Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eldorado Star Party!!!!

My buddy Vance sets up his FSQ, while mine sits to the right. We always enjoy setting up the "Takahashi Array" at ESP. Sadly, only a few of us made it this year, so the array is a bit smaller. Vance imaged NGC 2177 last night and I imaged M45 (Pleiades Nebula). Hopefully we'll have 'em processed by tomorrow.

We noticed at around 3am that we were the only ones still up. We found one other imager (says his name is Bob) at the other end of the field working diligently to capture the Horsehead Nebula with his ST-7. From what I could see on his laptop, he was collecting excellent data.

While imaging, Vance and I used the 3RF AP160 for visual observing. First we resolved the 5 stars in Orion's Trapezium using a Nagler 7mm. As the night went on, I started hunting for planetary nebulae. We were able to view the Eskimo and see the inner structure using a TMB 5mm Monocentric eyepiece. We also tried with a 4mm Monocentric, but it was pushing it.

Andy C. and I drove down to ESP from 3RF Comanche Springs. As we passed near Dyess AFB, we were able to see touch-and-go practice with B-1 bombers. While I've seen these in the air before, I had not seen one with wings spread out.

I bought this little Astro-Tech 80EDT (80mm ED Triplet) from my buddy Wes last year. This is a nice visual scope. I kept a Panoptic 27mm in it most of the night. The Double Cluster, Orion Nebula, and Andromeda Galaxy all looked superb.

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