Spent the evening at a mini star party in Eric Hahl's back yard. I used a borrowed Celestron CG5 mount
for the first time. It worked very well. Without a proper polar alignment, it put M101 in the center of the field of view of my camera, on the first try. And once there, it stayed there.....with just some minor drift. It is much better than my NexStar 4se mount.
Transparency was poor.......sky glow haze across the entire sky. Seeing, on the other hand was quite good. We got a crisp, clean view of Saturn in a 12" f4.9 Dob, and a 16" Meade lightbridge.......neither of which are really designed for planetary observing. The shadow of the rings on the planet was easy to see....as well as some atmospheric detail. I could only find 3 moons.
Deep sky observing was not too good......everything looked very washed out and dim. Even M13 was pretty much a fuzzy ball with mostly unresolved stars.
I spent the night getting data on M101.....not too successfully, but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. I am posting a first attempt at processing. Hopefuuly, when I am rested (it's after 3am), I can do a better job. I think there is a better image in the data. 53 subs @ 15 sec per sub.......13.25 minutes. Unfortunately, I picked up a bunch of background noise.