Dueling APOs

Fremont Peak 1997 July 12

Rod and I went to the Peak this last Saturday with our AP 180 EDTs. We set up by the observatory. The seeing was quite good for about an hour and a half after sunset. We got very nice veiws of the Moon. I was switching back and forth between the bino viewer and the regular star diagonal. I still like the view throght the bino viewer best. We could see rills on the floor of Alphonsus, the Triesnecker rills were easy to see. The upper and lower parts of Hadley's rill could be seen, the rest of the rill was in shadows. I thought I could see part of the rill in the Alpine valley but the seeing needed to be better.

We found out a group of 4H kids were going to be looking for all 9 planets with their home made Dobs. A woman scientist from NASA headed the 4H astro group. The kids were between 9 years and 14 years old, at least half of them were girls. They were having a good time but they were really involved with their observing. Paul Mortfield was running the 30 incher and helping the kids find Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

After 3am the seeing got better and I watched the GRS come into view on Jupiter. There were several white spots along the northern edge of the NEB and a brown bar in the middle of the NEB. The equatorial zone had some fine, low contrast markings like very thin festoons comming from the NEB. The SEB was relatively light colored and the GRS was also light colored so there was not much contrast between the two. There was a white oval at the lower edge of the GRS and two more around the right side ("following" edge) of the GRS (image reversed left to right).

Saturn looked very nice. The Cassini division was easy to see. There is a relatively dark equatorial band on Saturn.

I was using 7.5mm Takahashi LE ED eyepieces in the AP/Zeiss bino viewer with the 180EDT giving about 260x. The bino viewer adds about 20% to the magnification.

Rich Neuschaefer; last updated: 1997 July 14