Member Night at CRO & Messier Marathon - March 9

The second member night at CRO in March is on Saturday, March 9. We will also be holding our annual Messier Marathon this night!

Sunset is at 1837 (6:37pm). Nautical twilight begins at 1902. Astronomical twilight begins at 1932. Twilight ends and true night begins at 2002.

The moon sets at 1803 (6:03PM) and is a Waning Crescent (0.3%). In other words, no moon! It will be dark!

Check the weather forecasts and check back here to ensure it will be good viewing weather and CRO will be open.

If anyone is coming that can open the 14” or 30” scopes, please post on here that you will be attending and it will be open.

If you’re planning to come out, please post on here that you are coming.

If you want to be guided to CRO, please post here and check back to see if a CRO member can meet and guide you. CRO members, please post what time you can meet any members needing guides. Please make arrangements to meet directly with whoever will be guiding you.

The location of the observatory is also now searchable in both Google Maps and Apple Maps. Search for Cheddar Ranch Observatory, Watonga, OK, and it should appear and give you directions if you want. It might also appear in your GPS app/program.

Clear and dark skies!

I’m planning on coming out weather permitting. Will not be staying all night.

Some information on Messier Marathon.

Observing Order For Messier Marathon.

I’ll come out, wx permitting. I can open/run the C14. But won’t be staying all nighr for the marathon. Unless there’s another CRO member who is staying, I’ll be closing the C14 Observatory down around midnight.

Weather permitting i plan to be there

I will be there!
Here is the link to charts and log sheets

Weather permitting, plan to go.

I may come out if weather is good.

I have a friend that is interested in accompanying me. Just wanted to make sure that was alright and if he needed to sign a waiver of any kind? Thanks!

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Guest are welcome :+1:

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Awesome! Andy, I also have your Canon connector to get back to you. Haven’t been able to make it out there to get it back to you lol.

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All good, good to hear from you.

I’ll be there. I’m hoping to bring my wife, daughter, and two friends out with me too, should be a fun night!

My wife (Parissa) and I were sad to miss the meeting last night, but we’re looking forward to CRO tonight! Looks like some great late-winter observing.

Other than the cold looking to be a perfect night.
Can’t wait to see everyone out there

The forecasts I use all say it will be clear, calm and a bit cold. Perfect viewing weather! And great for the Messier Marathon!

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend tonight. :pensive:

Everyone enjoy! And to remember to follow Dave’s advice and dress for 20 deg colder than it is! You’re not moving much, not generating heat from activity, so it will feel colder! Anyone who has ever stood guard duty knows this well!

I’m planning on getting to CRO about an hour before Sunset. If anyone would like to get some training on the C14 telescope please try and get there about then so we can be done before Sunset. First object to look at it Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks which will be setting shortly after Sunset. It is just below and to the left of the Andromeda Galaxy.

Looking at the security camera it is completely clear and the grounds have dried out. It will be cold so make sure to bring several layers of clothes.

Messier Marathon 2024

We will award club certificates for participants in the Messier Marathon at CRO tonight.

We’ll have four categories:
Manual Telescope
Go-to Telescope

In each category we’ll have 3 levels of accomplishment:
50% (55 objects observed)
90% (99 objects observed)
100% (110 objects observed)

To receive a OKCAC certificate submit your observation sheet to: Certificates will be handed out at the meeting following the submission.

The club rules are simple. Observations must be completed in one night. Record your observations on an observation sheet (doesn’t matter which one you choose). Submit your observation sheet to the email address above. You must indicate at the top of the sheet what category you completed. For EAA observations, you must record an image of the Messier object, in addition to completing the observation sheet. Those should be posted on an online site for everyone to view and enjoy!

Observation sheets are available at CRO, though I’d recommend finding one online that you like, downloading and printing it before you go out. There are numerous sheets online you can find and print.

I am unable to come tonight, Thank you Dave, for volunteering to open CRO an before sunset so folks can set up and be ready when the first objects are visible at sunset.

CRO is open. Skies are clear. We have 6 here already.

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It was a fantastic night at CRO. All of the top pads were full, and many, many happy observations and images taken. Even the 30in scope was in use, with some quick work on the dome shutter that got it working! Good seeing you all.


Thanks for the fun night everyone! Got some time on 12P/Pons-Brooks with my mirrorless camera and lens, and enjoyed all the beautiful star clusters with my binoculars for the Messier Marathon.

And then Andy suggested trying out one of the club’s refractors (an 80mm triplet, I think) and the astro-modded Canon Rebel T3i on M42. I’m glad he did (thanks Andy!) Less than 30 minutes of integration with that setup produced the data below. Blows away hours of stock camera data from within OKC.

Forgive the dust spots, I didn’t get around to calibration frames.