Benson, AZ 85602 hm ph: 520-586-2244 We had interesting weather here tonight. It was cloudy and windy all day. The clouds would dissipate early in the evening, but the winds persisted, then the clouds would move in again, then move out once more with a threat to move in when I decided to call it a night at 4am. Since it was so windy, probably about 20-30mph out of the west, it wasn't possible to use my big scope since it acts like a sail. Instead I decided to scan around the winter Milky Way with my 20x100 binoculars. Despite the winds, the views, especially of the many open clusters (Messier and NGC) in the area east of Orion, were wonderful! The binos are solidly mounted on an alt-az type mount and there was little or no shaking in the image and the stars were pinpoints. I also took a look at the Messier OC's in Auriga and Gemini. These binoculars are the perfect instrument for these type of objects, IMHO. The clusters that have a mix of bright and faint stars, like M41, M35, and M47, in particular, give a strong 3-dimensional impression since you are using both of your eyes when viewing, making for a very pleasureable experience. The magnification and aperture of these binoculars are adequate to resolve the clusters, see their outline, and you see the objects in context with their surrounding environment which include dark nebulae, stellar chains, double stars, and, of course, the magnificent background stars of the distant Milky Way. The clouds moved in and interrupted any more binocular viewing. So I went inside and watched the Australian Open tennis tournament for awhile until I dozed off for about an hour. When I woke back up I went back outside to find clear skies once again. This time I decided to roll out the big scope since the winds had died down a little and I was able to set up in an area that was shaded somewhat from the wind. I spent an hour or so more scanning around for galaxies in the Virgo area. I had a nice view of M104 and many other fainter NGC galaxies in the general vicinity to the north of it. Clouds again started to move in from the northeast along with some haziness so I finally closed shop after an enjoyable, though interrupted night. The temperatures never went below 40 degrees and there wasn't any noticeable humidity (which had been an issue the past week) while I was outside tonight, not bad for winter observing! Clear skies, Wayne (aka Mr. Galaxy) ---------- Original Message ---------- From: stevecoe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx To: "az-observing@fre" <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Subject: [AZ-Observing] Antennas report Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2012 00:03:32 -0500 Howdy all; I am back at the RV park near Wickenburg and we had a wind storm this afternoon and early evening, I would guess gusts to 40 mph, it was blowing. So, I hope that the folks I left at the Antennas site did not have any problems with that. I did get about 60% of my observing list done. I will have something to do for February. My list was for binocular observing. We had three good nights, two 7's and a 6 out of 10 for transparency. Quite enjoyable. Eric, glad to see you had fun. The next New Moon is the President's Day weekend in February. I am the speaker at the TAAA meeting on the first Friday in February. I hope some of you will drop in, I am speaking on "Wide Field Astrophotography". Clear skies to us all; Steve Coe -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list. -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.