haven’t had the scope out in like forever (specifically since May) I decided to give it a workout since we have a star party over at the model train club on Wednesday. Just back from dinner with Mom and the family, I checked the skies – clear with a little haze and some passing puffball clouds) and set up in the back where I could line on Cassiopeia and most of the summer triangle. The tripod was as heavy as ever but everything went together well enough. Got out the seat and had a look.
First, ran a bead on the double cluster just to see if I could do it. Easy enough, and enjoyed just spending a couple of minute there. Then over to the coathanger in the triangle – I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it through the scope before, just the ‘nocks, so it was fun to find that too. Then I started poking around Vega – I’ve been looking for M57 for a long time and hoped to maybe spot it tonight. I did see a satellite cruise by which turned out (with some post-scope research) to be ENVISAT 1, a European climate monitoring sat. I think this might become a new phase of the hobby for me – spotting satellites and space stations and identifying them via the time and position I caught them.
At least that sure worked better than finding M57.
I might have found it this time, too, if it hadn’t been for that meddling humidity. All I knew was that my glasses were steaming up. I’d lean back, taken them off and shake them clear. Then I’d put them on and in thirty seconds, I’d mist over again. It finally got so frustrating that I quit with only forty-five minutes of viewing. Annoying to get the scope out and get rooked out of eye-piece time.
I’ve since pulled information on M57 and will make a determined sweep for it next time the sky is clear and the temperatures a little cooler.