Night 2 at Kitt Peak – watching out or blown away?

The forecast for tonight’s continued imaging of Galaxy Zoo overlapping galaxies was marginal, with a storm expected. That has not yet materalizd, ut the wind have been so high that, after the anemometer flirted with the 72-km/hour safety limit for two hours after sunset, I finally had to shut down a little whole ago. There are data on two pairs so far tonight, and I’ll naturally keep one eye on the wind speed. If it drops back, I’ll open again.

Meanwhile, there has been time to look over last night’s data and do some basic processing. Here, for example, is a quick and dirty composite image of Markarian 238 and its larger spiral companion from B and R images. The display is set to show the inner structures most clearly.

Markarian 238 and companion from Kitt Peak 2.1m images

Some random thoughts while observing: Cherry Pepsi cans look really weird under a red flashlight. And email today brought some encouraging news on another Galaxy Zoo science front.

(0710 UT, three hours later) The wind continues to howl under a frustratingly clear sky; some clouds are just appearing which may be parts of the predicted storm system. Gusts up to 83 mph (133 km/hour) have been recorded in the last hour. With the outside temperature less than 2 C, I try not to think of the wind chill.

3 responses to “Night 2 at Kitt Peak – watching out or blown away?”

  1. mitch says :

    Thanks for the updates Bill, (while I’m just about to cut the grass again) winter woollies needed. I hope any more observations you get have better weather conditions. Were you only able to check out Mk 238 in the AGN/Companion list?

    • mitch says :

      Edit – sorry, I meant Ka 199

      • billkeel says :

        Just Kazarian 199 = NGC 6636 this time. This session was targeted at particular kinds of overlapping systems, so that pair was sneaked in to satisfy my curiosity about some structures that seemed to show up from shallower data with a smaller telescope. The last night of the run turned out quite well – worked all night, good conditions, even sneaked in another off-topic object in morning twilight at the very end. Watch the blog for sample images. The previous entry was before I awoke to find snow on the mountain that next morning…

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