4/26/2019 Globular Cluster M3

Here’s a picture of Messier 3 (M3) in the constellation of Canes Venatici. Taken last night with my 11″ SCT set at f/6.3 at the River Ridge Observatory. If you are familiar with the stars Arcturus (4th brightest in the sky) and Cor Caroli (Alpha Canes Venatici) this lies almost exactly halfway between them and is an easy target with binoculars. M3 is a globular cluster of about 500,000 stars about 34,000 light years from here.
Come to National Astronomy Day at Pinnacle Mountain State Park on May 11 and you might see it for yourself. Click on the image to see it full size.

3/10/2019 Allen’s Hummingbird

A rare Rufous Hummingbird was reported in Bryant yesterday. I went to see it this morning and was surprised to see what I believe is an Allen’s Hummingbird. These are west coast birds. They are occasionally seen in the east during migration, like now, but they have never been confirmed in Arkansas. An expert was consulted and she thinks it is an Allen’s. So Yay. State Bird Number 350. It was cloudy and only 30 minutes after sunrise so the picture is grainy. As of this writing, the bird has not been seen again.

3/9/2019 Skinning

I know you’ve been waiting to hear about the camper. Saturday morning I applied canvas skin to the rest of the walls. Three sides in all. I expected it to go much faster than last weekend and it did. Here’s me applying a squeegee to the canvas which is wet with primer and then a wider view after I was done for the day. Just so you know, its the XL hazmat suit that makes me look like I put on 25 pounds. If you are wondering about the lack of windows, they will be in the flip up panels. Once dry, I can apply as many coats on cheap brand paint and then a not so cheap top coat. I spotted an “Elastomeric Roof Coating” that looks like it would do a good job. Some camper makers have used that before with success. Waterproof, mold resistant, UV resistant, etc, that appears to like it would do well.