Observing Report August 22, 2012 Mendel Observatory

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20” Ritchey–Chrétien telescope, four day crescent Moon, seeing fairly steady, transparency decent, no sports events on campus. The website showed about forty three hits of people checking if we were open. We had a mixture of return visitors and new folks totaling about twenty people. Fred and Bill were on hand to give me a hand.

We started showing the crescent Moon in the west alongside the conjunction of Mars, Saturn, and Spica. While this was going on I entertained the kids with my pocketful of meteorites and answered questions. From Moon we went to Saturn, which looked washed out low on the horizon, but first time lookers enjoyed seeing the rings. From there we went to M57 Ring Nebula and to Albireo, the beautiful double star in Cygnus.

At 8:50 we turned away to watch a -2.8 mag ISS Passover. Most were seeing the spacecraft for the first time and it always produces a lot of comments. It actually crossed right in front of Polaris.

Following ISS we observed M27 Dumbbell Nebula, M57 Ring Nebula, M13 Hercules Cluster, M31 Andromeda Galaxy, M110 companion to M31. In the north we looked at M81 and M82 and the beautiful double star Mizar. The crowd started to thin and a few people remained to look at M2 and the Double Cluster NGC 869 in Perseus.

This was a decent sized crowd on a good night with nice temperatures and great skies! If you’ve not joined us yet at the Mendel Observatory please plan it for a clear Wednesday night in the future.

Kevin Ackert

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