Montebello Observing Report 7/30/97


I set up next to Mike Shade last evening. Since we both have the same model scope, it's nice to share notes sometimes.

I didn't bother to get out my charts, I was going to look at the old favorites. I save the faint stuff for my nights with my big deep sky scope "Annie".

I set up the tripod and pointed it to were I thought north might be. Only Venus was visible... no stars. I took a peek through my alignment scope just in case I might be lucky. There was Polaris! Not only was it in the field of view, but it was almost dead-on the allignment mark. This was going to be a good night!

As it got dark, I socialized a bit with the other observers. I think that this is a great part of the fun in doing these events together. I like to talk and share the various aspects of the hobby.

As darkness descended, I started looking at the big bright globular clusters. They are the easiest to see before it gets truly dark. I was suprised to see how close to the core I could resolve them from this sight fairly close to the city and with a small aperature scope. The little refractor also gives a magnificent view as compared to my deep sky wonder. The stars are so crisp and enlivened. The contrast provides an animated background.

I spent considerable time observing the nebulae in Sagitarius. I don't tire of staring at these objects because they seem to present something new to me each time I see them. The Swan was particularly beautiful last night. I got lost in the clouds of swirl for several minutes.

Mike was looking at globulars and I had to take a look. I stole a few peeks at the chart on Mike's truck to discover the locations of them in Sagitarius. I located most of them easily. The night was good. M22 was very striking and I paused there for another 10 minutes or so to view it. Leonard was looking at the same object in his Questar and so we exchanged views.

Jupiter was up high enough to swing my scope over for a look. Last friday night was clear at the Van Meter event and Jupiter was marvelous. I was hoping that this night would reward me in similar fashion. Perhaps it would later... but now the planet was still hiding its beauty behind the atmosphere. At 11 PM, I could see the GRS starting to come into view. I noticed it by the tell tale interruption of the tan band above it. As I looked carefully, I could make out other signs of the giant storm.

Too bad I could not stay for the planet to rise higher for a better view. It was a school night. And, I wanted to be rested for what promises to be a great weekend of observing. I took off before everyone else and was in bed shortly after midnight, laying awake, wondering what Jupiter looked like... ;)