Friday, September 15, 2017

observing from the dock (Crowes Landing)

Mist over the water.

We did some visual observing from the dock. We watched Pleiades rise out of the murk. We took in constellations and various stars. The Big Dipper was obscured by low cloud and haze or smoke. Fairly clear straight up. We couldn't figure out what was causing the sky glow to the north-east.

Explained that all stars we could see were in our galaxy. And therefore all were less than 100 000 light years, in fact, a fraction of that. Vega was extremely close, 26 light years. [ed: Wikipedia says the size of our home galaxy is between 100 000 and 180 000 light years.]

Talked about exoplanets and candidates in the Goldilock's zone. That our current instruments are getting better and better.

Helped Aubrey and Rhonda find the Andromeda Galaxy with just their eyes. Used the bright LED flashlight focused to a narrow beam, in lieu of a green laser pointer.

I saw one meteor, a brief slow-moving south-bound traveller.

I pointed out the sleepy fire flies in the grass.

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