Constellations: Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Corona Borealis, Cygnus, Delphinus, Draco, Hercules, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor
Asterism: Keystone of Hercules
Messier Object: M13, M31
Meteor: (1)

Location: Willow Bay Campground, Allegheny National Forest, PA
Date: 2017-08-23
Time: 9:00 PM - 10:40 PM EDT
Instrument: Visual
Transparency: Very Good (4)
Seeing: Very Good (4)
Temperature: 18º C - 16º C

No wind. Scattered clouds. Due to the threat of rain overnight and the distance between the car and our walk-in site, we left our cameras and binoculars in the car. The evening started out cloudy as could be expected given the weather report but it provide an extended period of clear skies as the night progressed. The night sky at the rocky beach front to our site varied from beautifully clear to partial cloud cover. Jerry and I sat on a large rock to take in the darkness and the amazing sky above us.

Ursa Major (UMa)
Time: 9:14 PM
S&T Chart Reference: 31, 32, 33, 43, F
When the skies were clear, all 75 stars of UMa were readily identified and we could consequently locate Polaris.

Ursa Minor (UMi)
Time: 9:14 PM
S&T Chart Reference: 41, 51
Located 6 of the 7 stars of UMi. Could not find η.

Time: 9:14 PM
Travelled from Dubhe in UMa to Draco before disappearing.

Andromeda (M31)  & Cassiopeia
Time: 9:35 PM
S&T Chart Reference, Cassiopeia: 1, 3, 72
All 5 stars of Cassiopeia were readily identified.

With the help of SkySafariPro, was able to locate Andromeda and its bright stars Alpheratz (α And) and Mirach (β And) above the distant tree line. From there we could locate Almach (γ And), μ And and υ And to draw the lines for her "legs". Didn't search out the stars for her "arms" but rather used Mirach and μ to locate M31 (Andromeda Galaxy).

Time: 9:45 PM CST
S&T Chart Reference: 41, 42, 51, 52, 61
Draco had been shown to me at SCO and I had identified the head in the past. This was the first time identifying the other stars in the constellation as it wound around Ursa Major (UMa) and Ursa Minor (UMi).

Viewing Draco naked eye, we used SkySafariPro to wend our way around UMa and UMi. We started with the 4 stars comprising the head then identified Altais (δ), ε and φ - never saw χ. We then located θ and Edasich (ι), followed by Thuban (α). Using the app, we were then able to fill in the spaces between φ and θ (except ω). Once these were all found, it was so exciting to "see" Draco as it curled around the two Bears!

Time: 9:55 PM
S&T Chart Reference: 62, 73, H
We located Deneb and could easily find Sadr, Glenah, Al Fawaris and Albireo




Time: 10:00 PM 
S&T Chart Reference: 64
The stars of Delphinus could be identified naked eye slightly above Altair.

Corona Borealis
Time: 10:03 PM 
S&T Chart Reference: 53, 55
All 7 stars in the Corona were readily identified. they were used to locate the Keystone of Hercules and potentially M13 (Hercules Cluster).

Hercules, Keystone of Hercules & M13
Time: 10:04 PM 
S&T Chart Reference: 52, 54
Corona Borealis led us to Hercules.  We identified π, η, ε and ζ. We were not sure if we could see M13 a very faint fuzzy between η and ζ.

We also attempted to locate the stars in the 4 extensions from the Keystone and did find several. Refer to the sketch.

Note: "X" on the sketch indicates they were not located (except M13).



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