Friday, May 25, 2007

May Viewings

The Southern Cross, Crux, is now visible in the southern night sky. I had a wonderful view of it the Thursday before the viewing when I was out on a boat in the North Sound. The stars and planets were reflected in the still water, and I could not restrain myself from pointing out to my companions the most obvious sights. I'm not convinced that they were totally interested.
However, the four people who turned up for the viewing session, plus myself, Richard and the security guard, were all enthusiastic.
The night of Sunday 20th followed a very rainy day. To my surprise the sky was clear, and the seeing through the telescope crisp, even though the night was humid and the telescope was dripping moisture by the end of the session.
The three visible planets were the dominant objects of our attentions.
Venus showed a definite phase, Saturn was visible in all its glory, and Jupiter, when it rose, rewarded us with a view of the four Galilean moons ands the planets atmospheric bands.
Tim found the Jewel Box, NGC 4755, a globular cluster in Crux, split some stars, and later guided us to the Omega Centauri Cluster,NGC 5139, a glorious sight through our 10 inch Dobsonian.
A rewarding evening that I had not expected to happen.