Re: (IAAC) Obj: M4 - Inst: XT-8 1200mm f:6 dob

A friend and I had precisely this experience from Groveland,
on the North Shore of Massachusetts, on Friday night. There
was no sign of M4 when we were looking in that area, around
11:00, and no obvious reason for its absence. I agree that
it must have been the smoke.


Apache User wrote

> ----
> Observation Poster: Barry Martasian <timetrav2@webtv.net>
> Observer: Barry Martasian
> Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
> Date/time of observation: July 5, 2002 10:00 PM est.
> Location of site: Frosty Drew Observatory, Charlestown,
Rhode Island (Lat , Elev Sea Level)
> Site classification: Rural
> Sky darkness: 5 <1-10 Scale (10 best)>
> Seeing: 5 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
> Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
> Instrument: XT-8 1200mm f:6 dob
> Magnification: 25mm
> Filter(s): none
> Object(s): M4
> Category: Globular cluster.
> Class: rich and compact
> Constellation: Sco
> Data: mag 7  size 20'
> Position: RA :  DEC :
> Description:
> The sky just above the horizon still had a bit of blue in
it and around Antares the sky appeared to be very "muddy".
After locating M4 it appeared to me that the sky was just to
bright to see this cluster in it's full splender, as it
appeared to be very dull in color, and at 48X I was having
no real hint of resloving stars on the outer edges.  I
thought it would be better to come back to M4 later in the
evening when it would be darker.
> At about 11:30 I checked back and discovered that the sky
was a little darker but that M4 was impossible to find. I
search the area then another experience observer also looked
with no luck.  We noticed during the eveng that although
there didn't seem to be many clouds in the sky that the
stars were getting more and more obscure and almost
invisible in a sea of "grey mud".  On July 6th I discovered
that the North East was being covered by the smoke plume
from forest fires in Southern Canada. I can only guess that
this was the logical explanation for our observing problems
in locating M4.
> --
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