Alright that’s it! I’m getting some of those fancy heater thingies to keep my telescope dry!
It was another good turnout – five five members with scopes, two without scopes and about five visitors (including one child). But early in the evening we noticed our scopes getting wet, and soon our mirrors and eyepieces were getting fogged too. Fortunately (and for the first time ever), I had brought along small hair dryer and a long extension cord. As we have mains power at North Turramurra, we were able to use the hair dryer to keep the dew at bay to some degree. However, this method required constant re-application and proved a bit tedious.
We also noticed that there was a glow of bright lights to the east and north (usually the darkest part of the sky). There may also have been a very light fog which made the light problem worse.
These problems resulted is a somewhat frustrating session, and particularly thwarted my attempts to see even a single galaxy. Despite all the problems, we still had some great views of some of the brighter objects.
I only wrote down six objects that we observed (last month it was 29). This was partly because we didn’t view as many objects, and partly because I was too distracted by the dew problems to remember to write them down.
Here is my list:
- M57 – The Ring Nebula in Lyra
- Epsilon Lyrae – The Double Double
- Omega Centauri – Globular
- 47 Tucanae – Globular
- Ptolemy’s Cluster – Open Cluster
- M4 – Globular
We also viewed comet C/2009 P1 Garradd which was high in the North East and looked like a dim fuzz in my scope. Geoff also attempted to find Neptune but I don’t think it was positively identified.
Because of the poor conditions, we packed up a bit earlier than usual (10pm) and went home.
One of the visitors (who calls himself grindsmygearsAU) shot some video with me for YouTube. Here it is…