Gregg and I were at Esparto until 11 p.m. Friday night, sky was 5/10, mostly an M-night, but we did get an excellent view of the Eskimo Nebula at 400x + thru Gregg's 25" with my 7mm UO ortho, then with Gregg's 7mm Nag. Saw the inner ring, very cool. My 18" was OK for the Messiers, but not too much else.
At Fiddletown on the 14th, met Steve Gottleib, Mark and Theresa Hansen brought Mark's new 5" f/9 Meade GOTO refractor for first light. It was a 6/10 sky, though Steve saw M13 naked eye (I couldn't make it out). He also showed me Leo I, a dwarf elliptical in our local group, half a degree north of Regulus, in his 17.5" dob. It was visible with averted vision, and seemed to show occasional detail that changed as soon as I thought I had it pinned down. Did manage to view some new (to me) objects, notably a pair of what appear to be interacting galaxies, NGC4631 and NGC4627, and M80, whch looked very pretty. Mark's scope shows nice images. I was the last to leave started packing around 1:30. I may have left a pair of sunglasses on the ground, so if anyone finds them, please hold for me (between the northeast corner of the observatory and the tree to the right if you face north).
May write something more substantial if I can steal some time...
Hoping for clear skies next weekend -
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