Pretty good night last night


Despite high winds and cold temperatures conditions were excellent for observing. Seeing was excellent and we were able to try several very difficult doubles. Kent's neighbor came over and he experienced a fairly nice introduction to urban observing. One double we retried was Kappa Leonis. Seeing was quite good considering high winds.

Observing thoughts:

I think Kappa Leonis is really not possible at the moment. It surprises me that it is listed at all in the guidebooks. I have wondered why these are listed in books as it seems impossible. Maybe it wasn't when the book was compiled. They do change. Sirius for years was very difficult but the last two years has been quite easy. We did Procyon a few years ago and have had no luck this year after several tries.

I have experienced seeing very good before on nights with high winds like last night. We ended the night with a sub arc second Struve double at 0.9 arc seconds. That's 25/100000 th of a degree separation. That is the limit for the ES 127 ( 5 inch). I had to use a 1.6mm eyepiece at 600x. That's about it, all there is. The 6 inch refractor handled the split a bit easier. You can't get past the laws of physics and that 1 additional inch of aperture makes a difference.

Kent's neighbor was fun to observe with. He seems to have a natural ability with his eyes and he experienced a fair cross section of objects short of any galaxies. Speaking of, galaxy season is not kind to refractor users. There is always a supply of doubles but clusters and other objects are getting in short supply for a bit until the summer constellations show up. Dennis easily saw 6 in the Trapezium and got to see some detail in the M-42 nebula. He also got to see the planetary nebula in M-46. Oh and he could do 7 stars naked eye in M-45 with a bit of coaching. 

Nice evening.