(IAAC) Re: Observing at ATMs in Westford tonight!

Someone asked of our observing session in Westford last night:
>How was it?
It was outstanding and frustrating! :) I arrived at 9pm and left at 3:30...
Weather remained very clear all night, and between John Bishop, plus a former
ATM member he invited named Bill (both of whom brought large refractors with
them - 5" and 6"!), plus Mike Aramini, I never lacked for good company.
There were a few annoyances, though. It was cold (15oF), and during the first
half of the evening, there was NO wind, so misty clouds from our breath were
frequently fogging every piece of glass in sight. After 1am of course, when
Mike and I settled down for meteor observing, winds soon picked up to 15mph,
giving us a toasty windchill of -11oF as we lay there motionless. ;>
Still despite the grousing, I managed to log three new galaxy trios, one each
in Gemini, Canis Minor and Ursa Major. We also had great views of NGC 2841 in
the Bear's front paw and NGC 2903 off the Lion's snout: a classic, nicely
detailed ringed spiral and ringed barred spiral respectively. I could NOT
capture a planetary nebula with the catchy name Jonckheere 320 in Orion.
During the "meteor hour", I plotted 9 meteors, including two suspects from a recently discovered radiant in Bootes and one very nice trained meteor: full
IMO reports on meteors will follow on 'meteorobs', and observing logs for the
galaxies and galaxy groups should follow soon on 'netastrocatalog'.
As for my back, slinging the dob around Dobson's hole, plus crunching myself
up in the cold on the lawnchair, left me with an aching lower back. Oh well,
at least my upper back won't be lonely in its misery now! :(
Clear (and WARM) skies everyone!
Lew Gramer
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