I was at the SFAA Astronomy Club tonight with my Meade 8″ LX200GPS. I observed for about 4 1/2-hours (from 6:30PM to 11:00PM). Tonight was clear and the seeing was very good, around a 7. There were several other scopes set-up including a Meade 10″ LX200SCT, two Meade 8″ LX90 SCTs, a Meade ETX-105, a Meade 50mm refractor, and an Orion 127mm Mak. There were also many visitors who took looks through my scope and the others. Saturn was the most popular object among the visitors.
As for what I viewed: I started off with Albireo, admiring it’s colored component stars. I also split the following double stars: Almaak, Castor, and Rigel. I then went to M45 and moved the scope a little west and saw Comet Malchoz. It was a bright fuzzy patch with a brighter core. I could not see a tail. I also viewed M31 and M32 but could not see M110. The Double Cluster looked terrific and I could see all 6- stars in the Trapezium of M42. I viewed the following additional Messier Objects tonight: M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M41, and M79. Lastly, I finished up the night by spending quite a bit of time viewing Saturn. It looked very sharp and I could see Cassini’s Division around the entire planet in super steady moments as well as the A,B, and C Rings. In addition, I saw a dark band on the planet as well as darkening of the polar region and several moons. Saturn looked best at about 200x (10MM Radian) and still looked very nice at 286x (7mm Nagler). All in all, it was a fun time at the Club.