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Digging truffles

Discussion in 'Observing Celestial Objects' started by Mmac54, Jun 12, 2019.

Digging truffles

Started by Mmac54 on Jun 12, 2019 at 10:05 AM

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  1. Mmac54

    Mmac54 Active Member

    Dec 1, 2017
    Trophy Points:
    Oakwood, Illinois
    June 10, 2019
    Oakwood, Illinois
    New Dark Pad

    Tonight the neighbors were not up to the rigor of late night observing. No problem.
    Everett and I got our kit together and were on the pad by 9:30. It was not dark yet.
    The moon was bright, but the sky was clear and we had about 3/4 of a cup of seeing which I suspected would not last passed midnight. I was correct in this prognostication, but by 1:00 AM the moon was gone and even though the seeing was not quite as I would have liked it to be we had a good time and I viewed some nice Gems.

    We began with the moon when the setting sun was still bleeding a beautiful cerise stain about 15 degrees above the western horizon. The moon was in the blue and I drove the SW100 Evostar into line. The TV 22Pan gave just the right field of view to fill the young mans eyeball and cause him to give an understated grunt followed by, "That's really cool grampa!"

    Everett enjoyed the sharp definitions along the terminator and eventually he snapped a few shots with my cell phone. After some time burning our retinas on the secondary sunlight reflecting from the moon we called an end to the torture and talked about what we should go for as the darkness fell. Everett picked Jupiter out of the sky very quickly and without any coaching from me. He even took a snap of Jupiter just for the heck of it.
    It is such a pleasure to impress a nine year old ! [​IMG]

    At this point I began my rooting routine...you know...like a pig does in the woods looking for truffles, and Everett took a seat in the chair we had brought with us. But he did not stay in the chair long. I must have forgotten how much 9 year olds wiggle, and dance, and tap their feet, get up....walk around humming, sit down again and then ask if it's time to go yet. Well, now I remember. But I have to give him a lot of credit because my rooting and futzing around looking for stuff and then identifying unknowns is completely boring for the one who is sitting waiting for a show.
    After a bit I decided that Saturn had risen enough to view and ran the SW100 over to the low southeast. Well that was satisfying for a while and then Everett sat down again.

    Before I knew it the clock on my phone read 12:30 and I had bagged a few of my old friends in Scorpius and Sagittarious, and made a new friend, or at least one I did not remember, IC 4665 which is a nice open cluster in Ophiuchus.

    Of all that I viewed M22 in Sagittarius was the most alluring. There were The Ptolomy Cluster, The Butterfly Cluster, The Lagoon Nebula, M4, M80, M22, M25, and the Sag Star Cloud. All were a delight, but I spent a lot of time on M22 and even swapped out my SW100 for my ES127 APO to see how much I could squeeze out of this one.

    M22 presented me with a basket of sharp diamonds overlaying a fluffy pillow of the unresolved. The distribution of the brighter stars was very uniform and broad even with direct vision. But of course averted vision caused the field to bloom even more and almost grow half again in expanse. This really was the catharsis for my Monday. I was very pleased and relaxed.

    Unfortunately Everett had fallen fast a sleep in that chair and maybe I was too selfish to wake him up in my reverie. But we will have other outings and he will get older and I hope grow to appreciate this activity in some way as I do. If not, none of this is wasted.

    At 2:30 I quietly packed up and then woke Everett for the short drive back to the house.

    Cheers and peace to you all.

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