A hugely successful Saturday evening under the stars with Bath Astronomers at Wellow on Saturday night.
The sky clouded over soon after meeting up at 21:30 but even the poor weather forecast by metcheck.com suggested the high cloud would clear. To fill the time, we looked at the two new scopes brought to the evening, a 5″ Newtonian on an equatorial mount and an 8″ Dobsonian. Problems with focusing, mount alignment and navigating the sky were all openly chatted about. Hopefully Marjorie, Rachel, Steve and Francis who attended with Simon found it helpful.
After almost an hour, the skies cleared and boy how they cleared. Gin clear. steady and stable. Jupiter leapt out so brightly that it not only wrecked night vision, it hurt your eyes. Strong equatorial banding in all scopes. Easy to find in the south and easy to enjoy with the motion of the four primary satellites as well as the disc itself.
Graduating on from planets, using the the goto Celestron as a lead, we looked at planetary nebula M57 (goto only), Globular Cluster M13, Owl Nebula (goto only), double stars (Alcor/Mizar, Albeireo), spiral galaxies (Sombero M104), Praesepe M44, an Open Cluster and all the while the background of the Lyrid Meteor shower. If you snoozed, well you….lost out. The evening closed gone 1am so a small enjoyable marathon.
For those with new scopes, information on polar alignment, collimation, focusing and finding your way around the sky hopefully proved useful. Homework is to learn some constellations to allow you to navigate the Spring and Summer skies. See you next month.
Open public observing session at Wellow car park on Saturday 22nd April. As usual, don’t travel until you see a confirmation up to 2 hours before the event due to weather possibly stopping play. Due to the lighter evenings, start time will be from 21:30 to 22:00
Bring your own binoculars and telescope.
If the weather is not amenable, then it might be postponed 24hrs to Sunday evening.