Some random notes from the weekend.
Dad's deer lease isn't as dark as Linda's place in Brenham. I was surprised by the size of the light dome from Nacogdoches, 15 miles away. Transparency was pretty good, so I'm not sure how much was due to humidity, but a third of the sky just was washed out. Now that I know, I won't haul the big LX200 out there.
But the stuff I did see was impressive. I finally got M33 (Triangulum Galaxy), which is just too dim from home. I tried for a month 2 years ago with the 6", and the best I got was a general glowing patch. This time I caught hints of the spiral structure, even. M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) totally filled my largest eyepiece, nearly a 1° field of view. Also saw a few dim NGCs in the north that I didn't make notes on.
I stayed out until about 0200, when Mars was high enough to look at at 260X. The best view was through a light-blue filter, which made the tiny sliver of polar cap really pop out.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. Got Mom's new scanner set up, and installed a ceiling fan in their dining room. What a good son I am. I didn't even take Dad's bait on how the slow response by the Feds to Katrina was the fault of the Louisiana governor. "I got it in an email! Of course it's true!" Man, how did my politics get so polarized from my Dad's?