Tuesday, December 28, 1999

Bright night with the Messier Monster...

I've been out in my backyard with Mimi tonight. Since all my smaller scopes (10" and 8") are disemboweled... all the secondaries are removed and in for recoating, I put Mimi's 10" Coulter outside. Thing is too short for me to really use, but the girl loves the scope. When she saw it out back, she ran for her coat, gloves and hat.

In a matter of minutes, she'd zeroed in M42/43, M78, M35, M36, M37, M38, M1, M31, M32 and a host of bright NGC's. I am still in awe at how fast she finds this stuff. She's seeing stars in Orion that are just not there for me in this bright sky! Must be great to have 11 year old eyes.

We've been working off the older version of Tirion Sky Atlas 2000, and the companion book full of descriptions. She is so much fun to watch, running, I mean that literally, from chart to telescope... moving the scope and WHAM!!! Up go her hands as if to not disturb the scope as she pulls them away to look in the eyepiece.

When she can't find an open cluster here and there, she says they "took a walk"....

Kids are fun. I've got to get her back out to a darker sky.

FWIW... even in this not so great old Coulter, M42 is gorgeous.

11:15 pm and I've had a day full of downloading crud from my Internet account. So many megs of data that it took literally hours and hours. Glad its done... now if my ISP blows up on Y2K, at least I have my data. Hope everyone else is taking reasonable precautions. I hope you don't need to contact Microsoft for help like I did... what a rats nest.

Can't wait to get out and observe again.... wife wants me to go tomorrow and Thursday nights. I get my secondaries back tomorrow.

G'nite all!

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