Subject: The Stars Tonight II
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001
I headed back out to that same observatory tonight and just wanted to briefly share the story with you (my long, long, long shot goal was to get a picture... hey, people do win the lottery after all!):
I was able to persuade the operator (same guy as before) to move the telescope to the coordinates (april 15, minus a few decimal places). I was a little bit surprised there did not seem to be much resistance this time but I was working hard to be genuinely genuine so as not to put him too much on guard. He mentioned to me that that area was barely visible to the scope as it was so low on the horizon and was also following close behind the setting sun. No luck seeing anything this time unfortunately. I just saw one tiny star in the middle... I think the scope may not have been zoomed into the same level as before but he did mention that a magnitude 11 object would not really be visible because of the time of year, placement of the scope etc...
However, on a side note... I was able to speak quietly with the operator [identity here deleted] and got him to open up a bit (a wink, a nod, a whisper that I did see it before). He admitted to me in hushed tones that he was aware of the actual existence of the object I was looking for. ... I guess Orion disappears below the horizon for the season pretty soon so hopefully I can get him out there and get a picture in the coming weeks...
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001
I just wanted to send this to you as a side note. At the observatory tonight I also saw the original operator that I had dealt with. When I approached him to say hi I thought he was going to have a heart attack. I swear he almost went into the women's washroom to avoid contact with me. I hope he is not being leaned on too hard. In any case I will plug away as usual ;) .