1989 Observing Sessions
|January 11 - 16||
Traveled to Los Angeles with Otmar
Eigler on a 5 day astronomy trip (non-observing).
We visited Mount Palomar observatory, Mount Wilson
observatory, Griffith observatory & planetarium, went
on the Celestron Factory tour, visited Hollywood General
Machining (i.e. Scott Losmandy),
Scope City, and Los Angeles Telescope Company. We also
attended a meeting of the Orange County Astronomers where
we met John Sanford.
Set up in the parking lot of the Metro Toronto Zoo, on
the north-east end of Toronto, with Otmar
Eigler. The full moon occulted Regulus at 21:02
EST. The disappearance was somewhat gradual, almost as if
Regulus had an acutal discernible disk which slowly
disappeared behind the moon. Typically the occulted star
blinks out of view in an instant. The occultation lasted
32 minutes, but I missed the re-appearance because I was
looking at the wrong area of the moon's limb. Took
several photos on slide film, and many turned out well.
Because they are on slide film, I don't have a simple way
of scanning them to show here.
This was an organized Toronto Centre observing
session, with a total of 14 people and 10 telescopes. I
went up with Otmar Eigler.
Had a bit of cloud for about 20 minutes, otherwise clear,
cool, with lots of frost.
From the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus,
using the University's 12-inch Questar. I took a couple
of exposures of M42 at prime focus (f-15) using
Fujichrome 1600 for 15 minutes each. My logbook says the
guiding was poor, thus it's probably not worthwhile
showing those pictures here.
This was an organized Toronto Centre observing
session, with a total of 9 people and 7 telescopes. It
was extremely cold, with a temperature of minus 15 or
less. I spent my time doing some astrophotography through
my 800mm Bausch & Lomb spotting scope. I shot M42,
the Horsehead, the Double Cluster, and M37 at f-10 for 15
min. each. My logbook says the guiding was pretty good,
so I will have to find these pictures to show here.
This was one of the brightest aurorae
in recent times, and certainly the best I've ever seen.
It was very extensive, covering half the sky, with lots
of colour, such as white, green, and bright red. I
usually descibe this aurora as being "blood
red" in colour at times. I took about 15 picutures
with Fujichrome 1600, but of course I over-exposed all of
them! 1600 ISO film from the city with an incredibly
bright aurora only takes seconds to over-expose! This
display was so bright even from the city, it must have
Went up with Otmar Eigler.
Cloudy for most of the evening, but managed
to find 3 "new" deep sky objects: IC
2157, NGC 2129, NGC 2266.
A total of 8 people were out tonight, including Otmar Eigler, David Christmas, David
Aylsworth, and Bob Chapman. We had clouds on &
off all evening.
With Brian H. and Alan Procter.
Cool and damp. At 22:30 there was a brief aurora with a glow in the north
and a few rays.
I did some casual observing in the company of another
4 people. Viewed some of the usual Messier objects, plus
saw a very slight aurora.
Set out with Otmar Eigler to go out observing at Long
Sault, but on the driver over to the site it clouded
over. So we decided to go scouting for another observing
site. We found a good site called Kendal Recreation Area.
First time observing at Kendal, with Otmar Eigler. Very clear night,
quite cool, no humidity. Star images were crisp, clear
pinpoints - on of the best nights ever in terms of
seeing. Bright inactive aurora
with large arc, white in colour.
Arrived on site at about 18:00, with Otmar Eigler, Walter MacDonald, Doug
Clapp, Randy Henriks. Walter showed me 5 galaxies
in the same field of view in his "new"
17.5-inch Dobsonian, ranging from mag. 14 to 15.5 -
pretty amazing view.
Still at The Farm. Took photos all night (piggyback),
with some good results (I will have to find those photos
to show here). Saw Saturn occult a
mag. 5.4 star - it was very intereting seeing a
relatively bright star shining through the gap between
the rings and Saturn's disk!
Arrived on site at about 22:30, with Otmar Eigler and Elizabeth Doucette.
Failry clear and "crip" night. I observed 8 "new" deep sky
objects: NGC 6316, NGC 6325, NGC 6287, NGC 6235,
NGC 6355, NGC 6342, NGC 6309, NGC 6384.
Set up a Morningside Park, in Toronto's east end, as
part of a public star night. We estimated about 500 or
more people showed up for a look through the telescopes.
Two TV stations and two radio stations showed up to cover
the event. I was interviewed by CHFI radio, but I don't
know if I ever made it onto the airwaves. I shot a roll
of 24 exposures, and most turned out well. These are on
slide film, so I don't have the means to scan them for
Drove up to Starfest with Otmar
Eigler in his van. The weather was unsettled
throughout the weekend, but still managed to do some
observing. On Friday night I
observed 2 "new" deep sky objects: NGC
7048 and NGC 7026, both planetary nebulae in Cygnus.
On Saturday night the sky was mostly cloudy, but I was
able to squeeze in some observing. I
spotted 3 "new" deep sky objects: NGC
1491, NGC 7600, NGC 7585.
FarmFest '89. Drove to
The Farm with Otmar Eigler.
Other people there were Walter
MacDonald, Doug Clapp, Randy Hendriks, and
probably some other people. Used the
"ClappTrapp" portable observatory. Around 1 am
there was a weak aurora and
some clouds. By 2 am there was more clouds, so I went
into Otmar's van and fell asleep. By 3 am it cleared
nicely, but I was much too tired so I called it quits for
the night. I observed a total of 8
"new" deep sky objects: NGC 1, NGC 7137,
NGC 7678, NGC 7741, NGC 7742, NGC 7743, NGC 7769, NGC
FarmFest '89. Cloudy for
the first part of the evening, so Walter, Doug, and I
showed the others some slides. Eventually it cleared and
we were able to observe till morning twilight. Between 2
am and 4 am there was a bright
aurora with lots of rays. It was white in colour
and it was extremely active - it looked like a burning
fire. Took about 10 photos on slide film (Fujichrome
I attended my first Toronto Centre council meeting
where I was voted in for a three-year term as councillor,
to begin at the November 1989 annual meeting. Upon my
return at home, I saw a very
extensive aurora which was brightest at the
zenith. It covered almost the entire sky, with the
exception of the southern portion. It became very bright
with some red for about 5 minutes, otherwise white in
Toronto Centre deep sky observing session. Seven
people present with a total of five telescopes. I might
have seen PK 373.2, a planetary nebula in Aquila, but I
was not absolutely certain.
Arrived on site at about 20:00, David
Christmas was also there. We observed till about
23:30 when it clouded over. I
spotted 5 "new" deep sky objects: NGC
956, NGC 772, NGC 972, NGC 1156, NGC 877.
Wanted to do some prime focus deep sky photography,
but there were just too many clouds floating around.
|September 30 / October 1||
Arrived on site at about 21:00. David
Christmas and David Aylsworth were also there. I observed 9 "new" deep sky
objects: Basel 1, Tr 35, Tr 34, Stock 1, NGC 6882,
Cr 21, IC 1727, NGC 784.
Arrived on site at about 20:00, Otmar
Eigler and Elizabeth Doucette were also there. I
had some minor equipment problems so that slowed me down.
I took a couple of piggyback photos of M45 and M31.
Arrived on site at about 19:30 with Otmar Eigler and Guy Nason. It was
extremely cold, about minus 20 deg. C., and very windy.
My telescope was shaking quite a bit and my eyes were
watering due to the strong wind. I could not do much
observing due to the inclement weather, but still saw
some favourite messier objects. There was a brief auroral display made up of
|Year End Stats||
|Final Comments:||A banner year for observing!! Many observing sessions, many hours of telescope time, lots of new deep sky objects, 8 auroras (including the best ever!), and I even did some astrophotography!|