Friday, June 6, 2014
CoE Star Party
Building- good, grounds-great, mowed yesterday, lights- all working, Telescopes and equipment- good shape, internet- working. Skies were quite clear at first by started to lightly cloud over around 11p, and stayed that way. The Moon showed thick halo but still visible. We viewed Jupiter, the waxing gibbous Moon, Mars, Saturn, M13, M57, M81.
I set up my 25x100 binos and mount for the guests and the kids and adults were very impressed at what they could see, as mostly the Moon was aligned in them. I also setup the Televue 101 on the Orion Atlas mount and actually got it to track on the Moon. It stayed in the field of view all night with a 31mm T5 Nagler, which was about 17x with only a 540mm focal length. Very sharp image of the Moon. The mount's hand controller has instant response in all 4 directions. Nice. I cleaned the optics before I left for TSP with the intention of bringing it with to TSP to better familiarize myself with it over the week only to not find where the DEC shaft was, so I unpacked it and left it at home. This past week, I discovered the DEC shaft slides up into the DEC axis and is released by a lever clamp! Dang! I totally forgot about that part when I first brought it home, as the SolarMax 90 Orion Mount screws on and off. So what a relief that was and kinda embarrassing.
Left at 1a
Temp 79 degrees
ADDENDUM-I replaced the jammed front gate lock with another old one that came off there previously, it’s still the same entry code. It’s working, but at one time would not lock back except on actual open code and then scrambled. So James, if you’d like to go get another one, they’re about $14. They carry a lifetime warranty, but that means packaging it up and sending to correct Master Lock return address and paying postage and waiting however long for a replacement. I wish there was an easier way with where they’re sold to just exchange it. They seem to last about a year or so.
I forgot to add that the mosquitoes were totally awful there. So bring with you a fresh can of repellant on your next visit. They went thru my tshirt on my back and was constant. So you must spray your clothes too!
When I rolled back the Fred Ruof shed, there were also 3 medium sized red wasps nests at the apex of the ceiling of which i first saw only one to then see the other two behind a roof truss. So a word of caution to those authorized and who know the combo to inspect around each roof truss for wasp nests, black widow spiders and/or possible coiled snakes before rolling back the shed. There were 3 field mice spotted also in the shed and a couple crawled up to the rear truss beams. Anything that goes in the Ruof shed for storage must be properly secured/stored for mice proofing. No exposed wires/cables please. Put away in locktite containers.
The wind did pick up severely after about 10:30p. Apparently there were strong thunderstorms way up to the north, I did not see any lightning whatsoever. I put the Televue 101 and Atlas mount/tripod back into the Fred Ruof shed.