Tuesday, January 26, 1999

Blinded Bull!

Well, it cleared in Los Gatos. I took a look outside about 11:15 and not a cloud in sight. I ran upstairs, threw on some sweats, grabbed a jacket, Jane Houston's 6" Reflector Red (aka Red Dwarf) and, not remembering I had about 15 minutes until the occultation ran out the back door.

Ice was already forming on my deck and with my slippers on I went sliding toward the swimming pool, gaining traction just before hitting the concrete at the end of the deck. Whew!

In went the 20mm Meade, the scope still HOT from being inside, but even so the view of Sinus Iridium's "horns" as Bill called them was quite a sight. I have admit that the naked eye view of Aldebaran on the edge of the moon made me hurry, but in the eyepiece I could tell I had some time.

I went back in and grabbed my 10.5 mm eyepiece, back out and in went the ocular. One nice feature of Jane's scope is that small mirror cools quickly. And what portability. Never would have made it hauling the 10 out of the garage, and it pulling a kitchen chair out back, it was nice to sit and just watch.

After a while I began to detect the dark limb of the moon, and I could tell the star was getting close. By now, the "horns" on the moon were closing, and I could see craterlets in the terminator-side walls. On the north side of the rim was a high peak casting a very long pointed shadow across the smooth floor, broken only by a few craterlets. Nice view! You lunatics might have something after all ;-)

Then, definately being able to, with averted vision, detect the dark limb, I could see Aldebaran closing quickly.

Soon, the star seemed to deform. It looked like a notch was taken out of it. I looked and looked, not believing what I was seeing.

Then it was gone.

Nice short night out back! Thanks for the scope Jane!

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