Monday, September 15, 2008

Wednesday 3rd September 2008

The meeting started at 7:30 PM - The sky wasnt promising showing a lot of haze. After comparing this session with last years - there was a lot of objects to beat!

Nick wasnt able to make the evening either but around 5 people turned up in the end including Richard who seemed to say he wasnt going to stay.. We were also joined at close proximity by the Mosqueto Plane, so close infact I actually covered up the Scope to stop unpleasent precipitation on the mirror!!

The early Evening allowed us to see Venus and Mars but no Mercury. Mars was very small (Subsequent evenings were a lot clearer and there was a nice "triangle" of Mercury , Mars and Venus seen for several days)

As the sky grew darker and inspite of the haze the Milky Way became quickly visible and the sky was especially clear in Sagittarius- allowing us to see the Steam from the "Teapot" very clearly

Next up was Jupiter and we were lucky to see Europa appear from "no where".
The Septembers edition of Sky and Telescope shows this as Sept 4 0:43 II.Ec.R.
The 0:43 is easy as its GMT, so - 5 hours gives us 7:43 PM
II stands for Europa
Ec is the object is in Eclipse by Jupiters Shadow
R stands for Reappears!

Also seen was the Red Spot, seen with a good high powered eyepiece and averted vision- but clearly seen all the same! The sky although hazy was obviuolsy giving us very stable viewing conditions

Our viewing then turned to Sagittarius, objects M22 , The Lagoon Nebula M8 were seen, including the Dust lane in M8. A quick trip to the Scorpians tail gave us and the Ptolomys Cluster (M7) and the Butterfly Nebula (M6)

After this we saw The Ring Nebula in Lyra and of course Alberio the famous double star in Cygnus.

A number of sparodic meteors were seen (September Perseids or from Auriga ? ) as were a few satellites waited for and observed.

However the prize of the evening was right at the end- an Iridium Flare at 20:24 PM - at Mag -2 although it seemed brighter. A nice end to the Evening