Last night at home

by Jamie Dillon

There was a high haze overhead last night, but stars as well, so I hauled Felix out into the backyard for some quality time.

Limiting magnitude might have been all of 3.5, and the seeing was moderate, 3/5. For the nth time in the yard I plunked the scope right down in the middle of the Virgo Cluster and got stars, period. As you might imagine, from any hilltop with an 11" those galaxies crowd right in. Not from home. M65 and M66 were pretty and distinct, though, and of course I had to visit M3, which was tantalizing.

A pleasant surprise and the reason I'm writing this was when I landed on Jupiter. Within a couple of minutes, after catching my breath, I went and dragged Jo out to take a look. This was right after 11 pm, and a moon right on the eastern limb had a tight split. Never seen that. Turns out it was Ganymede and Callisto, very close to back-and-front. Gorgeous.

As in Los Gatos, seeing was fuzzy, with only mushy details on the disk of Jupiter at 79x and 210x. I collimated last night, it was real close, so don't feel too bad about your alignment on the new 10", Mark.

Looking avidly forward to getting out on the weekend.