1996 Observing Sessions
For my second Messier Marathon we chose a site about
20 minutes north of Port Hope, close to the village of
Garden Hill. The site is called Richardson's Lookout
Conservation Area and is right on top of a big hill.
Arrived on site at about 19:20 with Guy
Nason and Stephen Keefer.
Sal Merola and Bruce Weber also joined us for the
first few hours. The temperature got as low as minus 7
deg. C, and there was a sharp easterly wind both in the
evening, and in the early morning. We were lucky to have
clear skies all night.
Went to Long Sault to photograph Comet Hyakutake.
Seeing it from a dark sky was unbelievable! The tail
stretched out for about 30 degrees and it was long and
narrow. This was my first "spectacular comet".
I believe Steve Spinney also
came out on this night, but I am not sure because I did
not record it in my log.
Arrived on site at about 22:30. Stephen
Keefer was there. On the other side of the field
(about 300 meters away) Bill Barker
and Bob (last name?) also
set up. It was good clear night, with no bugs, no dew,
but it was windy and cold. Left the site at 03:00.
Started observing under a clear and transparent sky at
22:30 and quit at 03:00 because the moon was rising. Observed 14 "new" deep sky
objects. The objects were: NGC 5838, NGC 5846, NGC
5850, NGC 5831, NGC 5813, NGC 5806, NGC 5746, NGC 5740,
NGC 5854, NGC 5864, NGC 6925, NGC 7174, NGC 1931, NGC
The evening started out fine, but it got progressively
damp with dew and fog. Eventually around 02:00 the entire
campground was engulfed in fog! Even though it was still
clear, there was so much fog that observing was
Observed Comet Brewington and Comet Hale-Bopp before
getting into deep sky viewing. Comet Brewington was easy
to find and easily visible in the finder. It had a large
coma with no tail, and I estimated it to be about 8th
magnitude. Comet Hale-Bopp was smaller than Brewington,
but brighter, and had a small stubby fan tail.
|Year End Stats||
|Final Comments:||A good year for observing, even though I was out only 6 times. I was lucky the sky was clear for all of Starfest. I guess I can call this "the year of the comet" for me since I observed 4 different comets.|