Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ed's Growing Astronomy Addiction

Hi I'm Ed and I am getting hooked, well no I already am. I am finding out the sometimes little things make a difference. I want to share the sky with my inquisitive daughter Rachel, my friends and neighbors - yes that includes Richard(SUG) who is right across the street constantly monitoring all I do. In fact he's looking over from his green lawn as I take this picture! So some other purchases were made:
  • How about a new laser pointer.
  • How about a DEEPSKY 600 chart which the SUG very passionately recommended for my growing observational skills, "this will keep you busy for awhile Ed" he quipped with a smile like a crescent moon on his face. "With this and your Telrad Charts you are set, and I'm always here to help". Yes you are SUG, but will you leave when you need to?
  • And what about this fine yellow cart with the big tires to move my little observatory around? Richard went through the roof with this -yellow is one of his favorite colors and the "big wheels will help keep the scope stable as we move it" he said with excitment. And I'm thinking "what do you mean by we?".
I have not been able to do much observing due to weather, heat and family stuff. But August is going to be fun. SUG said to "observe the Moon anyway" but if I do will he leave at a reasonable hour, will I be able to look through my scope, will my brain be overloaded with Moon stuff from SUG's banter! How do I manage myself and this other guy? Your comments are welcome :>.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Here's my new IYA Galileo Scope just arrived yesterday along with my GTNF to the Drive By Guy.

GTFN: Our roving reporter sends this in from Sparks NV. (Galileo Telescope NewsFlash)

  • The Galileo scope is assembled - even a SUG can do it our reporter claims! It is now mounted on his son's nice camera tripod.
  • First light is a thin 2 day moon 11 degrees over the horizon, craters and rough terrain sighted but with trouble due to atmospheric conditions.
  • Spica is reported to be a fine point with different colors of red blue yellow emanating from the point.
  • Saturn is spied as a disk of orange, no rings or moons seen at this time.
  • Antares is a bright orange red blue point of light.
  • The stinger stars of the scorpion fit nicely into the field of view of the low power eyepiece.
  • M7 sighted as a loose collection of stars flickering in the moving air.
  • Stars of the scorpion's head observed - dbls not sighted.
  • Gamma Sag is seen as a pretty yellow with rainbow effect.
  • B Lib is a pretty sight with magnitude/color difference easy in this scope. "Very pretty" says the telescope tester.
  • B Cyg is a cinch with fine pinpoint stars of orange and blue. Fun sight says the SUG.
  • Alpha-Beta-Gamma Aql all observed with Gamma showing striking yellow tunes. Our report says that the SUG's neck is getting a tough workout with these last two observations due to neck strain with using a straight through telescope design on his son's camera tripod. He will be making a appointment with his D.C.
  • Polaris is seen as a fine yellow/rainbow point. Its B component not seen but parts of the "engagement ring" are a easy catch.
  • Alpha Ursa Majoris is a awesome sight. Yellow and blue components split easily. The SUG is very impressed and decides to keep going.
  • M6 Is a disappointment due to weather - only a handful of stars are seen with it's pretty lucidared giant stealing the show. It is a very pretty red in this scope. The basic outline of the butterfly shape can be inferred
  • Epsilon Peg(Enif) very impressive red/orange with faint wide companion of blue color. SUG
  • M15 is seen s a very condensed fuzzy ball - "pretty cool" says SUG.
  • M8 is sighted! It's brighter cluster members and nebulous haze can be inferred.
  • Jupiter is seen through the trees of the SUGS S.E. backyard corner by his favorite spot to read and drink coffee in the morning. 4 moons can be seen with atmospheric banding visible.
  • "Neptune is ours" cries out the SUG as a pretty blue point . The SUG is pleased to share in the same observations as his predecessor a Dr. Galileo Anzalone D.C.
  • SUG tells our roving reporter to "look at this buddy boy - I can barely see and split my all time favorite Dbl Star Eta Cas". Its ruddy components are just split - a patient observation is required. The SUG IS FLOORED!
  • M103 is barely seen as a small triangle of points - and the raven says"nothing more".
  • Phi Cas cluster / ET. Owl cluster is seen with only the brightest members seen. Phi is a wonderful yellow.
  • Alpha1-2 Cap is pleasing yellow orange duo!
  • Beta Cap is "one wonderful sight" exclaims the SUG as he grabs our reporter by the arm to look.
  • M25 Sag open cluster is seen as 2 parallel lines of faint stars.
  • M22 Sag globular is seen as a fuzz ball.
  • M28 Sag on the threshold of SUG'S vision, but seen!
  • Lambda Sag pale yellow.
  • Mizar/Alcor system observed. it reminds SUG of his first scope as a 10 year old as the view is very similar. He wipes away a few tears from the joyful memory.
  • M23 Sag Star Cloud is a river of star points across the whole field of view. SUG waxes respectfully that he feels honored to share in the same view that Dr. Galileo Anzalone D.C. had so long ago..................and bows his head in silent memory.
  • Gamma And is a lovely orange, but no partner stars sighted.
  • Delta Cep is a "stunner" cries out the SUG, even though his neck is whacked out by this observation. 2 wonderfully colored stars of yellow/blue.
  • Mu Cep (Garnet Star) "is incredible with this small scope - the golden red is so intense" exclaims SUG as he falls over with delight and glee.
  • IC1396 Cep is seen with its famous triple star center only seen as a fine Dbl star with a reddish primary.
  • NGC884/869 Per Double Cluster along with Stock Cluster? held by a chain of stars from the former. The double cluster fits snugly into the field of view of the 20x eyepiece and is a "wonderful sight not to be missed by any living person" screams out the SUG.
  • SUG reports to us that one of "Jupiter's Moons is being eclipsed by this giant gaseous orb and is clearly seen with this primitive scope".
  • This observation was made by the SUG using the IYA Galileo Telescope of simple a design. Viewing conditions were Mag 3.5 at best with turbulent air. The low power 20x eyepiece was employed for every target. SUG estimates a field of view about 1.25 degrees. Stars where all seen as very nice points, and their color was very obvious.
Note that star color is easy with this scope even with the rainbow effect on the brighter ones.
Here is another example of getting "sucked in" by the sky and just having a plain good time with a simple toy. what started as a"quick view honey" turned into 2 hours of backyard enjoyment.

A comprehensive Lunar report/GTLONF will be forthcoming to a Blackberry near you. (Galileo Telescope Lunar Observe NewsFlash)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ed's Astronomy Adventure With The Sidewalk Guy

Hi my name is Ed and my life is changing and my head is spinning - let me explain. Several years back I, my wife and daughter moved to Sparks NV. Our neighbors across the street Richard and Cindy Smith welcomed us with a pizza and snacks as we where moving in, and we have had friendly contact since. I have noticed over the years that Richard is a little different than our other neighbors - he seems to spend a lot of time looking up at various times of the day and is obsessed with his front lawn! A couple of weeks ago I noticed Richard holding a large Moon chart in his hand as he was attempting front lawn management, by the way his green lawn drives me crazy! Anyway in spite of my shyness I had to go over and ask "what's up with this?" Well as you readers already know Richard let out a burst of excitement and preceded to do a astronomy PR job that everyone should be exposed too. After some views through the Ricardo 10"Coulter which has a plumbing piece focuser in his backyard I was hooked and I need to buy in to this astronomy thing again which I attempted in the past without much success. Of course by this time Richard is in a state of euphoria and it's time to go shopping for a scope. With Richard's guidance and experience I set my budget and make a wonderful purchase of a Zhumell 10" Dob with some of the observing stuff I need to get started on the right footing. This is starting to get exciting!

My scope arrives and the Sidewalk Guy is already worked up, as he is easily excitable and loves astronomy stuff. "We are gonna have some fun here Eddie my man" as he pours over my Telrad Charts, "you are gonna love this, trust me". Well I really have no choice for the money is spent and Richard is standing in my family room already planning my every move -he has taken over! He is very impressed with this scope and says I will have "tremendous experiences using it". I'm not really sure who is more excited about this whole thing. Later with his continued input I learn how to set up my scope, adjust the optics, how to point it, focus it, and how to properly look through it to gain the best view with my challenged eyesight. He is even showing me how to move and use my scope for extended times without back or neck ache. Richard is really a full service kind of guy. Right now he has me practicing setting up the scope along with pointing at bright guide stars - just getting the feel of things. With his trusty laser Richard leads me to the major guide stars of the summer sky and is getting me familiar with the northern circumpolar which of which he says"is of extreme importance to my navigation skills". He has me pointing and focusing my scope on these stars and says"get to know them". In between all of this he stands in the background watching my every move and drooling over the new scope. I must relent some I let him play with it and he precedes to knock out some star clusters in a constellation I never heard of like it was a drive to the grocery store. "Ed these optics are really nice, the whole scope is a wonderful value.................can I "burrow"it for say 2 months?" he inquires. The problem with this is if he "burrows" it I will never learn! I offer him a beer instead and he simmers down. He points my scope to a corner in Cygnus and says "just play around here, look and train your eye. As I move the scope I see clusters, star chains, holes in the background and even star color! "Don't concern yourself with finding stuff, just sight see" my mentor says," just take it in"- with a burp from his beer.

We are off and running. I ask Richard about doing outreach with him............wait what is happening to me, why do I want to expose myself and my new scope to the hordes in public places? Am I ready for the energy level of my neighbor as he ventures on to the walkways of life and engages the great "unwashed". I need to heed Sidewalks advice and take a month or so of just taking it in and learning some basics and getting use to his energy level and need for constant snacks. The hordes will always be there as well as the sky, just enjoy my new toy for awhile and I will. But how am I going to manage my astronomically inclined neighbor with the green front lawn and 10"Coulter with a plumbing piece focuser - can anyone give me advice?

Richard also mentioned something about the Moon.................what's up with that?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Under The Stars And Streetlights With Everyday People Sparks Marina Street Astro

Tim and Felicia are local residents of the Marina neighborhood and have been keeping a keen eye on the activities of this stranger and his telescope. What are his neighbors and other Reno-Sparks people getting so excited about anyway? Well in spite of a hurting right ankle from a July 4th fall Tim and his Mrs. wheel on over to the cosmic outpost(which was no small feat with a wheel chair Tim was employing at this time) of yours truly and embarked on a journey that will span the galaxy and beyond. Stars we see across the sky are different ages, temperatures, sizes/mass, and distances away from us. Of course stars lead us to other things like galactic structure, size, distance. By the time we where done a hour plus later this nice couple had a much better understanding of these things and a lot to think about. Tim made many observations in spite of his hurting foot, and I could see the wonder of it all in Felicia's face............. now they are ready to do a Lunar viewing come Sunday night with the Sidewalk Guy. They are going to encounter Luna in a big way folks!

Alex and Angela are your typical young couple people with lots to talk about and do. But astronomy is for most young people something not on the to do list of life. But as fate would have it they run into the Sidewalk Guy as they take a stroll around the park. They stop and listen to my star talk with other visitors and are soon engaged in a big way! After numerous views of stellar combo's dancing in the night including Polaris, 61Cyg, Beta Cyg, Gamma Lyr they are hooked in to this astronomy thing. How about comparing the color and brightness of stars with our eyes with the aid of a laser pointer? These guys where starting to understand this star thing is really very special if you take a little time to just look for yourself. Oh look there's Jupiter - lets have a peek. Now we have to be exposed to gas giants and we need to understand these a bit more after some WOW views! "What about Pluto?" asks Alex. How can I not answer this? Now it's Neptune time, yes that little blue dot near Jupiter is a massive Ice Giant Planet on the fringes of our Solar System neighborhood. These guys show no signs of calling it a night! "Why not come by on Sunday evening about 8 p.m. for a little walk across the Moon" I suggest. Not quit as good as a ticket to the latest concert but pretty good I think. They are planning accordingly!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sucked In By The Sky - Again

Yesterday we had one of our local range fires so I was not expecting to do any observing when I arrived home last night about 10 p.m. With the smell of burned sage and pinion pine in the air I wrote the evening off. So I thought I would set up the 10"Coulter with the plumbing piece focuser in hopes of a early morning before house husband chores Lunar observe with Lunar News Flashes to Mr. Drive By. I went back out at 11:15 and behold we have a clearing! I do a quick Messier Round -Up around the sky with M22,8,20,21,28,11, 29,39,15,27,56. I head over to Cepheus and check out the Garnet Star and IC1396 with it's wonderful triple header struve 2816. Let's knock out some clusters in Cygnus: NGC 6819,6940,6866. OK by this time say 45 minutes I am hooked and I want to keep going. Everything is looking pretty good in spite of the smoke. What is wrong with me - I need to go to bed but I am getting a serious fix. The celestial goose is honking away at me so I must beckon to the call.

So: "TOP TO BOTTOM AND SIDE TO SIDE CONSTELLATION SURVEY TIME" and our host is the constellation of Cygnus. Just what did we see - here's some of it:

  • Because of the size of the goose we will cover it in small areas with bright to moderate guide stars. And because of the conditions I'm after star clusters and doubles.
  • Needless to say when you explore this bird you are on one of the major arms of the Milky Way - every telescope field is filled with something worthwhile.
  • I started with ETA CYG and the wonderful cluster NGC 6871. What a joy to behold. It has 2 destinct parts one like a stellar thread weaving it's way across the sky and the other part like a dim clump of stars as a after thought. I spent a good 30 minutes surveying it's treasures of doubles ,triples, and stars of all colors. I could not locate a pic that would do it justice. This cluster is a gem!
  • Near by was the "Albireo Killer" Struve 394 wonderful orange and blue members.
  • Using 34 CYG we head on to a "Cluster Cloister". These are in the picture above with 34 CYG as the glue star that holds it all together! Oh my the hidden treasures of the sky. 34CYG is a pretty yellow variable in which these clusters seem to be revolving around. These clusters are Dolidze 39,40,41, and my main target IC4996 which is 7 o'clock position from 34Cyg in the pic. This cloister kept me occupied for an hour. Check it out folks! All these grouping have something special as they weave their magic into your eyes. More of the goose to come!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back in the Saddle/Star Comparative Street Astro.

After a long break it was time to start meeting the public again. Cooler than normal weather for a mid July evening is going to bring people out - and out they were in droves! Just setting up the Sidewalk Guy has folks stopping by left and right, forward and to my back they came to see what this is all about! "Are you the astronomy guy we've heard about" was asked over and over. "We have been waiting for you to show up" was heard many times over. Nice to be wanted! Jeff in the lower pic was very excited to see me. "You are getting me out of my ignorance of the universe" he said and "I am learning so much from my visits with you, my whole neighborhood waits for you to show up and I want more astronomy!" WOW! Well Jeff could not stay long this night but he got an eyeful of Saturn and a NASA DVD that will feed him for now. "When will you be back with another fix" he said with all seriousness. Jeff left proudly wearing a IYA button and bookmark in his shirt pocket - another junkie is borne!

The Garcia clan on the top with my friend Jerry who offers continual moral support for my efforts really got a show of shows last night:
  • Views of colorful double/multiple stars such as 61CYG, BETA CYG, OMICRON CYG, BETA LYR.
  • Views of star clusters in Cygnus.
  • How about Jupiter with it's moons in a row.
  • How about Neptune which they were some of the first to see it this year.
  • Hey how about a massive stellar traffic jam M22 in Sagittarius.
  • And lets not leave out a pretty 3rd quarter Moon on the rise in the eastern foothills!
And these guys wanted more but it was time to go. Hopefully the NASA handouts will keep them busy for awhile! I had a total of 63 visitors. I drove home with the Moon guiding me in my windshield view, awesome night!

UPDATE: 7/19/09 Star Comparative Street Astronomy.

Sunday night outreach at the Marina featuring the universe's primary constituent: Stars. We compared star color, magnitude, size/mass, and stellar life cycle with the fun Chandra Stellar Evo Chart and views through the scope. I had 46 visitors with one special family who received a National Geographic Star Atlas as a gift for their interest level and enthusiasm. Dad was speechless, their daughter smiled with glee, and mom was bought to tears. Here's a wonderful opportunity to learn about and explore the cosmos. After they spend sometime studying the basics they join the Sidewalk Guy to learn how to use the star charts. Hook'm and Reel'm in!

Monday, July 13, 2009


One of my favorite things is a early morning late summer/fall Sierra foothills backyard observe time. Cool temps and dry air can make for some fun times out in the yard. Our cooler than normal midsummer temps are allowing us to have this experience earlier than normal so let's take advantage of it! I did not have a scope set up due to very hazy skies the evening before so to my bino's we go for enjoyable session with the moon. Armed with day old chilled mud and simple fold out lunar map and my western facing backyard bench and very good skies we start. The moon is passing from waning gibbous to 3rd quarter - I never ever tire of seeing this in the morning sky. It's contrast with the blue sky is awesome! One look with the bino's and my mind is racing again with astronomical delight. Here are some of the delights:

  • Bino's give you the big picture - my foldout map in the pic shows just about what I saw. I really enjoy looking at the shape/curvature of luna. Early this current lunar cycle we had a wonderful eastern tilt - it is now south westerly! Oh my where do I start with all of this. The southern curvature is breathtaking and the crater fields go on forever! The northern pole is hidden waiting for another time to discover it's treasures.
  • The Ocean of Storms is simply enormous and glorious!
  • Mare Orientale stands out on the extreme western edge like a scar and a gouge. Even in the 10x60's its rims, ponds, main floor are clearly visible!
  • Grimaldi against the blue sky is a black hole and my coffee is really strong an creamy!
  • Aristarchus mound is brightly lit and it's uplift is easy to see.
  • Crater rays abound in all directions across the Ocean of Storms. Ok my mind is getting overloaded!
  • The lunar Alps, Caucuses, and Appeinne are being kissed by shadow - it is getting hard to contain myself. I have to tell/share this with someone!
  • Back to the big picture, I am seeing the large scale structure of the moon and it is very complex! No maria are alike, no crater exactly the same, subtle color/shade differences I have to stop before my mind shuts down due to photon imput.
OK I have to start the rest of my day...........will my brain be able to shift gears?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Naming Lunar Landforms and Discovering Their Origins

During our last VLO Mr.Mike came upon the pictured land mass in the lunar dusk. When I was able to spy it hours later in my neck of the woods I decided to call it "Mike's Pile". He promptly responded back with "Richie's Ridge"as being the very top of the pile running SE to NW. What is "Mike's Pile"? Here are some guesses:
  • Maybe an old volcano mound - it is somewhat darker than the surrounding area.
  • The rim of a crater smashed by other impacts?
  • How about lunar material that was thrown out from a great distance away from the impact and creation of a lunar basin?
  • How about a pile of old dirty laundry and rubbish from Mike's teenage years bedroom - the ridge is really 1000s of old sweat socks and worn tennis shoes. This may also qualify as a archeological dig site on the Moon.
Your thoughts and theories are welcome!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Showing The Right Spirit

Once again Mr. Drive By Astronomy aka Miguelacutty, Hockey Puck, Mr.Plucky, McG, and the Sidewalk Guy hooked up for a virtual coast to coast observe time with Luna and Jupiter as main targets, and a fine Cygnus variable V460 tucked in the wing feathers of the celestial goose. Mike also was ready with his day old, microwaved warm, 2x creme, in a big blue mug from the office brewing device coffee. After setting up his gear he donned his forehead red flashlight and started in several hours ahead of the Sidewalk Guy. What did we see?
  • Mare Crisium through the evening was putting on a show. Rim features, shadowed floor craters, Dorsum Oppel stealing the show.
  • Crater Cleomedes showed us fine lit rim peaks in the early morning hours.
  • Crater Endymion recession into nightime left only it's western rim exposed to sunlight - we had fun climbing the rim ridges with our scopes.
  • Mare Fecunditatus Dorsum Ridges where awesome as the terminator moved closer and closer.
  • Sunset on Petavius and the "discovery" of new lunar feature which we are calling "Mike's Pile". It is a nice mound just to the N.W. of crater Wrottesley which was casting fine shadows as the evening/morning progressed.
  • Even the western rim of the Moon under a lunar high noon light was killing us. Mare Orietale with it's lakes and rim features, Byrgius crater rays, Schickard's multi-hued floor.
  • Jupiter gave us a show of moons disappearing and reappearing with in a 10 minute time span. One in and one out! I am not sure what moons they were, I was to engrossed to care as I just wanted to enjoy the show!
It was a fun night sharing all this stuff and more. We were connected by our computers, satellite radio with 60's music, coffee in big mugs, red headlamps, charts and books, telescopes, but more than anything just a childlike love of the universe.

Hey Mike, I still cannot find my Rukl Lunar Atlas with the broken binding!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Of The Moon And Coffee

I know I am really pushing things here on this blog lately. I will be starting outreach again to the public next week so for now we have an assortment of random stuff. Here's some more. The add said "Bali Blue Moon Coffee Medium Roast, Maximum Taste" in the grocery store's advertising . Why does this stuff keep happening to me - everything in life somehow becomes astronomical in nature. OK don't fight it just go with it so here we go:

  • "Once in a Blue Moon we discover a coffee that sends us over the moon - this is that coffee". I became a coffee drinker just this year. With both my kids working for Starbucks I got started on drinking the stuff in the morning and I like it. Armed with all sorts of coffee drinking tools and paraphernalia supplied by my boys I like my coffee strong and with attitude! I have been observing the moon since I was 10 years old and I am constantly sent jumping over it all the time and that does not require a 2 full moon month to do this. I find the moon is always filled with character and a attitude which says "just try to figure me out". And you have to keep coming back for more just like coffee!

  • "This coffee has us all moony-eyed" says the add. One thing I know for sure a good way to start the day is with a good cup of joe and a waning moon in the morning sky. July, August, September are great months for this and I can't think of a better way to start my day! After a fun filled observing session with the moon I am not at all earth bound ! Coffee may stay in my system a few hours but a moon view will carry me for days!

  • "Bali Blue Moon Coffee is exceptionally full bodied, has a rich smooth flavor, with a bit of chocolate finish and acidity throughout. Like other Indonesian coffees it is robust with a hint of creaminess but less earthy". OK where do I begin. The moon is always "full bodied" it just depends on your perspective in space and earthshine does a great job of lighting up shadowed sections of the moon's face from time to time! Is it smooth, well that depends how you define smooth! Some parts of the moon are smoother than others but that is a relative term! I have never tasted the moon but the Apollo astronauts say it "smelled like gun powder" after they retreated to the lander after a foray on the surface! A really good dark chocolate bar and a coffee with the moon in your telescope is one sure way to stay up all night! Is the moon robust? It certainly is because it is the largest moon in our solar system in proportion to it's parent planet. The moon is creamy every now and then; are there clouds rolling in? But is the moon really "earthy". Most researchers will tell us that the moon's origin is due to our planet earth being impacted early on and the leftovers formed it so it is "earthy"!

  • "This coffee is good anytime of day" And how true of the moon. I just enjoy it whenever I see it in the sky and even when I can't at new moon. Just knowing it is there hidden in the glare of the sunlight is kind of neat! I am starting to like this iced coffee thing too in the middle of the day. I better buy some teeth whitener!

  • How do I like my moon? Easy answer; all the time. How do I like my coffee? Strong with honey and rice milk to the brim please! How do you like yours fellow astro peeps - I want to know!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Taking The Kids Out For A View

My observing and outreach buddy Drive By Astronomy Mr.Mike decided yesterday to take some of his "kids" out for a afternoon Solar viewing session after his yard work. Nice combo in this clan with a dedicated H-Alpha scope, and 2 refractors in white light to enjoy a Sun which is finally showing signs of activity! And of course some of this ensemble stayed out to enjoy lunar views later in the day. I wonder if Mr.Drive By has time for anything else?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Virtual Lunar Observation Coast to Coast # 2

Sometimes you can't get enough of a good thing. Mr. Drive By Astronomy in Buffalo N.Y. and the Sidewalk Guy in Sparks NV. once again connected via the digital airways to conduct another lunar reconnaissance mission. My weather had by late afternoon had become totally stormy and my partner had clearing sky. Mike was ready for bear with his awesome Televue 101, Sky and Telescope folding MoonMap, and Blackberry. Me with my son's Mac laptop connected to lunarrepublic.com virtual Moon Atlas, and my old Rukl Atlas with a broken binding. What sights did we see? Here's a few:
  • Sunrise on Plato with shadows of it's rim against the flat floor.
  • The shadow of Mons Pico looking like a lonely sentinel toward the west against the lit floor of Imbrium.
  • How about a wonderful sunrise around crater Timocharis with maria ridges near by.
  • A totally incredible sunrise around crater Eratosthenes with it's thin connecting bridge to Mons Wolf.
  • Sunrise on Mare Nubium with the Straight Wall pointing us to the Deslandres transition crater it's rubble floor and tag along crater Hell. We started to see the first glimpse of light upon crater Pitatus and it's multi-layered rim. Nubium was very impressive and the pic above shows a similiar view Mike had in his scope!
  • The "Regent of Rays"Tyco is just now seeing light along it's extensive rim and mimics a annular solar eclipse! It is fun to see the rays before you see the crater!
Besides our views we had some fun with lunar poetry to describe our sights of these things with one another. Mike is very much the wordsmith. I will post these a little later. Mike had to battle the elements of a western N.Y. thunderstorm but his endurance won the day. Thanks Mr. Drive By for a neat time!

July 2, 2009 update: Mr.Drive By just left me a message stating that our astronomical safaris are costing him some friendships................are we a bit ocd with all this? Sometimes it is fun to be ocd. I am not sure what effect all this is having on his marriage. Some folks will never understand us astronomers!

July 5, 2009 update: Mr.Drive By sends me another email telling me of the joys of his latest lunar recon on the south western edge of the moon. The craters and impact basins are jumping out at him through the telescope eyepiece. It appears that Mr.Drive By has a good case of Moon Fever. His wife is very patient at this point but their social life has definitely taken a hit!