12/10/17 Astronomical League Planetary Nebula Observing Program

I went to the River Ridge Observatory this evening, taking advantage of 5PM sunset along with clear skies and mild temperatures.  I wanted to observe at least six more nebula from the AL’s Planetary Nebula Observing Program to qualify for the certificate. That number is 60 while a whopping 110 is needed for the pin.  I set up my 9.25″ SCT with it’s freshly flashed hand controller and it’s pointing abilities were spot on.  Thankfully this challenge allows GOTO.
As I’ve said before some of the nebulae are hard.  One of the ones I looked at tonight was 2 arc seconds across. That’s smaller than Neptune. The coolest thing of all was an object called Pease 1 which is a nebula in the globular cluster M15.  I used my best eyepiece and a 2x barlow, focused on a bright star next to M15 then moved to the GC.  It wasn’t easy but I’m sure is saw a nebula just to one side on the GC.
In all I picked up 7 nebula to bring my total to 61. Enough for the certificate. Considering the difficulty of some of the remaining entries, the pin will take some time to achieve.

The Moon and Venus

I’m just wrapping up the Astronomical League’s Lunar Observing Program with two observations to see the Moon within 72 and the 48 hours of new. Photos are not required but why not?

Here in descending order are the Moon and Venus and the Moon from Wednesday the 18th when the Moon was 32 hours from new and then the same from Tuesday when it was 52 hours from new. See how thin the Moon is and if you double click either picture with Venus and you can see it’s gibbous phase.