Thursday, September 16, 2010

Solar system evening

I pulled out my 8" Coulter, and spent a long time looking at Jupiter, trying different Rosco gel filters.  I think I had my most detailed views of Jupiter ever--it really looked good.  I found the emerald-green and sky blue filters the most helpful.  I then spent about half an hour trying to find Comet 103P/Hartley 2.  It was tough, because in my backyard there are only small patches of sky showing, and in that direction is a lit up street, so I had a hard time identifying a star that I could star-hop from.  Finally, I went for Zeta Cephei, which was 15 degrees away.  I then went field of view by field of view, matching the view through the eyepiece with the chart in AstroInfo.  I found the stars where the comet was supposed to be.  And then I experimented with different eyepieces.  I kept on getting glimpses of something in the area with averted vision.  And once or twice with an O-III filter, also with averted vision.  I was using magnifications between 65 and 150X.  So I guess I saw it.

I rounded out the evening with a look at the moon, another quick look at Jupiter (not as good as earlier) and then a look at Uranus.

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