Montebello, Wed 3/26

by Marek Cichanski

A few people braved the wind and observed at Montebello last night, albeit briefly. Pete Santangeli and I set up around sunset, and we kept our fingers crossed that the clouds would stay to the west of the ridgeline, and that the wind would die down. Pete set up for wide-field imaging with an SLR-type camera lens on his SBIG CCD camera, and I set up for general visual observing with my XT10. Bob Jardine showed up sometime between sunset and astro twilight, and he planned on observing with binos.

Bob mentioned that he was going to practice finding the critical sunset Messiers, and I decided to try that, too. Sadly, M74 and M77 were "did not find" objects for me. The sky was bright, the wind was shaking the scope, and the seeing was amazingly bad. The stars were big fat fuzzy discs, and it would have been hard to distinguish a stellar object from a non-stellar one. Bob headed home shortly after that.

So, I took quick looks at M42 and M44/Jupiter, and then started breaking down. Pete finished his imaging run on Orion, and did likewise. (It looked like he was getting a decent image, though - I think that he may have had at least part of Barnard's Loop.)

Pete and I left about 9pm. An observer named Peter (I didn't get his last name) arrived around then, and, having his own permit, was able to stay after we'd left. Hopefully the wind calmed down and seeing improved for him. It would be nice if Peter had the last laugh on us!