View Full Version : Mercury Again, 2006/2/21

Dave Mitsky
2006-Feb-23, 01:45 PM
On Tuesday evening, I traveled to the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg's Naylor Observatory to do a little observing with our 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain. Not long after arriving, I began to use my Canon EOS Digital Rebel DSLR and the stock 18-55mm Canon EF-S lens to take some pictures of Mercury with the Canon lens and through the telescope.

The effects of prismatic atmospheric dispersion were clearly visible as Mercury began to set. I was able to follow it until it was a fraction of a degree, as judged by the Telrad mounted on the scope, above the western horizon.

The night turned out to be less than ideal in terms of transparency and seeing and I took a long warm-up break to watch the Nova program on neutrinos so I didn't do as much observing as I thought I would. I did manage to glimpse M41, M42, h3945, NGC 2362, M47, M46, NGC 2438, Saturn and four of its satellites, M44, Mars, M45, M35, and NGC 2158 through the 17" and its 5" finder scope. I also located the two asteroids, 11 Parthenope and 16 Psyche, that were passing "through" the open cluster NGC 1647 in Taurus. All objects except Saturn were viewed at 162x (40mm U.O. MK-70). In addition to a magnification of 162x, I used 202 (32mm Brandon) and 249x (26mm Tele Vue Ploessl) while looking at Saturn.


Dave Mitsky

2006-Feb-23, 09:27 PM
Nice summary! I haven't been out observing in months, been cloudy/rainy out here. The few times it's been clear, the full or close to full moon has been out.

Fr. Wayne
2006-Feb-27, 02:41 AM
Wow, I've never seen an asteroid live.