Graze of ZC 184 (88 Psc) - Feb 13, 2005 UT


6.0 Star 10s of 23+ Moon 33 deg altitude


The graze path crossed almost exactly over the same station I used for the Upsilon Gem graze last November, and also at the classic saloon in Little Panoche Valley. I had thought about an overnight trip and astrophotography, but weather and lack of interest among the rest of the club made me decide to just make it a brief trip. Weather during the day was good, after a rain storm the previous night. I ran around packing the scope and gear, some clothes, running other errands, stopping at the library to grab a couple books on tape, and putting my mountain bike on the roof, intending to do a little biking through the flowers around Pinnacles National Monument. I left at 3pm for the 7:24pm graze, arriving in San Juan Bautista around 4pm. Suddenly the sky didn't look so good. Heavy cirrus in a thick mass was coming in from the northwest, and condensation fog was forming along the ridgeline of the Gabilan Range. I thought the fog issue might be worse further south in the mountainous terrain I was driving to, and the satellite view earlier in the day gave little hope of a break in the clouds. I did some bike touring around San Juan Bautista, stopped at a few restaurants for scouting purposes for future student trips I may plan, and then figured I'd drive home in time to spend my Saturday night at the movies. I pondered and hesitated, finally deciding to pack it in and head back. I got as far as the Pajaro River before my astronomical conscience got to me - the profile was so beautiful, and the prospect of getting a spectacular graze on tape and accessible for my students was too tempting and, heck, I'd already driven almost half way anyway. So I turned around again and headed to the graze site on Hwy 25 about 2 miles north of the Pinnacles turnoff, listening to "Riders of the Purple Sage" by Zane Gray on the way.


Weather improved, the moon was sitting now in only light cirrus. I set up the 8" Meade LX10 and everything was looking good. The star was bright, the earthshine clearly on tape, and it looked like it might be all I'd hoped... and it was! Got 16 events over 3 minutes.


Observing site: on Hwy 25 west shoulder a couple miles north of Pinnacles turnoff. WGS84 GPS. About 0.4 mi north of limit.


Long: 121 09.35' W

Lat: 36 32.61' N

Elev 1320 ft. (


Ph     UT        Comments (multi-frame events timed at 25% full


----------  ----------

begin 3:20:00

D   3:21:59.74   gradual

R   3:22:00.21                                          

D   3:22:01.44                                         

R   3:22:09.57                                         

D   3:22:24.64                                         

R   3:22:59.87                                         

D   3:23:02.74                                          

R   3:23:06.17                                         

D   3:23:06.41                                         

R   3:24:01.57                                         

D   3:24:01.77   partial flash; brightened to 40% full                   

R   3:24:42.47                                         

D   3:24:47.41                                         

R   3:24:52.97                                         

D   3:24:53.64                                         

R   3:24:56.37

End 3:26:30