Montebello 8/8

by Stacy Jo McDermott

It was with excitment that I went down to Montebello for some lunar and Mars observing on Friday night. After a quick phone call to Kevin Roberts to confirm meeting up, I got Babe going down Hwy 1 to 92 and then up to Skyline to Page Mill Road (nice drive, but never again, too long.) Unfortuantely, Babe the mighty truck, possibly popped a fuel injector and I drove into the parking lot smelling like gas. My apologies to everyone there who had to suffer through the evaporation of said gas. A big THANK YOU to Phil Chambers who graciously tried to fix the primary hood latch.

Now one to the OR. La Bella Luna was quite bright but I managed to located several crators on the AL Lunar observing list. I used my 7x50 binos (got a theme going on here - last week it was the Messier Bino list). Since I had missed the most opportune nights earlier in the week, I was not able to make out as much detail of the crators as I would have liked to. I will revisit these particular crators as the moon wanes through the end of the month.

Mars was quite nice! Even in my 80mm ShortTube, I could detect a little detail using a 15mm Parks eyepiece coupled with an Orion Shorty Barlow. However, due to the numerous bigger aperature telescopes surrounding me, I began to mooch views. Kevin Roberts had a lovely view through his XT10 and a 27 blue filter...the blue filter really brings out a lot of detail. Dennis Steele had his 6" Meade refractor trained on Mars as well, and it was also quite nice. Jake Burkhardt, along with little Nat, had his Celetron (?) with bino viewers and that was a treat to look through. (that Nat will become on fine astronomer - he's made it out 3 times in 3 weeks!)

It was a lovely way to spend a Friday evening, CA politics and all ;-)