October 95 Observations

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10/29/95 7:00 PM EST
Clear dry viewing conditions with waxing crescent moon
Daylight Savings is here! My favorite time of year!
Observed M33, M31, M27, NGC7331, NGC869 and 884, North American Nebula area, and M57. Observed the nucleus of M33 for quite some time at 96x. Knots and star-forming regions were visible although the spiral arms were not distinguishable. M31...what a sight! Incredible detail at 96x.

10/26/95 7:30 PM EST
Poor viewing conditions
Observed Comet Devico with 70mm refractor. No tail observed due to the poor atmospheric conditions (hazy, incomin rain). Better than no observation though!
10/23/95 7:30 PM EST
Excellent viewing conditions again!
Observed DeVico again with 70mm f6 refractor and 25mm eyepiece. Could only see the coma. It was much higher off the horizon and should be in photo range in a few nights! I was able to first find Comet Hale Bopp with the 70mm refractor and the 25mm eyepiece. The atmosphere has been indeed been most cooperative lately but I'm sure it has brightened also. I was not able to resolve a stellar nucleus even at 366x in the 8" Dob. My size estimate of 5 arc minutes from last night still stands. Too bad its sinking low. I also observed M31 group, M27, M33 and 51 Pegasus (just to wonder) with the 70mm.
10/22/95 7:30 PM EST
Excellent viewing conditions again!
Observed DeVico this evening! This is the first time that I have viewed the same object in both the morning and the evening! DeVico was low on the North East horizon, only 5 degrees above it. I was able to observe it using a 70mm f6 refractor, 25mm eyepiece and a 2x barlow. I could not resolve a tail due to the background light although the coma was easily visible. Stay tuned! I also observed the comet Hale Bopp at 96x in the 8" Dob. My observation is that the comet is still brightening and increasing in size. I would estimate the size to be in excess of 5 arc minutes. I'm not good with cometary magnitudes but the comet was easily found at 48x and low on the western horizon at that. The tail still appears to be fan shaped. More observations to be made tonight!
10/22/95 05:00 AM EST
Had pristine skies!
Observed 18 Orionids between 05:00 and 06:00 (only looked for meteors half that time). Only 1 had a lasting train. Captured a few on film using 55mm f1.8 Fuji 400 Super G. Also observed the comet DeVico, still quite bright. It may hold and become an interesting evening object. Also observed the M81 group.
10/18/95 8:00 PM EST
Observed the Comet Hale-Bopp at 96x and 163x. The tail still appears to be fan shaped and again, still larger than I have seen in the past (even larger than 10/16). The atmosphere was clear although after observing for 20 minutes or so, Hale Bopp just disappeared! I guess it sank below a layer of atmospheric smut hiding it from view. I also observed NGC7331, M31, M32, M110, The Ring Nebula M57, and several open clusters in Cassiopia, and of course, the Double Open Cluster in Perseus. I observed one sporadic meteor that was fairly dim and lasted 1/2 second. I can't wait for the Orionids but it looks like the weather won't hold here in central Maryland till Oct 22 early AM. Oh well. I was hoping to get a deep 55mm shot of DeVico and Bradfield on Oct 22 early AM as the moon will be NEW (which I wish it always was). Just read in the Washington Post this morning (10/19) front page that scientists are now certain that 51 Peg does indeed have a planet orbiting it! Cool! Get those optical interferometers cranking! Wonder what Keck I and Keck II will be able to do as far as perhaps resolving that planet.

10/16/95 8:00 PM EST
Observed the Comet Hale-Bopp at 48x, 96x, 163x and 326x. The tail appears to be fan shaped and possibly larger than I have seen in the past. The atmosphere was very clear and transparent although at times slightly turbulent. I was not able to see a stellar nucleus although the nucleus area was fairly bright.

10/16/95 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM EST
Observed the Comet DeVico and Bradfield using 8" f6 Dob and 10X50 Binos. Bradfield is faint (well maybe mag 7 or dimmer) and no tail was detected but the coma was several arc minutes in size. DeVico displayed a very bright coma and tail that extended thru at least 1 1/2 degrees. In a 25mm eyepiece (48x) with the coma just out of view, the tail was very defined. It was diffuse on one side and very bright and sharply defined on the other. DeVico was situated between two stars (one very close) and its motion was very obvious over a 10 minute period. The best comet that I have ever observed! Took a few 30 second to 1 1/2 minute exposures using 55mm f1.8 Fuji Super G 400. We'll see... Also observed the Orion Nebula (M42), always a treat!

10/15/95 8:30 PM on...
Observed Hale-Bopp, M31, M32, M110, The Cygnus Loop and The Dumbell Nebula. Also saw a mag -2 meteor starting below Cygnus and heading straight down twards the western horizon. Hale-Bopp was fairly bright and I first located it before it was completely dark. The nucleus appeared stellar using averted vision (when the atmosphere cooperated). The tail seemed different than before and looks bigger or fatter to one side. Maybe its brightening or erupting. It was indeed low on the horizon but the atmosphere was pretty transparent.

10/13/95 ~5:30 AM EST
Observed the Comet DeVico and Bradfield using 10X50 Binos. The moon was was waning gibbous so it could have been better. Could not see a tail on either comet but both comas looked like Globular Clusters. Can't wait for the moon to go away!

10/12/95 8:20 to 9:00 PM EST
Observed Saturn, The Great Andromeda Spiral Nebula (M31), M110, M32, and the Dumbell Nebula (M27). Showed my daughter Kimmy Saturn and M27 and she kind of gasped when she saw M27 and asked where Saturns "rainbow" was when we viewed Saturn. Now she is only 4 years old and thinks Saturn has a rainbow! Maybe somewhere along the line she got ahold of one of my books and decided that the rings are a circular "rainbow" or somthing.

Check this out, my brother David looked at the Hale Bopp area using a T3C-2 Russian Night Vision Scope and 100mm F2 and 165mm F2.6 objectives and says he indeed saw it. This was around 9:00 PM 10/12/95 with the sky dry and clear here in central MD. I was looking at other things and thought it was too low, and now I wish I had peeked at it.

10/09/95 ~5:00 AM EST
Observed the Comet DeVico using 10X50 Binos and a 70mm f6 refractor with a 20 mm eyepiece. Could not locate the Comet Bradfield which was very close by. The moon was of course FULL. The coma of DeVico was very bright and even naked eye glimpsable with averted vision. Could not see a tail, it was washed out. I took 4 or 5 pictures 55mm at f1.8 (Fugi Super G 400), doubt they will turn out.