Name: Julia De Marines
Sky conditions: Hazy
Wind conditions: low to none
Observation start time 4:30 pm
Observation end time: 5:00 pm
Summary: The last two days have been fairly cloudy and I decided to wait until a sunny day to begin solar observing. This morning was very clear and sunny but I was out on an EVA until 13:00 hours. After lunch and some down time I went out to use the Helioscope. By the time I familiarized myself with the equipment and procedures and programing the teslecope, the sun was starting to get low on the horizon. Also, I goofed and put in Daylight Savings Time instead of Standard Time, so I had to redo the programming of the telescope to be positioned correctly. I have a similar control to my personal telescope so it wasn’t a big deal; however, it just ate away at precious time. By the time I had the sun in the eyepiece, it was quite challenging to be able to see the Sun as the eyepiece was too high. I wasn’t sure if there was a way to rotate the direction of the eyepiece to yield a more favorable angle. I didn’t see an obvious way but perhaps I missed something. Stepping on the small chair in the dome is not a safe idea either. I was able to snap a few shots of the sun though the H-Alpha filter through my phone but it is probably not in focus and the sun was dipping below the lip of the dome retractable door.
Objects viewed: Sun
Problems encountered: Eyepiece too high to easily view the sun. Programmed the scope incorrectly at first, observed too late in the day.
Further questions: I was hoping to get some advice or suggestions on an astrophotography artist project I had in mind. I was inspired by watching the sun setting over the nearby hills and I was wondering if there would be a way to capture my crew eclipsing the sun as it is setting over the hill? It isn’t feasible with the Helioscope because the lip of the dome door is too high and I think the magnification is too high. Also, I think the Hab will eclipse the dome before the Sun sets judging by the shadow of the hab as I was leaving the dome. With the equipment we have available, can you think of a way to do this? We were able to accomplish this at Sommers Bosch observatory in Boulder but it’s been too long for me to recall details of how they did this. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for a safe way to accomplish this! Thank you!