University Lowbrow Astronomers

An Observing Report.

by Mark S Deprest
Printed in Reflections: June, 2010.

Tomahawk Lake State Forest Campground

Satellite View of Tomahawk Lake State Forest Campground

Date: May 15, 2010 - May 16, 2010

Time: 21:30 - 04:00

Location: Tomahawk Lake SFC, Onaway, MI. N45 13’ 50” W84 10’ 00”

Conditions: Sky 10/10; Transparency 9/10; Seeing 9/10

LVM: 6.8 - 7.0

Objects: 4 comets, 25 Arp Galaxies, 2 Quasars, Mars, Venus, Saturn & Moon.

The conditions were absolutely the best I’ve ever experienced with my 18” f/4.5 (a.k.a. Blondie). My eyepiece collection includes University Optics 32mm MK-80, Explore Scientific 20mm 100degree, ES 14mm 100degree, ES 9mm 100degree, TeleVue Nagler 7mm, TV Nagler 4.8mm.

After observing the planets and the moon (waiting for astronomical darkness), I quickly move on to Comets: C/2009 K5 McNaught at 10.1ml; C/2007 Q3 Siding Springs at 12.2ml, 81P Wild at 10.4ml, and P/2010 H2 Vales at 12.0ml.

Quasars: Makarian 205 and QSO 3C275.

Arp Galaxies: 84, 90, 136, 85, 26, 178, 269, 23, 266, 281, 242, 159, 163, 313, 294, 305, 189, 76, 116, 152, 120, 87, 288, 277 & 240.

As the night progressed I went after some of my favorite big, bright and chunky objects M51 was incredible the amount of detail seen was near long-exposure image quality, M57 the central star and IC1296 a 15.1 magnitude Barred Spiral just 4’ to the northwest (this was a first for me visually), M13 and NGC6207 were breathtaking in the ES 20mm 100degree and another first for me visually was IC4617 at 15.6 magnitude which sits 14.5’ north-northeast of the center of M13 (just about half-way between M13 and NGC6207.

The temperature dropped quickly and by 04:00 it was 38 degrees and the dawn was approaching, my cot and sleeping bag we calling, so I packed up and went to bed.


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