FP Saturday (8/30)

by Rich Neuschaefer

Saturday, several of us set up our telescopes near the restroom below the Fremont Peak observatory. There was a 9" long fl Newt (Dob), an 8" f/9 TMB APO, a 6" f/8.1 Tak APO, a 10" f/4.5 Dob, my 7" f/9 APO, a 6" f/7 APO and a 3.5" or 4" f/8 Newt (Dob). We were ready for Mars!

There were lots of visitors. The sky was pretty clear. The seeing early wasn't too bad, by midnight the seeing was pretty soft. Around 2 am the seeing was a little better.

Ron D. very kindly let us know he had the moons of Mars in the 30". This was around 2:30 am (I think). Ron had made an occulting bar for his eyepiece. You could see both moons with Mars behind the bar. Phobos winking in and out through the defraction spike from the secondary mirrors spider.

After 1 am the fog was doing a good job blocking the lights of the towns below the Peak. The sky was fine for deep sky observing. When we left Orion was well off the horizon.

The visitors were very nice. It was great to see so many people interested in seeing Mars and other objects in the night sky. Until about 10:30 pm I was showing several of bright DSOs to visitors. This was my forth night out observing in a row, three were public events.