Monday, January 31, 2005

6-Feb-2003: Shui Hau, Lantau Island

It's too good to be true to observe in two consecutive nights during a long holiday!

This time, we visit Shui Hau, which is a small village in the Lantau Island, this is also the first time I come to this site. Together with me, we have Leung Sir (Mike Leung), Paul Ng, Billy Cheung (faihoka aka in astrofarm) and Szeto Bug. We gathered at the Tung Chung MTR station at 5:00p but we started off at 5:30p due to someone come late seriously. LOL

Prior to that, I bought my trolley to take my equipments out. I didn't go for a suitcase for some people said suitcase is not robust enough for heavy stuff, and I want to put my mount fully setup during transportation which can save a lot of setup time, I will need a very tall suitcase then, tall suitcase tend to be very large which is hard to move around and excessively bulky for public transport.

I settled for a trolley which is small and retractable, it is rated for 35kg of weight, not bad. I rushed home to pack up everything for the trip within around 20 minutes and go out, eventually late for 5 minutes. Too bad and too good that someone is vastly later than me. hahahaha...

Moving the trolley is not as easy as once I imagine, but it's manageable. I believe I can do better next time. I shall write another article for transporting my equipment to the field. So, let me skip the detail here.

The counter weight get dropped onto the pavement while walking, I then secure it again but that time, it was secured by too much that it was trapped in a recessed position of the shaft and it was no longer movable and removable... bad...

We hired a taxi to go there this time, around $90 each trip. Not bad, but it's comparable to the East Dam which is actually a darker place.

The observing place is rather small, and it is along a narrow single way road and it is a place for car to give way to opposite car. There is only one police car passes by during the whole course of observation. The place is inclined, meaning one will need to spend some effort to level their EQ mount. For me, my GR2 mount and Tech2000 drive does not need leveling to tracking, I was the fastest to setup everything.

For the most night, I keep my 40mm XL in the diagonal, for it is the widest and it provides enough power to see most things. I only borrow some J-ortho from Paul for viewing the planets. I believe I shall get some more J-orthos myself someday later. The zoom has to be used with the Ranger for maximum portability only.

With the Rigel Quick Finder and a set of Telrad finder chart, I managed to clean up two small maps within about two hours. It sets my new personal record. Hunting stuff with the Giro mount is a very pleasant experience. I sweared that GOTO will not bring as much as joy as it can. Don't get me wrong, GOTO is useful for imaging: focus on bright star -> GOTO -> shoot!

Here're the hunted list:

Map 1 (6): M35,M37,M36,M38,M45,M1

Map 2 (13): M44,M67,M48,M46,M47,M93,M41,M50,M79,M78,M42,M43,Christmas Tree (NGC 2264)

Observed list: (hunted by Bug)

Comet 2002v1, Mexico Jumping Star

Chu-kwong arrives at around 10:20p and Paul and I are packing our stuff already by then. What a pity that we missed the ED114SS. Anyway.

We called for taxi for twice and until around 11:00p, we decided to walk to the bus station instead. So, be reminded that it is not a must that taxi will come to this narrow road. And it's better to make appointment with a taxi before hand. Bug was very accurate again telling us the bus will arrive at around 11:15p... nice! We arrive Tung Chung MTR at around 11:50p, so nice!!!!

I love deep sky hunting!