Saturday, April 28, 2007

April Observations 2007

Without doubt Venus has dominated the evening sky for most of this month and this was particulary so on the evening of April 19th at the Societies Meeting at Pedro Castle.

On this evening the 2 day old Moon and Venus were quite close together. Aldebaran appeared much less brighter than expected and the Plieides were even harder to pick out .

The evening was well attended with ages from 7 to 70+! Over 20 people were present at one point . A blanket also turned up but this was for lying down on rather than for warmth!

After the evening grew darker there was still a fair amount of haze which limited how faint we could see.

The Moon was a pleasent suprise in that the meeting is usually held on the 3rd day after full Moon. This time we saw three bright craters semi illuminated , particulary Vendilus which has a central elevation.

Other objects which were seen easily tonight were the Orion Nebula and of course the M41 Globular Cluster near Sirius

Saturn proved a challenge due to its very high elevation. The Societies 10 inch Donsianain struggled a little not only to keep the planet in th eyepiece but also to keep pace with the sky's movement. Nick deserves a gold star for effort in finding Saturn !

However inspite of these difficulties the queue to see the planet was very long and Saturn was to many the highlight of the evening . Two of Saturns moons were also seen

Richard pointed out the False Southern Cross, we may just see the real one next Month!

One unknown faint satellite (mag 3?) was observerd, initially overhead then fading into Earth Shadow in the West

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