Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Sloohing, Observing, and Cloudy Skies

The skies around here have been cloudy for weeks and weeks, it would seem. Even when it has been "clear" there has been so much moisture in the air because of the wacky weather, the transparency has been low, and the unsettled atmosphere has led to some pretty rough seeing. Due the clouds and less than favorable viewing conditions I've been spending a great deal of time on Slooh. Slooh is a set of remotely operated telescopes in the Canary islands and has, over the past couple of weeks, provided some really stellar views. Following are a couple of neat images I managed to obtain. More shots can be found Here

North American Nebula

Sombrero Galxy

These images can be seen full size at in my astronomy gallery (linked above).

Saturday 1.8.05

Zach came over with his new telescope (Orion SkyQuest 6 inch) and we shared several hours of observing. The Transparency was poor to decent (2/5 to 3/5). Seeing was closer to 2/5. I observed M45, M42, M103 (for the first time) M37, M38, M31 and 32, as well as comet Macholz, which appeared as a greenish fuzz ball, the nucleus was clearly defined. I had a great deal of difficulty locating M33 (triangulum galaxy), and in the end, was unable to find it. I'll be giving it another swing next time things manage to clear up.

It was great being able share Zach's "first" telescope experience. He seemed to really enjoy it, and as he gets more familiar with the sky, I have no doubt he will gain even more enjoyment.

In big and good news, Jen has expressed further interest in exploring astromony. As I'm going to be spending the rest of my life with my new fiance, I'm excited at the prospect of sharing this passion with her (as I'm so passionate about her.)