|Friday, January 30, 2004|
Trying to set up a neat-o feature...but it seems to be messing with the look (theme) of my general site. Please bear with me.
...why not read some of my latest astronomical "field research" below...
It's been awhile since the sky was clear enough to see any stars. However, I got jazzed reading Wes Stone's The Five Minute Tour of the Universe. I figure if he can pick this stuff out in between the clouds, I ought to be able to get something... I'd been to several of the same areas, so felt confident.
Noticing occasional sunbreaks during the day, I figured I'd at least give it a go. Even the occasional hail didn't dampen my enthusiasm...there were still some good sized patches of blue sky.
Twilight came, and in between the clouds were sprinklings of stars! I hadn't seen them for over a week...so I grabbed my gear. By the time I set up on the deck the only sprinkling was the rain. I drapped my scope and notes with a tarp and decided to wait it out...it seemed to be breaking up...
So I sat on my stool under the porch, riffed a bit on the harmonica, and tried to stay warm. The neighborhood cat kept me company and would meow along. If I hit a series of high notes, it would crawl under me and scratch at my legs. Maybe I was keeping it up, or something. At one point I heard the cat behind me and when I looked up, wham, the snow shovel handle hit me in the face.
All that kept the time going pretty quickly. When the sky would clear a bit, I'd get up and check it out with my planisphere. Having to wipe the rain off the planisphere in order to read it ... is not a good sign.
To make a long story short, every time I set up to view something the clouds would roll in, and everytime I started to tear stuff down to go inside, the sky would clear up. That and all the hamonica/cat breaks filled the evening.
I managed to get a good look at the Moon. Being surprised at how much the moon lights up the rain clouds ... also not a good sign.