by Bob Jardine
Yes, it turned out to be a pretty good night. Eventually, the humidity did go back up, creating a mild dew problem, but we had several good hours before that.
In addition to the folks you mentioned, Christopher Hays was there a little later, and even later, James Turley dropped in, freshly back from Arizona and the local lecture circuit.
The sky was clear and the darkness was typical for MB -- the usual Northern light domes. As usual, the South was nice and dark, so I spent most of my time viewing objects in Eridanus and Fornax, etc.
The seeing was way better than average. I had a very nice clean split of Alnitak in the NP101.
One pleasant surprise was a nice view of NGC 1291, a modest galaxy in Eridanus that I had not seen before. I was surprised because I found it at all, given that I was using a small 'scope (Orion XT6) and this galaxy is so far South (-41 degrees, farther South than NGC 55). But it showed up quite well. At about 100X it showed a not-quite-round shape with a moderately brighter center. I could hold it easily with direct vision, but could see quite a bit more extent with AV. It is a pretty easy hop from Acamar.
Finally, I spent some time with Jupiter and Saturn before packing up. Marek outlasted me. I left right at Midnight, and he was still going strong.
Just a taste of what's to come on Saturday. Hope you all have clear skies!