Brief OR from Fremont Peak, Sat 9/6

by Rich Neuschaefer

It was an interesting night the Peak. There was an interesting group of scientists and teachers interested in the planets. There were also a number of campers and visitors also interested it seeing Mars in the 30" Challenger telescope.

for a couple of hours after dark the seeing was really bad. Mars was twinkling like a star. The Moon through the scope was fuzzy. Even in the afternoon the edge of the Sun was moving like I have never seen before through the FPOA H-Alpha scope. However, the seeing did improve to maybe a 5 or 6 of 10 by about 10:30 pm. At times the seeing was really quite good. Peter Natcher had his excellent AP 10" MC and I was using my AP 180EDT APO. Peter's 10" MC took top honors for showing detail on mars. I took a look through his scope in a period when we had good seeing and his image was big, bright and showing very nice detail in the southern polar cap that in my scope wasn't nearly as easy to see.

It was interesting talking to the professional astronomers. They enjoyed being able to look through an eyepiece.

One of the planetary scientists visiting the FPOA Observatory asked if he could move the image. I gave him the telescopes controller and in a minute he said, "There it is!". He had moved Mars just out of the field and about three quarters of an eyepiece field away to the right was Deimos. He saw it using the binoviewer. I removed the binoviewer and put in a single eyepiece and with the brighter image Deimos was easy to see. We were using a 6mm Zeiss AO eyepiece. I believe it was about 12:30 AM when we were looking at Deimos.

The night turned out much better than I expected.