Coe, Wednesday, 1/1/03 (short)

by Bob Czerwinski

Yep, it was certainly a short night at Henry Coe. David Kingsley was the "David" of choice for the evening. <grin>

Skies were probably 60~70% clear when I arrived, but this was soon to change. A strange phenom: the high clouds which headed our way were generally moving from NW to SE, but the low-level winds at Coe were moving from east to west. Go figure. Even so, the seeing was quite good. The gentle gusts commonly associated with sunset at Henry Coe didn't drop off as one would expect, but increased over the next hour, blowing my 18" Starmaster all over the place. (The vision of Mark Wagner's 18" Obsession lifting out of its rocker box definitely flashed through my mind!) As described by Matthew, when I was looking at the Orion 1973-1975-1977 complex through his C8, the foreground stars made for some nice Lissajous Patterns!

If you haven't seen the Saturn-M1 paring yet, I hope tonight's sky conditions will allow you to do so. David Kingsley was certainly correct when he said the best viewing of the pair would probably be over the next couple of nights, prior to Saturday's Main Event. Quite a striking pair using a 17mm Nagler in my 'scope last night, with the objects separated by just over 13-arcmins. Tonight they'll only be separated by 8~9-arcmins.

With my eyes watering much worse than normal, I made an early departure last night, hoping the sacrifice would appease the weather deities and provide Matthew and David with a few hours of decent observing time. Looks like this wasn't to be the case. Still, some observing is better than no observing!