[AZ-Observing] Astronomy to wake for, First report of the JOM

  • From: "Tejera, Rick" <rtejera@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'AZ-Observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx'" <AZ-Observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 10:07:30 -0400

While I imagine most folks got up a bit early today to see the occultation
of Saturn, for me it was my normal wake up time. Planning on being a bit
late for work, I set up Gert in my driveway at 120x about 0445. While
waiting for the occultation to begin I noticed a bright satellite passing to
the north. I know now, from  Wes' post that it was the ISS. It seemed to be
traveling on too north a trajectory to be the iss but guess not. Any way I
first noticed it due west as it passed under Cassiopeia. Did anyone else
notice it occult b Ursa Majoris?  I was able to track it well to the north
until it dipped below the house across the street.  ON to the main event. I
noticed first contact at 0501:29, first contact with the Limb of Saturn at
0502:04, third contact at 0502:25. By this point the image was leaving the
field of view and by the time I recentered and Gert settled down the rings
were gone. It seemed that once started the whole thing speeded up! One thing
of note was how much Saturn got washed out as it neared the limb of the
moon. When I first observed it I could make out the Cassini division, but
that quickly fade into  the moon glow. By the time the planet was at the
limb the color faded as though left out in the sun too long.

I then drove to work (only 15 minutes late!) with plenty of time to wait the
reappearance. Not wanting to take Gert to work, I brought my bino's (7x35).
The moon was pretty close to the zenith so it was a challenge to keep the
bino's steady. Fellow SAC member Steve Perry was just coming off his
graveyard shift and we watched together. A few coworkers coming in to work
wondered what the two nuts from International were doing ( I did notice that
they did look up though!). Steve Spotted Saturn first (bigger bino's), but
needed averted vision to do so. I spotted it in Steve's bino's right after
and then , now that I knew where to look, I found it in mine. 

All in all a nice way to start the day. And thanks to the Pest for the
timely reminder.

See you all at NASP.

Rick Tejera
Editor SACnews
Saguaro Astronomy Club
Phoenix, Arizona

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