by Rich Neuschaefer
I got to the Peak about 7 pm. I set up the mount in the parking lot next to the restroom that's below the hill to the Observatory. A light wind. A little fog in the valley to the southeast of the Peak.
After sunset I looked at the Moon. The seeing was quite good, as it usually is shortly after sunset. Nice little craters next to Rimma Birt.
When it got dark the seeing softened. I looked at M22 and a few other objects, just waiting for Mars. By 10:30 pm Mars was starting to look interesting. The edges of the disk were badly disturbed by the seeing. By midnight the detail was quite good but the seeing was still soft. I stuck it out until about 1:30 am, lots of dark features but the contrast was not as good as it had been. I packed up the AP 180EDT and headed down the hill by 2:10 am.
A couple of guys were using a pad next to the Observatory. They were taking images using a Meade 10" SCT and a CoolPic camera. They left a little after 12:30 am.
The dew slowly got things pretty damp by midnight. I was using a dew heater on the scope and had the lens cap on when I wasn't observing.