/r

Chuck Jagow

Treasurer - Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Rott'n Paws Observatory

    N36:46:23.281 W076:13:31.512

 

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