suitti (suitti) wrote,

Observing plans ignored

Last night it was crystal clear, but cold. I tried out my new electric socks. They worked great. 25 degrees F.

But i'd made an observing plan based on my driveway, then peeked out the back only to see Orion big as life. I checked to see if i could do my 2 star alignment (there's no horizon and limited visibility - it's darker, that's why i use it. I could. So i set up in back, turned on the fan to cool the mirror, and, in the mean time, looked at Orion. None of the stuff from my plan was visible, so i asked my scope's computer for clusters in Orion. I went down the list. Then i looked at clusters in Auriga, which was straight overhead. After a couple successes, i stopped being able to find them. Then, i failed to find M38. That's absurd. So i checked my alignment, and somehow, i was off by some 5 degrees. No wonder.

I decided to bring the scope to the driveway to get back to the plan. I did my 2 star alignment. It more or less failed. I tried again, and got excellent alignment. First object is a cluster near the North Pole - NGC 188. I'm interested in it because, as something near the North Pole, i might be able to get an image of it with my camera with my non-tracking Dob. The idea is, it won't move that much. But by the time i got anywhere near it, there wasn't anything in the eyepiece. I looked up to see that a cloud was there instead. I looked around, and two of the stars of the Big Dipper were visible - nothing else. And in just seconds, even that was gone.

I got back in, and updated my log. It turns out that i'd only seen things i'd seen before, contrary to the plan. Next time: stick to the plan.
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