HAL NEWS Plus Star Party and Outreach Reports
Members Only Impromptu (Alpha Ridge Park) 1/09/2021
Five HAL members met at Alpha Ridge Park on Saturday night for what turned into a fairly spectacular night of observing.
The temperatures were somewhat cold with some light wind, but the wind and the relative humidity kept the dew/frost away.
Clouds moved through for about 30 minutes around 10pm, but then it cleared up beautifully for the rest of the night --
the sky brightness dropped to 19.9mag/square arcsec, which is about as dark as it gets at Alpha Ridge.
One interesting observation was that it got noticeably warmer as the clouds moved through and for a little while afterward, but then the cold returned.
The moonless skies allowed many deep sky object to be visible, but the Mercury-Jupiter-Saturn conjunction escaped us all --
Jupiter was visible but not the other two. Richard observed objects in the south with his telescope, then switched to binoculars.
Phil did not actually set up a scope and left early after talking to several of us about our scopes and more general topics.
The other three of us were imaging: Kurt was imaging the Horsehead Nebula, Anthony spent the night on the Orion Nebula, and I
extended my exposures of the Perseus Cluster and then moved to do some narrowband imaging of the Crab Nebula. The highlight of the
night for me was a very bright meteor, brighter than Venus that glowed a brilliant green color, falling toward the southern horizon
between Sirius and Orion -- Anthony was looking north while we were chatting and didn't see it; sorry!
The park was closed up at about 3:30am.
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