A good night in Wellow last night and this morning even though the sky remained in astronomical twilight for the duration. A 3 hour session from just after 10:00pm meant that many would be tired at work in the morning.
5 members were able to attend and enjoy the night’s celestial delights with a good proportion of observing through binoculars although 5″ abd 8″ telescopes were also on site. A special thank you to Stephen M for his guided tours of his favourite objects.
The evening kicked off with Jupiter and with the transparent skies, the equatorial belts were very impressive. Four moons clearly visible and all arranged to the left of the giant. A good deal of constellation navigation was undertaken to help people locate objects in binoculars. The old favourites were on show with M57 Ring Nebula, M13 Globular in Hercules and colour spotting the Albireo double. In the light night and t-shirt weather, other nebulosity and fainter galaxies eluded us.
Two apparitions of the ISS arcing over Jupiter and later overhead gave some good photo opportunities for those that attended. There were many other man made satellites on view and at least one iriduim flash. The meteors were sporadic although there was some possibility of a few being late Eta Lyrids.
Stephen’s tour took in some out of season sights with the Andromeda galaxy and the Beehive Cluster. A number of people were able to view their first comets (at least for a while) with the 6.8mag C/2015 v 2Johnson body just NW of Izar in Bootes.
Despite the great weather, conditions and dew only starting to form on the scopes, by 1 am it was time to pack up and plan the next observing session.
Open public observing session at Wellow car park on Saturday 20th May 2017. 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 22:30 to 23:00
Bring your own binoculars and telescope.