Observing tonight

The Eddington Society canceled its April 21st sky watch due to the expectation that twilight would be just too bright. However, the date was left on the website and the Moon was shining nicely with Venus just a moment away, so I took my telescope down to Abbot Hall park and managed to meet up with someone down there. No vast array of telescopes this time, just me and my own. But not my eyepieces, which I had to rush home for. As well as pictures from the night, I’ve included some pictures of the Moon from previous weeks.

Target one of the evening was Venus, hanging pretty high in the West. The bright planet shows a disc with phases. Then the telescope was moved onto the Moon, rather bigger and even brighter in a lovely half phase. There were some lovely rilles and valleys and quite a few craters with peaks and mountains illuminated within, we stuck here for quite a while.

A Chinese lantern (don’t write in…) sailed overhead to mark nine o’clock as they tend to do at the moment. No UFO, just someone letting off an ornament, making a strange light in the sky. It joined a group of planes seeming intent on making up for lost time and the odd helicopter.

We moved onto the Beehive cluster and then to Mars, presenting an orange disc. Although there wasn’t much in the way of any level of detail to be seen, just seeing it as a disc was enough. But there was one planet for which a disc would never be enough and that was next.

Saturn appeared as a bright, distinct object accompanied by Titan as a speck. The slender line of the rings at either side of the planet seemingly joined by the darker line of the shadow of the rings, easily visible in the 4mm eyepiece. Despite the rings being as they were, not the widened splendour we’ve been used to, this counts as one of my better views of the ringed planet.

A murkiness fell over Kendal that turned the Moon a shade of green and gifted it a ring of iridescence. I scouted around for a couple of dim comets, but soon gave up and ended the session at 10pm. Then back home for a cuppa and preparations for London. I should return to blogging on either Friday night or Saturday, depending on how exhausting the travel was…


One response to “Observing tonight

  1. Phil- good photos and thanks for giving me solitary instruction and a guided tour of the skies! The half moon was spectacular, and I agree the saturn view was great (iPhone ‘icon’ as I called it)…

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