Monday, April 14, 2008

"Night Under the Stars" (April 12th, 2008)


Moon near Half-phase



Leo Triplet Galaxies M65, M66 and NGC3628




M3 Globular Star Cluster



M13 Globular Star Cluster



M37 Star Cluster



M51 Whirlpool Galaxy



M81 and M82 Galaxies



I attended my first Norther Virginia Astronomy Club (NOVAC) event on Saturday, April 12th. It was a public viewing event at Crocket Park in Fauquier County, Va . At these events, astronomy club members set up telescopes for the public to view celestial objects . It is a good way to get more people involved in astronomy.


When I arrived at 8PM the temperature was 75F with no wind. By 10:30PM the wind became gusty (15-20MPH with higher gusts) and the temperature dropped to 48F. Glad I brought my 'Hoodie', because I needed it.


I had a chance to give public viewers a tour of the night sky by guiding my telescope at: Saturn, The Great Orion Nebula (M42), Galaxies M81 & M82 (in Ursa Major),
Globular Star Clusters ( M3 and M13) and Open Star Cluster M36, M37, M38 and M45 (The Pleiades).


By 11PM most public viewers departed, so I took the opportunity to do some astrophotography. Viewing and photography conditions were not the best, but this being the first cloudless night in weeks, I was not going to complain.



The posted pictures are not the best quality, because the wind was blowing my telescope around, and moisture in the upper atmosphere reflected a lot of light from an exceptionally bright Half-Moon.


Quote of the Day:
Astronomy's much more fun when you're not an astronomer!


StarPilot


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7 comments:

Jacki said...

Dude, you got spammed! Now you are a true-blue blogger.

I really like the pictures of the galaxies...those are awesome. They turned out great, even though you can see some of the light pollution like you were talking about.

Alicia said...

Jacki told me that you got a new telescope - it's so cool that you can take picsa like this. I can't even get a harvest moon or sunsets to look like anything. :^)

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