Short OR: Coyote Lake 12/27

by Kevin Schuerman

Last night at Coyote was cold, calm and clear. The temperature started out in the mid-30's and then dropped to 28F by later in the evening. The humidity was also high, resulting in frost forming on exposed surfaces, especially black ones. Other observers reported some dewing problems but I didn't experience any significant dewing. The seeing was fairly good, with some very good moments. All in all, the absence of wind made it an enjoyable evening. There were eight of us there; I stayed until about 12:30, with Daniel and Heather remaining when I left.

I hadn't been out since the end of October, so I was grateful for a nice, clear night in the midst of all this cloudiness. I was mostly observing non-Messier NGCs in Eridanus and Gemini in addition to some of the standard winter eye candy. Saturn exhibited some very crisp moments in my 7" Mak-Newt at 215x. I saw the three major rings and a nice level of striation in the cloud belts. Cassini's division was sharp all the way around the planet, except where it was obscured by the southern limb of the planet and the shadow of the planet on the rings. The Crepe Ring and the Ring A minimum were also prominent.

It was nice seeing everybody last night and I'm glad that the four observers who had never been to Coyote before had a good evening.