Quick OR from Salinas

by Raymond Duval

Hi all - just happened to take a look outside and saw stars, so figured I'd mount up the 8" SCT and try out my new 9x50 finder and LP filter (both purchased from Orion this afternoon). So, whomever it was that suggested FP tonight - prophetic! The western sky is a bit cloudy, to about 15-20 but nothing to cause problems. The rest of the sky was B-U-tiffle!

I didn't spend long, maybe an hour just getting the finder dialed in and checking out M42 with and without the filter. M42 was outstanding (of course) and easily made out Trapezium - the nebulosity was excellent with the filter in and I could follow the fading edges much further than without. I did notice that it was easier to make out 4 in Trapezium w/o the filter - is that normal?

Quick hop to Saturn @ 200x - good stuff, could make out the Cassini division though seeing was a tad soft, but just a tad. Picked out Dione and Rhea too - pretty cool.

Last jumps to Polaris and Eta Cas for the splits then back inside. It is cold out, and not smart to be standing around outside in shorts!

Bottom line? Should have done FP and I'm kicking myself in the butt right about now! NOAA say "mostly clear" for tomorrow night - anyone care to join me?