The forecast at noon yesterday said partly cloudy, becoming mostly clear. By 7pm the forecast changed to mostly clear. So 5 of us turned out at Caledon under skies that originally held big holes among the clouds, but gradually turned overcast. The evening was mild, with a light wind that kept changing from chilly to warm, and kept the dew away.
The seeing was variable. I spent a lot of time observing the moon. At times I had crisp views, at times, the atmosphere was liquid, at times I saw wisps of cloud shadowing the view, and at times it was clouded out.
I was looking at the moon a lot because one of us was working through a list of predictions of occultations by the moon of stars. I found the first one on the list seemed about at the limit of the dimmest stars I could reliably see in my aperture. That made it a fun game. When our more expert member called “It’s gone” I figured out I was looking at a different star. I had the second one on his list (magnitude 8.8).
Clouds made it impossible for me to see the next occultation. For the third I slewed from Saturn back to the Moon just too late. For the fourth, clouds came in as I was watching the limb of the moon move close to the star. Looking back and forth between sky and eyepiece I was trying to track the star without being able to see anything in my eyepiece. Finally the clouds lightened and I saw the star, though I couldn’t make out the limb of the moon, just in time for my companion to call out “it’s gone”. I had reacquired the wrong star.
Jupiter had nice distinct edges to cloud bands. Mars was still only a peach colored disk in my aperture. Saturn’s rings present well now, though I could see no detail on the planet or in the rings in my aperture.
By 11 the sky was mostly overcast and we all packed up.