Five members of SFS met at the Lamy “Lot 1” site on October 26th for our New Moon Observe event. Jo, Mary, Tony, Tom and Robert enjoyed clear skies with excellent transparency and fair seeing conditions, light winds and crisp fall night temperatures — all in all it was a very good night. Between us we had two Dobsonian reflector telescopes, two pairs of binoculars, and a digital camera (and five pairs of eyes.)
We started off the evening with views of Jupiter and Saturn, both of which were relatively steady. Venus and Mercury were low on the Western horizon. As the night progressed, temperatures dipped into the 40’s, but it was generally fairly comfortable. A few highlights of our viewing were very crisp views of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) through binoculars and both telescopes. Next to M32, M 110 was very distinct and M32 was a nice tight “blob”. We also took a look at the galaxy M33 in Triangulum and Tom had a look at two faint galaxies in Aquarius — NGC 7600 and 7606. We looked at various open clusters in Cassiopeia including the Owl Cluster (NGC 457), M52, and of course the Double Cluster (NGC 869/884) which was crystal clear. Globular clusters we lingered over included M15, M56, and M13.
We wrapped up the night and were all packed up by 10pm. A very enjoyable evening!
[Reported by Robert Powers; photograph by Tony Bonanno]