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 🙂

Day and Night – Up on the Roof

Earlier this month, a full moon shines through hazy clouds as a south-east wind spins an “anemometer,” up there on our roof. The station also includes a rain bucket, temperature, humidity and barometric sensors; solar cells, and transmitter to the display inside.  

I believe my wife, family and neighbors are quielty tolerant of some of my obsessions and often concerned about my well-being.  🙂

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

Monster at Frogg Falls Railroad

DSC_0555 - Version 2

DSC_0548DSC_0654DSC_0643DSC_0550DSC_0660DSC_0637DSC_0675DSC_0620 - Version 2Located in NW New Jersey, Frogg Falls Railroad is the dream and inspiration of our lifelong friends, who have transformed a part of their property to a magical, fully functional garden railroad, complete with a wide assortment of “rolling stock,”  handmade scale structures complemented by remarkable “to scale” living landscaping,  and a Koi and frog populated pond with waterfalls.

Thomas the Train is worried at the sudden presence of Izzy the giant little dog! 

Happy Birthday, R! 

As usual, click on the images for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂