Observing Log for Mike Durkin

3/19/2017 about 8:00PM-11:00PM
Locust Valley, NY
Transparency: 9/10, Seeing 3/5
Temperature: about 30-45 degrees
Equipment: 16 inch Meade Lightbridge

I wanted to try to get some use out of the 16 inch today
I tried collimation with the laser and I think I did a decent job, although with other tools it would probably have been better.
I looked at M42 and M43, which I also showed off to the neighbor.
I also looked at the Eskimo Nebula. It had a bright core and an extended part that would "flare" a little with averted vision. Even with the 7.4mm eyepiece (216x), I was not able to make out the "Eskimo" details. For that I might need better collimation or magnification.
I also observed galaxy NGC 2903.
I also observed galaxy NGC 3115 (216x), the Spindle Galaxy. I did get a sense of how narrow it was. I also tried to observe the Leo Trio, all at 216x. For M66 I mostly made out only the core. A star nearby at magnitude 9.8 may have made seeing the arms harder. For M65, the core didn't seem as concentrated, but seemed bigger in the eyepiece. And for NGC 3628, I wasn't able to make out at all.
I had thought about doing some variable star observing, and using the 16 inch, I seem to be able to see stars as faint as mag 12.8 or so.
I also did a quick visual meaasurement of α Ori.

3/5/2017 about 8:00PM-10:00PM
Locust Valley, NY
Transparency: 9/10, Seeing 4-5/5
Temperature: about 20-35 degrees
Equipment: Stellarvue 70mm refractor

Measured variable stars R CMi, V CMi, RT Cnc, T Cnc, Z UMa and U Per.
Earlier I had thought about using the 16 inch Dob, but I didn't want to bother with the cold.
I also though about looking up some of the items in the book "Turn Left at Orion", but I think the 70mm scope was a bit too small for most items, unless it was listed only for binoculars.

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