The day started out normally, warm sunny and promising to be another great summer day. The weather forecast called for a mix of sun and cloud with a chance of showers and clearing in the evening. After doing the inevitable cottage chores I started putting the scope together in our shed. Since the drive to the cottage involves some less than smooth dirt roads, I went about aligning the optics and getting all the equipment together.
When supper time rolled around, our family wandered up to our neighbours to join in an 80’th birthday celebration for a long time friend. After shooting pictures at the event I dashed home to let our dog out for a bathroom break and looked up at the sky. Things were getting very dark and it was only 6 PM! It seems our chance of showers had turned into a severe thunder storm warning and a tornado warning! After taking the dog out I was planning to rejoin the birthday party, but the heavens opened up with heavy rain so I ran to the shed and closed the door to protect the scope and then dashed inside the cottage just as the wind started picking up. By the time I got dried off it was raining heavily as you can see from the picture below.After drying off I took a look out the window, just before taking the picture to see a small water spout rip our row boat off the wharf and send it 40 feet down river before landing with a splash! Ten minutes later it was all over and the Sun started to break through the clouds.
By 9:00PM the skies began to clear and the wind died down to zero allowing our kids to enjoy a fire by the rivers edge while I got a chance to do some night scape work.
By about 10:30 it was one of the clearest nights I had at the cottage. I hauled the scope and camera out of the shed and set up to try to capture some data from M20. This has always been a tricky target from the cottage as it skirts the trees for most of time. I managed to image it for about two hours only getting 72 minutes of data where the trees did not interfere. After a little processing it turned out reasonably well.
For details on the image acquisition and processing see my imaging site.