Observing Log for Mike Durkin

7/29/2018 about 12:30AM-2:00AM
Locust Valley, NY
Transparency: 6/10, Seeing 2/5
Temperature: about 65-75 degrees
Equipment: Celestron Ultima 8 with PEC

Tonight is most likely the best opportunity to view Mars for me for this apparition.
First reaction is that the seeing was very bad for me. If that was because Mars was low in the sky, my telescope didn't have time to cool down, or if the air was just very unsteady I can't say.
After that, I noticed that I could not make out any significant details on the disk. I also tried using all 4 of the colored filters to see if that would help with the contrast to make out any details. The red filter was the least useful. Blue and yellow may have helped, but only slightly.
I may have seen a bit of a polar cap on the northern side (bottom of field of view). Also maybe a bit of dark markings around that cap, but it was not very clear. My eyes were definitely playing tricks on me when trying to see details.

7/13-14/2018 about 11:00PM-12:15AM
Locust Valley, NY
Transparency: 8/10, Seeing 3/5
Temperature: about 65-75 degrees
Equipment: 70mm Stellarvue refractor

Measured variable stars Z UMa, RX Boo, RV Boo and RW Boo.
Also took a quick look at Saturn. I was able to make out the rings using the 17mm eyepiece and a Barlow lens

7/8/2018 about 8:30PM-10:30PM
Locust Valley, NY
Transparency: 9/10, Seeing 4/5
Temperature: about 65-75 degrees
Equipment: 16 inch Meade Lightbridge

With the good weather, I wanted to see how the Lightbridge would work.
I spent a fair amount of time coillimating using the Celestron collimation eyepiece.
First looked at Jupiter. The bands were clear and 3 moons were visible. Although the moons did not seem to be pinpoint sharp. Could be the optics, or maybe my eyesight?
Also saw M13, which looked very impressive. I went as high in magnification with the 7.4mm eyepice.
Since I was in the area again, I also tried to see globular cluster NGC 5897, but again could not see it. Not even a hint of it.
Measured variable stars RS Lib and V Oph.

7/7-8/2018 about 10:00PM-12:30AM
Custer Institute, Southold, NY
Transparency: 10/10, Seeing 3/5
Temperature: about 60-75 degrees
Equipment: 14 inch SCT

L and I were in Mattituck visiting family, and instead of going straight home, we took a bit of a detour at Custer.
Bill C. from the AOS was manning the SRO scope as usual for a Saturday evening. By the time we got there, Bill was looking at Saturn. It was a nice view and we compared it with the view from the telescope in the large dome at Custer. The view the the Custer scope was a bit more turbulent.
Before L and I left, Bill took a quick view at Mars, which was rising. That was very turbulent, probably due to the low altitude. We may have seen a bit of polar caps and some dark features on the disk, but I could not be sure.

7/1/2018 about 10:00PM-11:00PM
Locust Valley, NY
Transparency: 4/10, Seeing 3/5
Temperature: about 75-85 degrees
Equipment: 70mm Stellarvue refractor

Wanted to do some quick variable star measurements, but the clouds were too much of an issue. While trying to starhop to RS Lib, I tried to see if I could see globular cluster NGC 5897. I may have picked up a little bit of the core, but I am not sure. The clouds got too thick for me to continue to try to find RS Lib. I also tried to measure Z UMa, but again the clouds were too mcuh. Good thing I did some observing the night before.

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