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A Special Conjunction - October 7, 2001

Jane Houston Jones

After careful consulting of the appropriate maps, we slew our motor driven machine to just the right spot at the right time today, Sunday, October 7th, 2001. Before the conjunction, we observed a special cluster surrounding two brilliant stars. This was no everyday cluster and these were no everyday stars. This special cluster was found nestled in the Alum Rock Canyon, located in the foothills of the Diablo Range, just two miles (as the crow flies) from Mount Hamilton, where Lick Observatory stands.

The observing conditions for the conjunction were excellent. The morning clouds gave way to a beautiful sunny clear and cool California afternoon. Surrounded by family and friends at Sycamore Grove in Alum Rock Park, California's first and oldest park, two of our SJAA family were married. Dave North married Akkana Peck at 19:30 UTC (12:30 p.m. PDT) today.

Dave and Akkana are off on their honeymoon now, but I'm sure they won't mind too much if I give out this email address, for those of you who would like to send them your best wishes:

It was one of the best conjunctions I've ever seen. The combined light of two of my favorite stars was wonderful to see.

Observing Location, Alum Rock Park, San Jose, California

Latitude 37.28 N

Longitude 121.84 W

Elevation: 600 feet

Seeing conditions: excellent, misty eyes on some observers

BBQ conditions: hot coals, usual fixings

Other observations: mineral springs, sycamore and oak trees, acorn woodpeckers, stellar jays, family and friends

Mail to: Jane Houston Jones
Copyright © 2001 San Jose Astronomical Association
Last updated: July 19, 2007

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