Dry Creek Observing 12/23/11

Butch and I arrived at Dry Creek about 7:00pm. The temperature gage in my truck said “icy conditions”. It was cold. The sky was 75% covered with high thin clouds, especially in the south and west. I talked with Butch and we decided to only set up one scope (his Dob) because we didn’t know how long we would be out there. It looked like the clouds were going to close in on us. I also brought my Sky Commander setting circles to try on Butch’s scope. We only looked at eye-candy because the sky wasn’t clear enough to look and anything really faint. We looked at M1, M36 & 38, Double cluster, M31,110 and M32, & M42.

The Sky Commander circles didn’t work on Butch’s scope because we did’t know the resolution of his encoders. We had to put his NGC Max circles on. We now know that the Sky Commander circles will work on his scope once we set them to the proper resolution.

On a scale of 1-10,  I would say that the sky tonight was about a 3 of 4. Most of the sky was the same gray as the Milky Way. Thus the Milky Way was barely visible. There was a lot of moisture in the air but no dew. My green laser showed like a beacon. When a car came over the hill it’s headlights lit up  the entire sky because of the moisture. We left about 9:00 pm. The temperature was a balmy 35 deg. F. Almost no wind.

Even though the sky wasn’t great, we had a very enjoyable time

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Greg Eckes


I am a retired music teacher. I make custom violins and violas. I play violin in the Tulare County Symphony and fiddle in the Tule River Bluegrass Band. I like camping and astronomy.


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