Fahnestock? More Like Funstock: An Observation Report

After what seems like the 14th month of March, my first trip up to Fahnestock State Park was just what I needed to shake out the rust, and get back to some dark sky observing before the AAA kicks off it’s observing season.

Upon arrival, Bart Fried and I quickly realized it wasn’t going to be 70° forever, leaving me longing for warmer socks. That thought was interrupted when a bolide came streaking eastward. Once Irene Pease and Faissal Halim joined us, we were off to the races.

M81 & M82, taken with Canon M50. Photo: Kat Troche

Bode’s, Ring, and Dumbbell Nebulae. Planetary nebulae. Also, my first ever look at the Veil Nebula. Then clusters; M13, M92, M56, M52, Horseshoe, Christmas Tree, Beehive, Berenice’s – so. many. stars.

And while spotting the Sombrero and Sunflower Galaxies were amazing, nothing compared to photographing M81 and M82 for the first time with my Canon M50. This is, by far, my crowning achievement.

Nova V1405 (right center star) taken with iPhone XR. Photo: Kat Troche

Until I photographed the Cassiopeia Nova (V1405) with my iPhone. I suppose we can call it a tie.

Equipment: Celestron 6SE, Canon M50, iPhone XR. Lots of eyepieces, and lots of coffee. Edited in PS Express.

–Katherine Troche, Observing Committee co-chair