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Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
Wonder of wonders.......the clouds cleared for a while.    I set up my 4" Mak-Cass with a quick "Solar System alignment" and gave my son (Tony, 9 years old) some time to view the well-placed quarter moon.   He was just getting used to moving about the moon with the hand controller when we were called in for dinner.   We switched to Venus (also in quarter phase) for a few minutes before we went in.   I had to explain to him that the yellowish fringe was in the telescope optics and not on the planet.  At least we could see clearly the quarter phase.   He seemed impressed to hear that we were looking at Venus the way Galileo did 400 years ago.......proving that Venus was revolving around the Sun, not the Earth as most people believed at that time.   After dinner, I drew a  diagram on paper to show him why we see the phases of Venus as we do.   He caught on quickly......smart kid.
 
I thought we would go back out after dinner with my 12" Dob, for a look at Orion, and possibly set up for some imaging, but when I went back out, the fog was already forming.   The sky was still clear straight up, but anything below about 60-70 degrees was already diminished.   Disappointing!   I was also looking forward to trying my new Oxygen III filter.  
 
Seems like months (actually about 30 days) since I have had a halfway decent observing session. 
 
10:15pm:
Just stuck my head out to see Orion well-placed and clear.  In less than 2 minutes, before I could carry my Dob to the driveway,  the nebula region was completely obscured by fog.   I live about 2 blocks from a brightly lit intersection....and the heating exhaust rising from the businesses and homes in the area, produces thick fog when it's cold and damp.  Frustrating!!
I envy those living in the country.......I suspect the fog was less of a problem for them.





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