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0404-AstronomyReport

Astronomy Report

Date of exercise: 03APR2016
Astronomer: Dakota Clayton
Sky conditions: partly cloudy
Wind conditions: Calm
Observation Start Time: 9:30 p.m.
Observation End Time: 10:10 p.m.

Summary:
Attached is the photo of how I received the box. There are three lenses, a filter, a green laser pointer with batteries, and the handcontrol, as well as a small lantern?.

The previous crew did a great job for orientation on Saturday when we had perfectly clear skies.

Last night I went to the observatory to practice, and begin viewing. I had memorized the opening, closing and handcontrol, however, I still consulted the guide to be careful. Last night was cloudy, I however was able to find a clear spot on the northwest side of the observatory. I viewed Eta Cas, practiced with the three lenses, ROBOFOCUS, and handcontrol slew. Today looks excessively cloudy. I am checking to see when the next clear night will be. I will be checking at colder times like 4-5 a.m. to see if there are clearer skies at these times. Eta Cas was the only object from the Astronomical League's double star program that I was able to locate and view. I am checking to see which additional double stars will be viewable during this week.

Problems encountered:
Unfortunately, I was only able to be in the observatory for about forty minutes, as the power for the dome and shutter controls were sluggish and I was worried of running out of power before I would be able to close the observatory (I am unsure why the dome control was sluggish, I consistently turned off the dome and shutter controls after using them to prevent power drain. This was an issue that the previous crew encountered, there were times were they were having to come back later to close the observatory, I would rather cut the viewings short to preserve the integrity of the observatory as I know that the sand can damage the equipment inside). I was able to get the observatory completely closed. Everything was covered per the training and quick guides. The dome is closed and faced south per e-mail request.

Objects Viewed:
-Eta Cas

Desired viewings: (these were reported as being in the visible sky on stellarium, a simulant star map with which you can check viewable objects based on location and time)

Sirius
Rigel
Aldebaran
Betelgeuse
Jupiter
Other visible planets as possible
Other double stars as possible as per my original PRIF