Localized Seeing

by Richard Ozer

The seeing was superb in Oakland. I went up to the Chabot space and Science Center (my usual full moon venue) with nothing but low expections. It turned out to be an exceptional planetary observing session.... and it's always handy to have a 20" refractor and 8" Alvin Clark as a pair of secondary scopes....

For Saturn, Encke was obvious in the 20", just at the edge of the rings. Once your eye locked onto it, it was visible for ten to fifteen seconds at a time. I had my 10" at 300 power, and the 20" Brashear was at 500 power.

Jupiter was also spectacular. In the Alvin Clark and in my 10", the Galilean moons were resolving as disks. I have never noticed this before, although other observers have mentioned seeing it in the past on exceptional nights.

The finale was pointing the 20" at the trapezium at 500x. The binary pairs were so far apart, you could drive a bus through them... The texture of the nebula was also a sight to behold at that power.

I, for one, am glad to have done some full moon observing this week.