Friday, December 7, 2001

Coe report for December 7

The traffic getting to Coe was abysmal. 1.5 hours from Los Gatos. Fortunately, the sunset drive up the mountain with the red clouds reflecting in the lake washed the frustration away. I arrived relaxed and hoping for clearing skies.

When I arrived I found Richard Crisp, Bruce Jensen and Marsha Robinson there and setting up. I set up the 18" and waited for dark to set in.

Just after dark, the wind came up. It was steady for about an hour then calmed intermittently for about an hour before picking up again.

Others arrived. Richard Navarrette and Kevin Scheurman (sp?). Another person I didn't recognize as well.

I looked at NGC 206 off of M31. I found a few other NGC's from my Herschel lists. The best view of the night was the comet. It is easily visible in an 80mm finder. At 100x the coma and tail extended across the full 48' FOV. Very nice comet, heading SSW just SW of Diphda in Cetus. Get a look at this one.

The wind began buffeting us again. I had my scope tipped down and facing away most of the rest of the night.

While Kevin, Richard and I were talking and looking over at Orion a brilliant fireball fell straight down from near northern Orion. It looked almost like a bright Iriduim flare, except for the neon green glow it emitted. Seemed to break up just before the horizon. Worth the trip just for that view.

By 10:30 p.m. Richard and I drove out and closed the gate.

Even with the clouds and wind, it was nice to see the sky, poke around at a few objects and visit with friends.

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