Thursday, January 01, 2009

Sirius there; Polaris back (Toronto)

Wow. As I walked over to Tony's for the evening, I enjoyed clear skies! First time in a really long time. There were low clouds in the west. Possibly remnants of what blocked views of Mercury and Jupiter earlier for many. Cold though!

Orion was up high in the south, almost standing upright. I could make out the nebulosity in the sword region. I caught Pollux and Castor between the trees and high rises. Sirius of Canis Major and Procyon of Canis Minor showed me the way.

I really wanted to see Saturn. When I arrived at Tony's I asked if he had a telescope handy. It didn't sound like it. And that viewing from the back yard would be a challenge.

Before we knew it, it was 2:30. Grace had trundled off to bed. Trevor and Tony were still trying to debug a new computer. I was tired. So I ventured back into the dark chill, heading north-west this time.

Gemini was overhead now. Ursa Major was doing a back flip! It took me a moment to get my bearings. I was thinking backwards. But another glance at Dubhe and Merak helped me find Polaris and I was able to rotate Ursa Minor around in my end. That said, I could only see α (alpha) and β (beta) in the Little Dipper.

Clouds covered the whole sky by the time I reached home. I think I was periodically seeing Capella through breaks. No chance for Saturn now... My glasses were fogged. My stomach was sloshing. I was thinking of my warm bed.

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