March 16, 2006

I spent about an hour this morning working with one of the astronomy professors taking apart the telescope so that we could clean the mirror. When we got the tube off and could actually look at the primary mirror, it became obvious that cleaning dust off of the mirror was not really going to help. The mirror coating has degraded down to about less than 50% reflectivity. Staring at the mirror was like seeing your reflection in a cookie sheet. Yeah, there was a reflection, but it was really faint. I'm suprised that the scope works at all.

March 14, 2006

We finally had clears skies at the observatory tonight. Too bad it was a full moon. Six visitors tonight: three students from class, three guests of one of the students. We looked at M42, Saturn and the Moon. Seeing was exceptionally good. I tried taking a long exposure of the Flame Nebula, but I'm not sure it turned out as well as I had hoped.

The bright overexposed star on the left is the leftmost star of Orion's belt. The Flame Nebula is the dark nebula on the lower right of the photo. Processing in the GIMP did not seem to help. This was a 35 second exposure. I accidentally closed the 160 second exposure without saving.

March 13, 2006

I was done at the rec center at about 7:00pm tonight and decided to run over to my office before going home. The idea was that I'd come in, find some stuff I needed and LEAVE. Three phone calls later and I'm almost ready to go now.

I did rediscover fitday, and updated my log for the first time in half a year. Hopefully that will last.