Montebello Last Night (8/6/03)

by Peter McKone

The sky was cloud-free and there was a light but persistent breeze when I arrived at 8pm. I set up my 6" Intes "Little Mak". Vincent (don't know his surname) arrived with his Meade 4.5" goto. Ranger Elisa asked us to watch for a particular coyote that is getting too friendly. For maybe the first time ever at Montebello, I didn't hear a single coyote all night long. There were seven drop-ins who had read Kellie's article in the Mercury News. As always, they couldn't believe how much detail you can see on the Moon with a telescope. All were well-informed and some had childhood interests in astronomy. I probably generated some business for Orion.

By 10:45 Mars was high enough for a good view, but the fog was starting to creap up from the south. I could barely make out the polar cap and some smudges on Mars' surface. I'm regretting that I don't own any color filters. By 11:30 most exposed surfaces were wet from dew, and we decided to head out. Considering the phase of the moon, it was a pretty good night.