Sunday, February 25, 2007

Observations February 2007

This Months meeting was held on Tuesday 20th Feb 7:00-9:00 PM

The sky was about 40 perecent cloudy but cleared slowly, however the sky still remained quite hazy.
The only telescope involved tonight was the Societys 10 inch Dobsonian - a pair of binoculars were also used

Objects seen tonight were in order

A 3 day old Moon
Saturn with 4 satellite moonsOrion Nebula (M42),
M41 a nice Globular Cluster near Sirius
The Crab Nebula (M1)
Andromeda Galaxy (M31)
The Beehive Cluster (M44)
Scinitillation Of Canopus close to the Southern Horizon
and for a finale another look at the Moon

No artifical satellites were seen , most likely due to the hazy conditions.

In particular however Saturn looked spectacular, 4 Moons being clearly visible.It would be worthwhile next month to attempt to name them and possibly observe any changes between the start and the end of the evening

The most challenging object was the Crab Nebula almost directly overhead in the Sky.

We found the object by using a small personal organiser program and a set of azimuth and elevation markings which were fixed around the base of the 10 inch scope.
Once the object was found we dared not move the Scope!
The object appeared as a very small faint ellipitcal blob at 30x maginification

The Andromeda Nebulaa was quite hard to find, it was well to the West and hidden in the haze of lights from George Town. This time it was spotted ( just) in binoculars and the 10 inch scope was "steered" by following the paths of the laser pens pointed in the rough direction.

For the record the information I used to create the templates for the scope are available at


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