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Sharing Observational Astronomy .... Saturday October 17th 2009

Family Week 2009

Yet another great night of stargazing. With a moonless clear night and the centre of the milky way setting in the west we started to point the telescopes at various objects. There was a steady breeze blowing across the oval which cause some of the telescopes to be a bit unsteady. Hopefully, the telescope housed in the dome will soon be ready.

Through the night we were able to show:-

  • PLANET - Jupiter, with it's 4 major moons all in a line to one side.
  • NEBULAE - M8 Lagoon Nebula, NGC 2070 the Tarantula nebula, NGC 3372 the nebula in Carina
  • STAR CLUSTERS - M6 Butterfly Cluster, M7 Ptolemy's Cluster, M16 Eagle Nebula, M20 Trifid Nebula, NGC104 47 Tucanae , NGC 4755 the Jewell Box cluster
  • STAR - Alpha Centauri which appears as a bright double in the telescope.
  • GALAXIES - our neighbours the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, although above the horizon there was too much light polution to clearly see these with the naked eye. We also tried for some other faint objects: galaxies; planetary nebulae; nebulae, but there was too much light pollution.
A small group of people braved the cool night and take the opportunity to look through each of the telescopes.
We also had an international visitor from Japan who was amazed at how many stars could be seen.

Lots of questions were asked and I hope we managed to answer most of them.

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