A Starry Night at Kaʻohe

It was a busy night at Kaʻohe, with well in excess of the ten people we are allowed without a permit. I am quite glad I did stop in our local DOFAW office and get the needed permit.

A one day old crescent Moon set over Hualālai
A one day old crescent Moon set over Hualālai

After several weeks of storms the last week has been beautiful weather. A Saturday came I worried the spell of weather would not hold… It did.

As we see so often there was an overcast sky on the side of the mauna when we arrived, a layer of clouds that dissipated shortly after sunset leaving a perfect sky for the remainder of the night.

As we waited for the clouds to clear we set up gear, chatted, introduced folks that had not met, and watched a one day old crescent Moon set over Hualālai.

We had a bunch of Keck folks there, Josh and Harriet, John and Stephanie, Sky, Cliff, Andrew, Philip, and the whole crew Dave Kriege brought along

I brought out my 18″ Deep Violet for the night, best to enjoy a very dark sky and to hunt faint fuzzies in Monocerus and Orion.

My observing list for the night was a collection of objects between 6 and 7 hours right ascension and +10 to -10 declination. I printed out a list of objects I had never observed in the area using my ObsList tool. The area is in the winter Milky Way so this list is mostly open clusters and nebulae.

And observe we did… A great night. Clear and calm, a night for wandering amongst the galaxies.

NGC 2149 A small reflection nebula centered on a 12.7 magnitude star, about 2′ across, faint, fading evenly away from the star

Sh2-282 An extraordinary field, very rich galactic starfield with a couple obvious faint and very rich clusters (NGC2262 and Collinder 110) the area is rich in faint nebulae seen as dark and bright areas in the field

NGC 2143 Large 10′, coarse, fully resolved, a clump of brighter 9-11 magnitude stars in a right starfield, centered on a half dozen brighter members

Andrew Cooper, 26 Jan 2023

Just one of the idyllic nights Kaʻohe can supply for an amateur astronomer. I really need to get up here more often.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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