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 🙂

Pre-Pandemic Shenanigans

A TALE OF TWO HOODED MERGANSER FRIENDS

ABOVE: “Well, what silly antics do you want to pull today?”

ABOVE: “Hmmm, let me think!”

ABOVE: “How’s THIS!”

ABOVE: “AND …THIS?”

ABOVE: “Thank you, thank you! You can hold the applause, …there’s MORE!”

ABOVE: “You put your left foot out…”

ABOVE: “You put your left foot down…, and spin all around…”

“I think you’re …just a bit weird!” 

 

Thanks for viewing. 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 🙂 

 

 

Backyard: A Red-tailed Hawk Visits – TWICE

This Afternoon, (12/20/19) – Our Backyard


Below, …a little over a week earlier, this impressive hawk (that had been perched on the same branch as above,) was spooked (by me!) into moving a bit deeper into the trees.DSC_0284 2 DSC_0282

Last image above: Probably about two years old, hawk-eye started acting silly, like any two year old, and in seconds, flew away.  Thirteen days later he returned, as captured  in the first two pictures at the top. 

Thanks to Disperser Tracks for catching my initial error in ID’s this as an Eagle. Live and learn! M 😦

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

Look Through My Window, To the Street(s) Below

Still “Winter Isolated” here in northern New Jersey, this morning I captured this image from our window, reminding me (obliquely?) of the classic Mamas and Papas song of forlorn love in the 1960s, here. And yes …those are still our trees in the foreground!

Thanks for viewing, and maybe even listening. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂