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Thursday, April 15th, 2010
I wasn't expecting to get the scope out tonight but sometimes it works to one's advantage when those weather people are incorrect.
 
The evening started with binocular viewing of the sliver Moon, Venus and Mercury.  The three of them composed a postcard-worthy scene.
 
I set up the scope on the back deck and started observing at 9:10.  Conditions were farily good for this area but the light pollution is still pretty bad.  Tonight's targets included Mars, Saturn, M3, M44, and M13.  Again I attempted to find M51 without success.  I was also unable to locate M81 and M82 but they, too, were washed out.
 
However, those targets that were visible were very satisfying.  Saturn showed three moons and finally observing M13 was a joy.
 
Some notes from tonight:
    Sometimes I just don't get the GOTO function of this scope.  Most times it's fine, but once in a while it will slew 355 degrees when it could just do 5.
    I need to invest in a couple of quality eyepieces.  I note this is a common theme in my journal.  Tonight it was evident that my 15mm Plossl is just not cutting it.  When the view of planets is better with the 25mm stock eyepiece that says a lot.  As soon as some money comes my way (ha!) I'll be upgrading that.
    I got spoiled camping.  The dark sky at Timberlake made me realize how much the PDX area sucks for viewing.  It was still better than watching TV but I really longed for darker skies.
 
Oh well, tomorrow's another day!





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