Posts in category 'astronomy'
Well, I just had to go out again last night and check out Jupiter. With it setting earlier and earlier these days, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to observe it.
Unfortunately, the weather has been very unpleasant lately (it’s mid-August, but it feels like mid-September!), and so seeing wasn’t great, with a lot of atmospheric turbulence. Still, I got a beautiful view of the Galilean Moons again. It’s fascinating seeing them change position… rather than being in a straight line, as in my previous observations, this time Io and Ganymede were to one side and Callisto to the other. Just beautiful.
Jupiter and It's Moons
Wow, it’s been a while. Three years?! Yeesh… well, now that we’ve finally moved into the new house, which is further out from the city core, hopefully I’ll get around to doing more observing.
Speaking of which, I decided to observe Jupiter tonight. It’s setting quite early these days, so I expected a lot of atmospheric disturbance, but there was surprisingly little! The planet face didn’t have a lot of detail at roughly 100x, though light and dark regions were visible (no spot, though it was facing us).
Of the Galilean Moons visible, Io, Calisto, and Ganymede were present, forming a rough line to one side of the planet. Quite pretty, actually.
The Dumbell Nebula
Well, tonight was a nice night for observing. Very clear, fairly warm… good stuff! I decided to go searching a little higher in the sky and found myself in Sagitta and Vulpecula. Initially, I tried for M71, a dense globular in Sagitta. But, for all the searching I did, I simply couldn’t find it! And I’m positive I looked in the right place. Very strange, since it’s only mag 7.0.
On a positive note, I found M27, aka, the Dumbbell Nebula tonight! This is a bright, 8th magnitude planetary nebula located in Vulpecula. It showed itself as a faint smudge against a starry background. I can’t say I really noticed the dumbbell shape. :) Still, very cool… my first nebula!
Wild Ducks and Other Things
Ahh… a cool night in Edmonton, but a good one, nonetheless. The sky was fairly clear tonight, and minus some clouds, observing conditions were not too bad. So, I nailed a couple more open clusters tonight. The first, M25, is a nice little sparse cluster in Scutum, and fairly close to the horizon. Definitely a pretty little cluster, with many bright stars.
The other big one, and the one I’ve been trying to get, was the Wild Duck Cluster, or M11 in the Messier Catalogue. This is an open cluster as well, although you wouldn’t know it to look at it. It’s so compact that, in my telescope, it looks very similar to a globular cluster, just a little less compact. But, with a relative magnitude of 5.8, it was visible even in binoculars. Definitely a sight to behold! My next hopeful is M22, a bright globular which is in Sagittarius. Perhaps tomorrow. :)