Every now and then someone tries to get into my system using a simple password attack. I used to ignore them, since there are no simple passwords on my system, but they’ve been clogging up my logs recently, to the extent that I felt it necessary to install blocking software. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye on the number of attacks, which is currently running around 2 or 3 a day. I think of it as network pressure, and it’s an indication of how worthwhile selective late post-parturitive abortions would be (and answering Pirate Jenny’s question, “kill them now, or later?”).

Bright with dew

There was a transit of Io tonight which I thought I would take a look at. I tromped out to the observatory and carefully rolled back the roof (more on this some other time).

I slewed the ‘scopes over to Jupiter, and after a little bit of adjusting to complete the slew, synched on the planet and switched to higher magnifications. I couldn’t make out Io itself, but the shadow was evident for a while. Then everything went white.

What had happened was the scope had dewed up in just a minute or two, and the light of the almost full moon had swamped the image. Humidity was very high (90% or higher), and the scope was dripping. I don’t have any dew heaters – it’s never been this much of an issue before – so I was effectively shut down. Had the dew shield been up I could have held out longer, but I think I would have succumbed eventually.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been hit by dew, but it’s never happened as quickly as this. I’m going to consider getting heaters for the scopes and the Telrad either by purchase or by building something from scratch.