Battis event report Nov 1st

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At our last public event of the year (other than we hope to get out to Boy Scout park post meeting this week) we had a great time observing.  John Hobbs, Dick Luecke, John Gall, John Brucker, and Michael Deneen (and the post author, Brewster LaMacchia) were there to share views. Due to an apparent miscommunication with the LGIA the only outside visitors were two of Dick’s astronomy class students. So instead we had a chance to share views, do some field repairs (me: a dead battery with a broken connector) and learn about some new objects (me: Michael showed me Almach, a colorful binary that is actually a quadruple star system).

When we arrived the thin crescent moon, Venus, and Saturn were low on the horizon and made for a visual great sight (cell phone snapshot below). Despite looking like a flaming ball-o-fire Mars showed a polar cap and some surface markings during a few instances of calm.

John Gall connected his OCT astro-video setup to my 11″ SCT and we experimented with imaging M15 (awesome), M11 (also good), M57 (could see the colors, but image scale made it tough to see the whole thing ), and M31 (just the center of the core fit on screen). Michael worried I was joining the dark side playing with all the gadgets.

Weather wise the forecasts were right – a high haze was present but didn’t bother things, and around 8:30 clouds were starting to show in the west. Good time for some of us to retreat to the Ale House in downtown Amesbury.

While setting up the view to the west showed the Moon, Saturn, and Venus setting

While setting up the scopes the view to the west showed the Moon, Saturn, and Venus setting

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