post

Dragoon Mountain Ranch Astronomy

February 11, 2018 Sunday – Dragoon Mountain Ranch

2018 Southern Arizona and Astronomy

The wild fires are mostly out, however there is still lots of smoke a couple of kilometres to the northeast, and there are still a few hotspots. The fire crews are still there, and the roadblocks are still in place. About 25 big fire trucks leave this evening at 7:45PM, so obviously they are finished mopping up.

NGC 2170 - Angel Nebula
NGC 2170 – Angel Nebula

We go grocery shopping in Benson today, since I still need some ingredients for the pasta dinner I’m making this evening, and others come along to pick up supplies. I roll the window down as we drive out and let the sheriff know we will be returning in an hour or two. He jokes with me about us having to give him the Tesla for a test drive on our return trip.

I make a double-sized turkey pasta casserole for dinner this evening – an easy meal which everyone seems to like. After dinner, we get organized to go outside to observe the night sky. We start early with observing Uranus, and move onto deep sky objects as the sky darkens. I get the opportunity to image NGC 2170 Angel Nebula this evening – a group of three beautiful emission and reflection nebulae. I obtain some good data over the next two hours, ending at 12:30AM.

February 12, 2018 Monday – Dragoon Mountain Ranch

Lauri Roche preparing Moroccan Chicken
Lauri finishing the Moroccan Chicken before serving

We all sleep in a bit this morning, since some of us didn’t get to bed until 4AM, although I was in bed by 1AM. We take the Tesla to drive down the road to see the damage of the wildfires. There are extensive burned areas, and yet all four houses in the area survived unscathed – a testament to excellent firefighting skills by the crews!

We have a wonderful Moroccan chicken dinner this evening using chicken thighs, dried fruit and nuts, olive oil, olives, onions, and various spices. It has been marinating for the last 24 hours inside a big plastic bag in the fridge before it is baked in the oven. We have salad, brown rice, and potatoes with the chicken. After dinner, the wind continues to build and cloud cover is over 50% so it is a write-off for both observing and imaging tonight, so we all have to find other entertainment!

Dragoon Mountain Ranch
NGC 2170 Angel Nebula
NGC 2170 Angel Nebula
IC 443 Jellyfish Nebula
IC 443 Jellyfish Nebula
Overfly south to horse stable at SDG observatory,
Overfly south to horse stable at SDG observatory,
IC 2118 Witch Head Nebula in Eridanus
IC 2118 Witch Head Nebula in Eridanus
Dragoon astronomers group photo
Dragoon astronomers group photo
Sunset lighting the Dragoon Mountains with a rainbow in front of the storm clouds
Sunset lighting the Dragoon Mountains with a rainbow in front of the storm clouds
Sunset lighting the Dragoon Mountains with storm clouds
Sunset lighting the Dragoon Mountains with storm clouds
Sunset lighting the Dragoon Mountains with storm clouds
Sunset lighting the Dragoon Mountains with storm clouds
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
Moroccan Chicken with Kale salad and rice
Moroccan Chicken with Kale salad and rice
Cirrocumulus clouds in the sky over the Dragoon Mountains in the early morning
Cirrocumulus clouds in the sky over the Dragoon Mountains in the early morning
Very thin waning crescent Moon over the Dragoon Mountains in the pre-dawn
Very thin waning crescent Moon over the Dragoon Mountains in the pre-dawn
Pre-dawn Sagittarius area of the Milky Way with Venus, Saturn and Jupiter over the Dragoon Mountains
Pre-dawn Sagittarius area of the Milky Way with Venus, Saturn and Jupiter over the Dragoon Mountains
Pre-dawn Sagittarius area of the Milky Way with Venus, Saturn and Jupiter over the Dragoon Mountains
Pre-dawn Sagittarius area of the Milky Way with Venus, Saturn and Jupiter over the Dragoon Mountains
The Dragoon Mountains after sunset behind Garry's place
The Dragoon Mountains after sunset behind Garry’s place
Diane installing shrouds on Garry's telescopes
Diane installing shrouds on Garry’s telescopes
Dragoon Ranch looking NW from Garry's place
Dragoon Ranch looking NW from Garry’s place
Camelot
Camelot
Torion
Torion
John, Lauri, Garry and Diane toasting our steak dinner
John, Lauri, Garry and Diane toasting our steak dinner
Lauri Roche preparing Moroccan Chicken
Lauri Roche preparing Moroccan Chicken
Burnt area
Burnt area
Ornamental gate
Ornamental gate
An estate in the burnt area that escaped any damage
An estate in the burnt area that escaped any damage
Lauri Roche, Garry Sedun & the Dragoon Mountains
Lauri Roche, Garry Sedun & the Dragoon Mountains
Garry's house
Garry’s house
Diane Bell, Lauri Roche, John McDonald and Garry Sedun walking the fence line
Diane Bell, Lauri Roche, John McDonald and Garry Sedun walking the fence line
The Milky Way & Zodiacal Light
The Milky Way & Zodiacal Light
Zodiacal Light
Zodiacal Light
Fire trucks on the road
Fire trucks on the road
Panorama of the sunrise from Garry Sedun's place
Panorama of the sunrise from Garry Sedun’s place
Wildfires on nearby hills
Wildfires on nearby hills
Wildfires on nearby hills
Wildfires on nearby hills
Wildfires on nearby hills
Wildfires on nearby hills
NGC 2174 emission & reflection nebula
NGC 2174 emission & reflection nebula
M1 Crab Nebula
M1 Crab Nebula
A successful V curve focus on the 20" Newtonian f4.4 imaging astrograph
A successful V curve focus on the 20″ Newtonian f4.4 imaging astrograph
RASC group enjoying a rib dinner
RASC group enjoying a rib dinner
Boots enjoying a special treat of chicken giblets
Boots enjoying a special treat of chicken giblets
Metal art on the ouside of Garry's house
Metal art on the ouside of Garry’s house
SBIG 2000 CCD camera on the 20" Newtonian f4.4 imaging astrograph
SBIG 2000 CCD camera on the 20″ Newtonian f4.4 imaging astrograph
20" Newtonian f4.4 imaging astrograph
20″ Newtonian f4.4 imaging astrograph
John McDonald at the controls of Garry Sedun's observatory
John McDonald at the controls of Garry Sedun’s observatory
Fisheye view of the southern night sky from Dragoon Mountains Ranch
Fisheye view of the southern night sky from Dragoon Mountains Ranch
Panoramic view of the Dragoon Ranch land
Panoramic view of the Dragoon Ranch land
The Belt of Venus and the Dragoon Mountains
The Belt of Venus and the Dragoon Mountains
The Belt of Venus and the Dragoon Mountains
The Belt of Venus and the Dragoon Mountains
Light from the setting Sun on the Dragoon mountains
Light from the setting Sun on the Dragoon mountains
Reg presenting a two volume star atlas to Garry
Reg presenting a two volume star atlas to Garry
RASC members outside of Garry Sedun's observatory
RASC members outside of Garry Sedun’s observatory
Cactus Wrens on the branches of an Ocotillo
Cactus Wrens on the branches of an Ocotillo
Birds feeding on a seed brick
Birds feeding on a seed brick
Kitchen and nook
Kitchen and nook
Living room
Living room
Cody's house in the early morning light
Cody’s house in the early morning light
The BBQ patio area beside the pool
The BBQ patio area beside the pool
Cody's house in the early morning light
Cody’s house in the early morning light
Ranch land grass and a fenceline in the early morning light
Ranch land grass and a fenceline in the early morning light
Ornate fireplace in Cody's house
Ornate fireplace in Cody’s house
Gate sign: Dragoon Mountain Ranch
Gate sign: Dragoon Mountain Ranch