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Peter B
2004-Feb-29, 01:37 PM
Last Friday I took advantage of a combination of an already set Moon, a cloudless night and nothing else to do to do a bit of sky watching.

I live in Canberra, which is a city of about 300,000 people. But I've discovered a place out in the country about 20 kilometres north of the northern edge of the city, with low horizons, and not too much glare from city light.

And what a beautiful sight!

I don't know my constellations very well, but Orion was in the west, the Southern Cross high to the south-east, and Jupiter also high in the sky. The Milky Way was a veil across the sky; counting the stars was like counting the droplets of water in fog. Other things I could see were the Coal Sack in the Southern Cross and one of the Magellanic Clouds.

I must have spent about 20 minutes just looking at the sky, enjoying a view I haven't seen for about 15 years.

And as I drove back home, I watched a fireball pass overhead from west to east. It lasted around 15 - 20 seconds, a point of yellow- white light, about as bright as Venus, until it faded from sight. I assume it was some space junk burning up, but I can't be sure.

I need to do this more often. :)

AGN Fuel
2004-Feb-29, 10:51 PM
Last Friday I took advantage of a combination of an already set Moon, a cloudless night and nothing else to do to do a bit of sky watching.

I live in Canberra, which is a city of about 300,000 people. But I've discovered a place out in the country about 20 kilometres north of the northern edge of the city, with low horizons, and not too much glare from city light.

And what a beautiful sight!

I don't know my constellations very well, but Orion was in the west, the Southern Cross high to the south-east, and Jupiter also high in the sky. The Milky Way was a veil across the sky; counting the stars was like counting the droplets of water in fog. Other things I could see were the Coal Sack in the Southern Cross and one of the Magellanic Clouds.

I must have spent about 20 minutes just looking at the sky, enjoying a view I haven't seen for about 15 years.

And as I drove back home, I watched a fireball pass overhead from west to east. It lasted around 15 - 20 seconds, a point of yellow- white light, about as bright as Venus, until it faded from sight. I assume it was some space junk burning up, but I can't be sure.

I need to do this more often. :)


The joy of a southern sky from a dark sky site. You can't beat it! 8)

On Saturday night, Omega Cen. was quite clearly visible as a distended object, through an SCT, M42 was glowing despite the presence of the nearby first quarter moon, and the Magellanic Clouds hung ghostlike toward the south. Just sensational seeing over the weekend. Beautiful.

umop ap!sdn
2004-Feb-29, 11:12 PM
I live in Canberra, which is a city of about 300,000 people. But I've discovered a place out in the country about 20 kilometres north of the northern edge of the city, with low horizons, and not too much glare from city light.

I'm jealous. :D I'd really like to see the southern sky, but from up here nothing below about -35 degrees declination is ever visible.

Especially with a mountain blocking my view to the south. :(

Andromeda321
2004-Mar-01, 12:41 AM
To cityboy: welcome!
To everyone else: stop rubbing it in you guys, it's not nice. Some of us have no choice about living in the northern hemisphere next to the most light polluted city in the US... :cry: :cry: :cry:

Ut
2004-Mar-01, 12:45 AM
While others here have enjoyed clearer northern skies than some will ever see...
:D

somerandomguy
2004-Mar-01, 02:44 AM
It poured down rain tonight -- rain! at last! not snow! -- and then after the gully-washer, the air was at last scrubbed clean ... Venus just above the horizon seemed bright enough to be an oncoming (incoming? :wink:) plane, and Jupiter was too piercing to miss. I know the seeing is good when I see blue, pinpoint stars instead of halo-fuzzy white dots.

Oh. Did I mention I live in the middle of downtown? But it was still THAT GOOD!

PS - Am I the only one who looks up at Mars these nights and waves to Spirit and Opportunity?

Kaptain K
2004-Mar-01, 12:05 PM
PS - Am I the only one who looks up at Mars these nights and waves to Spirit and Opportunity?
Nope! 8)

Argos
2004-Mar-01, 01:16 PM
The sky looks really gorgeous this time of year. Itīs a pity that Iīm plagued with a never ending cloud cover. Hope itīll clean up this week...

Andromeda321
2004-Mar-01, 02:55 PM
PS - Am I the only one who looks up at Mars these nights and waves to Spirit and Opportunity?

I've waved to Cassini a few times, does that count? :P

Normandy6644
2004-Mar-01, 02:58 PM
Last weekend I was out in the middle of nowhere doing an army training exercise. On Friday night it was cloudy so I couldn't see anything, but Saturday night was great! Plenty of stars out, though it's still somewhere near a city so there weren't ALL the stars out, but enough to make me a bit happier after getting no sleep and freezing all night. :D

Lorcan Faol
2004-Mar-01, 08:19 PM
Especially with a mountain blocking my view to the south. :(


The mountain is there for a reason... to stand on while observing the sky. :)

umop ap!sdn
2004-Mar-02, 07:34 AM
The mountain is there for a reason... to stand on while observing the sky. :)

Good point. Although it's wooded and private property, but whoever lives up there in that house must have quite a view. :D

Charlie in Dayton
2004-Mar-02, 08:34 AM
Pfui on this 'stars' nonsense...I'm waiting for the clouds and rain to go away here so I can try the solar filter I made for my lil' 8x21 monocular...if that construction method was successful, the 10x50 binoculars and the 105mm f4.7 bowling-ball-with-a-smokestack are next...

...and yes, last Friday night was nice (f15 20" reflector), Saturday night being almost as nice (the bowling ball) after the high haze cleared out about 10 pm or so...

...but I wanna see some sunspots!

umop ap!sdn
2004-Mar-02, 09:24 AM
A related thought, maybe slightly http://www.skadi.net/forum/images/smilies/pantheon_europa/offtopid.gif, I wonder if it is possible to equip an 8" reflector for viewing the Sun. It'd need a really high density filter, of course, but that would make for a spectacular sight.

[Edit - typed "refractor" by mistake.]

Charlie in Dayton
2004-Mar-03, 09:10 AM
A related thought, maybe slightly http://www.skadi.net/forum/images/smilies/pantheon_europa/offtopid.gif, I wonder if it is possible to equip an 8" reflector for viewing the Sun. It'd need a really high density filter, of course, but that would make for a spectacular sight.

[Edit - typed "refractor" by mistake.]

Absolutely possible. Tonite, I made two little filters for some 8x21 monoculars I have laying around here...so simple it was pathetic. Some thin cardboard, a few strips of construction paper, a roll of double-sided sticky tape, and I was off to the races.

Check here for Baader solar filter material (http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/solar_acc/astrosolar)
Check here for Thousand Oaks' black mylar solar filter material (http://www.thousandoaksoptical.com/solar.html)
Check here for the instructions on making your own filter. (http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/solar_acc/make_sol)