In Search of Pluto

A tale from over fifty years ago!

Using this 10″ (255mm) reflector telescope, and a simplistic chart published in Sky and Telescope magazine, I would try to confirm seeing Pluto, …a difficult star-like pinpoint at the edge of visibility. Observing from my suburban town only twenty miles (32 km) N.W. from the brightness of New York City, proved challenging.

A second observation from a considerably darker location was planned as Pluto would have slightly changed position amongst the same stars. But it didn’t happen as unfavorable weather conditions persisted for several weeks.

ABOVE: As seen in the eyepiece, …a rough drawing of visible stars in the area of where I believed Pluto was located. The arrows, particularly “G,” indicated possible candidates. I estimated magnitude 14, (the published approximate magnitude, or brightness of Pluto,) was about the faintest I could see at the time.
ABOVE: Compare the sketch to this same very small area in the constellation Leo, as shown from “Google Sky,” a searchable photographic atlas available free on-line, and certainly not available back then!

Did I see Pluto? Maybe, or maybe not. I recently concluded there was not sufficient evidence for me to comfortably confirm a sighting.  But re-visiting this event from an “armchair viewpoint” so many years later, was …an interesting way to pass the time during this pandemic year.

Special thanks to “Cosmic Focus,” an advanced amateur astronomer/imager from Australia, for providing the incentive to re-visit this quest, …and guiding me to to the current charting resources available today. His wonderful captures of Pluto and a keyway to a remarkable WordPress site can be found here or https://cosmicfocus.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/pluto-the-previous-planet.

Thanks also for viewing. Comments are always welcome, and you can zoom in for a closer look. M 🙂

Fly-Over Salute to First Line Heroes

Most of the country, and particularily cities like New York, continue in a state of shut-down due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Today, a most welcome and meaningful show of support was heralded simultaneously by the Navy’s Blue Angels, and Air Force’s Thunderbirds, seen below flying from just south of the George Washington Bridge, to The Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan.
I joined about 30, mostly masked onlookers atop a basalt outcropping near Goffle Road, Hawthorn, NJ, to witness the event some 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 km) distant from Manhattan. Close-ups are seen through ground haze, and a 600mm  lens.


Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome, and zoom in for a closer look. M 🙂

Feeling the Pain – Pandemic At Home

From our home in western Bergen County, N.J. a neighbor’s half-mast flag seems to echo sadness and guarded apprehension, as our budding cherry blossoms perhaps offer at least a small glimmer of hope for the months ahead.           

Statisitics for our town (population about 13,000) – 4/16/00:

141 confirmed “Corvid – 19” cases, 11 fatal.

Comments are always welcome.       Marty

 

 

Home Bound – What To Do

A Covid-19 Bathroom,  DYI Update – Before (wallpaper?) to After!

The hall thermostat was actually a earlier holiday gift, presented and installed by our daughter’s husband before the outbreak. Here we were testing for sufficient heating range. I liked the way it looked, and so, just threw it in here!

Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome, …but more than ever at this most trying time in our lives, Be Well and Stay Safe.  Our thoughts are with those on the front lines, and all …enduring these most rapid changes in our lives. M 🙂