Ukiah Astronomical Society




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Sponsored by the nice folks at 

Motosports of Ukiah in Ukiah, Ca

Our Members

Our Telescopes

Rubicon Observatory

Member Photos


December 21, 2010

Seasons Greetings

Last evening we all tried to image or at least get a peek at the Lunar Eclipse. Well, it rained here but we did manage to sneak a few shots of the moon. None were very good. So , check online for some of the other areas that might have had more luck..Sorry! Better luck next time...




October 6, 2010

Over the past few nights we have been imaging the Comet Hartley2

 So Click here to see a short video. It was made from a few dozen one minute images with the CDK 17 telescope and SBIG STL11000 camera from Rubicon Observatory


August 29, 2010

Over the last few nights we have been getting the Planewave CDK17 and its new camera, SBIG STL11000m familiar with each other. The latested image of the Bubble Nebula is found under Member Photos/ Paul/ Deep Sky.

Neptune has been overhead and we overexposed a few images to find its moon, Titan. Lots more chat on the Yahoo chat under groups U-A_S.








April 4, 2010

Well, the die has been cast, the ball is rolling, this is where the dog died, the progress bar is now finally moving! The wonderful old LX200 12" has been sold to a new club member from Lake county. Congrats Bill! 

The Paramount ME is in its box,. The Planewave 17 is keeping the ME company. Both awaiting completion of epoxy cure time.

The Rubicon Observatory manufactured by Technical Inovations ProDome 10 is working nicely. The floor concrete donut surrounds the pier base of a cubic yard of re-enforced concrete. Problems arose when the rain started. The floor had expansion joints placed every 1/8 circle. Guess which way water likes to flow on a level pad? Various caulking methods were tried, all failed. So, we raised the donut 3 inches and placed a waterproof barrier under the 3 inch layer. The pier base remained in the center of the donut at pad level. The base was drilled last week and epoxy secured the 4 SS 3/4 inch dia 8 " long bolts into the ground. The bolts continue up an additional 4 inches above the base plate to secure the Piertech3 bottom flange. After a few days for the epoxy to harden, the pier was set. See Rubicon Observatory under Member Photos for some photos.








Nov 12, 2009





Oct 27, 2009 Solar Imaging

With the 75mm Lunt double stack filter atop the Vixen 103mm refractor, the sun showed off it's first nice sunspot and active region in a loooong time here.




RLCROSS I still didn't think anything was to be seen. We looked at the NASA IR photos and if ya really look hard at the "AFTER" photos a small dot appears in the IR. the web site is here. A big hooo haaa indeed.


LCROSS IMPACT  Oct 9 5:42 am at Rubicon Observatory

We have been shooting for a hour or is the impact site we think...the plume is in here someplace...150 additional images need to be looked at as well. We are tired and sleep is just a short walk away....



Oct 7, 2009

Yes, we have located the site. Starting with the LX200 12" and using the 30mm eye piece located up vs down and East vs West...duhhhh.

It is very confusing when looking at a camera image after the fact. Going down to the south pole from the big splash impact in the southern face, until we come to Moreteus.

Due south is Short

Next find Newton, and follow along

Newton A

The double crater Casatus (easy to pick this out)

Then Newton E with its internal pointed shadow

South from there is Cabeus B 

and adjacent to it is Cabeus A

Here is a marked up photo taken with the Meade LPI camera single frame. So targeting is getting better. The image was taken only an hour or so after when it get higher, the image should be better... Good hunting!!





Oct 6, 2009

Another impact..this time its the Moon! The site has been chosen for the crater Cabeus A neat the South Pole of the moon. We have been trying to image this area. I have posted a few shots of the moon and of the area. But, to be quite honest, I really don't see the crater in any of the photos. Perhaps I am just a bit off target, or it is too close to the terminator. Friday 4:30 AM PST it the zero hour. Will the moon get knocked out of orbit? Will it turn out to be a match going off in a desert as seen from half a million miles...tune in later..Here's a nice crater shot..





Hi Group ...its now Sept 9, 2009. The dome and its 12" Meade scope et al are running just fine. Imaging is being done about once a week and getting some nice shots. If we can figure out how to post them here we will share them. M3, M57, The Crescent Nebula have all been done this week with varying degrees of success. The upgrades fro the observatory have already started with the ordering of the Pier Tech 3 adjustable height 800 lb rated pier and the Software Bisque Paramount ME mount along with all of its necessities.  The scope of choice is the PlaneWave 17 but economic conditions have kinda shut down the money flow. Anyone know of a benefactor who would like to support his effort? Pleeeeaaasse have them get in contact. It seems that there are no outreach programs going on in Mendocino County of Lake County of No California other than the meager efforts we are doing here. The counties are basically broke and seem to have turned their limited budgets away from the sciences. This does not sit well so we will continue to pour or personal funds into solar and deep sky observing and imaging as long as we can. The car is always packed with the small Lunt Solar Scope, mount, batteries etc. As winter approaches and the nights get longer we will try to have some deep sky observing. 

If you would like to have a look at the Sun come to the park in Redwood Valley most Sunday mornings...its FREE!

Taylor Observatory and Planetarium in Kelseyville, Ca is up and running. We have been loading software for the telescope and cameras to try to get ready for the winter's clear nights. There is a new coordinator there who is really trying to keep things moving, Barbara McIntyre. Great gal! Please all who can, try to set up some guests to visit the facility. We have a 16'" scope and a full Digistar Planetarium with very comfortable seating. Visits are basically FREE but a $3 donations is recommended for adults. Groups are welcome but should contact Taylor prior.




We are currently using the new Lunt Hydrogen Alpha filters at 75mm double stack and 60mm double stack each to pass only 0.45 A of Ha light, and scopes to observe the sun. Anyone interested in joining in to see the surface of the sun email Paul.


The Rubicon Observatory is up and running. It is a Technical Innovations model PD10 at just over 3 meter diameter and about 12 feet high. It currently is housing  the Meade LX200 12" SC telescope. The scope is capable of remote control and the observatory follows the scope's actions. Imaging is being done via the SBIG ST2000xm camera along with the Adaptive Optics AO7 movable mirror and the Color Filter Wheel CFW8A. This is providing red blue and green frames along with dark and b/w imaging. These combined result in the full color images we just love. 

Taylor Observatory is up and running again. UAS members have contributed effort to get the LX200 16" scope back up. A new co-coordinator Barbera McIntyre has taken over running the facility and doing a great job. She could use all of the support we can  give, so contact her.

Our page has gotten hacked so the details and photos have been deleted online but I still have them. Anyone wishing to help put this thing back together please contact deleting the nospam from the address. This keeps the BOTS away!

International Year of Astronomy












I am sorry that we have not posted much here lately, but not much going on.

We are looking for contributions of information and events. Please contact Paul...thanks 






January 14, 2007

Hello from Benson Arizona! 

We loaded up for a road trip, scopes and all, and headed for some warm weather. When we arrived at the Butterfield RV Resort and Observatory last eve, it was in the 20's and 3550 foot evelation. Today we had a great thrill when we were able to  observe the comet McNaught in binocs. With some joint efforts on the part of the staff here, (Mr Bill Worth) we aimed the observatories LX200 16 just off of the Sun and found the comet. I was able to take a few photos afocally via my Nikon 4500 set at infinity and using the "fireworks" presets. Focus is of course, quite difficult but acceptable results were obtained. Considering this is a "first" as in a daytime comet, whew! Here it is.

    Later that eve we had a good time with the 16. Tomorrow we plan on chasing the comet again

Jan 16th, 2007 two days later and the sky 'looks" clear but a high overhead layer caused the sky to appear white instead of the deep blue we had on the 14th. As such, the comet was not visible. So, we appreciated the great opportunity to see through to the the other day.




TThe upcoming passage of Mercury (transit) will be coming up on November 8, 2006. Safe observing of the solar disk is a necessity. Unfortunately, many will try to observe and will damage their eyes. Please seek the assistance of an experienced astronomer or observer prior to attempting this. I will be setting up my scopes in Ukiah for the event. Anyone wishing to see the transit please contact one of our members. We will have a PST hydrogen alpha scope, and several white light scopes running. We might even get the opportunity to image the transit. You can chat with us via our Yahoo site. Here is a simulation of the transit which according to this from Starry Night Pro V5, should start at 12:23 PM on Nov 8th and end at about 5:05PM. To view the simulation click 

Commentary of the passage

Well it wasn't all that exciting. Our setup was at Motosports of Ukiah's parking lot in Ukiah, Ca. We set up the two scopes, ie the 105 Flourite and the PST. The Flourite running the Baadar filter while the PST using Ha filters. The dot was about as the size of a medium sunspot. It seemed to graze the orb near the limb. The event lasted from about 10:30 till late afternoon. Viewing via the Baadar filter was not sharp perhaps due to heating of the scope. But for the life of me, I just couldn't get a tack sharp image. The PST was crystal with the added beauty of a few filaments and surface details shown. We had about 50 sets of eyes check it out


Added interest. . .Today Nov15,2006 I set up the scopes again and with the help of the PST and the Meade DSI 1, stacked 150 frames which were tracking a nice double set of sunspots and got this false colored image.

Sky and Telescope Solar Eclipse in 2008

The advertising in S&T looked soooo inviting. It looks as if the solar eclipse will travel over China, Russia, and the North Pole with tours to each. Joyce and I have laid down some deposit monies for the China adventure. It will culminate with a two minute or so of totality. BUT the trip, ahhh the trip, will be worth the time. It will travel on the Orient Express, visit the Terra Cotta Warriers, a walk on the "wall" etc all in first cabin. The openings are filling up fast as only 120 will go , 4 froups of 30 to fit into the air conditioned tour busses. Please contact S&T for furthur info but let us know as well via the Yahoo chat site.





Apophis colission, near Earth asteroid

A lot of hype is going on right now about the upcoming near collision of asteroid Apophis on April 13, 2029 (Yes it is a Friday the 13th). Again Starry night come through by putting in the variables, the program has generated a movie clip of the near collision. It is not that near collision that is of worry, but the passage by Earth will modify its path to some degree and place it into a possible collision seven years later. Here is the simulation of the 2029 pass. November Sky and Telescope has a wonderful article on this. SNPro showed the object to pass within 0.029 Au of Earth. S&T states that it may pass within a "keyhole" a lot smaller. If it does pass to the inside of this keyhole, then it will be on a collision seven years later. Please do some reading on this. . .


The Leonids are coming

On the night of November 18, the Leonid Meteor Shower peaks, producing perhaps as many as 150 meteors per hour this year.



Ukiah Astronomical Society is the Northern Californian group run by President, Paul Kobetz and our Vice President, Terry Maples. It is an open society welcome to all star lovers who wish to give and receive input constructive to the development of the U.A.S.  We are a group of enthusiasts like you that enjoy the splendor of the stars. We are strong supporter of the Taylor Observatory and Planetarium in Kelseyville, Ca. Welcome to our web site, enjoy.  Please give feedback and forward any pictures or suggestions.





Our Mission

Here at U.A.S., our mission is strictly to have a meeting place for those who share the love of the stars- a place that is open to people who enjoy star gazing and wish to push it's limits. We currently are learning how to do CCD imaging. Our cameras include Meade LPI, Meade DSI, SBIG ST2000XM and many digital cameras and security cameras. Join us in our search for knowledge.



Contact Information

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or suggestions.  You may reach  Paul Kobetz at:

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Last modified: 12/05/09