Saturday, April 09, 2016

an astronomy afternoon (Mono Mills)

Helped Ian W at the talk and star party.

He did a general presentation on astronomy. After a break he talked about the exercise book and challenges the participants could undertake. After dinner, I did a brief demonstration of Stellarium. Meanwhile, Ian set up his 12" Dobsonian in the field. We joined him as the skies darkened.

The crescent Moon was lovely. Earthshine clearly visible. We reviewed many constellations and stars as the first and second magnitude stars bloomed. In the 'scope, we viewed Jupiter, σ (sigma) Orionis, Messier 42 (M42) aka the Great Orion Nebula (with the O-III filter), galaxy Messier 51 (M51) briefly (it was super faint for me), the Cigar galaxy aka Messier 82 (M82), and the globular Messier 3 (M3). Many satellites were spotted. It was a good session.

It was very cold and we wrapped before the ISS flyover. After a quick warm-up hot chocolate break, we hit the road for points north.

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