Home Forums RAC Main Forum General Discussion Observing tonight? Re: Observing tonight?

Dean Johnson

    Well, I got out for 3 hours. I went to Wayne Dosch's place NE of Houston and he got to look through a telescope. I don't think he'd done that before even though he's had a real interest in science since he was a kid. Maybe a cheap refractor if anything.

    I showed him the Moon and the Pleadies star cluster just before they disappeared behind the ridge to the west of his house. They were close enough to see together in the FOV of my 15X70 binoculars. Then it was a telescopic look at the Moon. He wondered what the big circular area near the terminator towards the upper half of the Moon was and I explained that it was the Sea of Serenity. Then I showed him roughly where Apollo 11 landed in the Sea of Tranquility east of the craters Ritter and Sabine. He liked that. We also looked at the big craters of Aristotle and Eudoxus when he wondered about them.

    M42-43 were up next because that darn ridge was getting ready to swallow them too. I explained that it was the nearest star forming region to our Solar System and was roughly 1500 light years away. Then it was binocular looks at Orions sword and belt. I showed him Collander 70, the many stars that surround the belt. His wife Colleen has a pair of binoculars and I think they are going to get used on the sky more. That's a good start.

    Polar aligned on Polaris next the first of many double stars we looked at. Mizar A&B, Alcor and Mizar, Zeta Cancri and Gamma Leonis. We talked about the difference between binarys and optical doubles and explained common proper motion. Discussed the Ursa Major Moving Group.

    We finished with a look at Arcturus, tried for M3, but by this time, the sky was gettiing murky and then vanished completely. I drove home in very thick fog.

    Wayne liked it a lot. So did I. It was wonderful to be out there again.