After the disappointment of cancelling the Stargazing evening of the 14th, we met a week later at our usual Stargazing venue of the Sportsman Inn on Redmires Road. The weather forecast was with us this time, showing clear skies until around 23:00. We arrived at 17:30 to set up, and although there was a fair amount of snow and ice around, we set up the Meade 10″ SCT and the Pashley 10″ Dobsonian without much trouble.
This left us with about an hour to kill before the event was due to start. The skies were slightly hazy which was disappointing, so we retreated to the warmth and comfort of the Sportsman Inn for a pie and an pint which as always were excellent.
With outside temperatures dropping, we headed back out to set up the tracking mount before the start of the event. The waxing gibbous moon offered no help for observation of any faint objects to the south, however we had some excellent views of the Ring Nebula (M57) through the 10″ Meade. We also observed the Pleiades (M45) and the Orion Nebula (M42), however the moon was bleaching out most of the faint fuzzies and no planets were suitably positioned for observation. The moon offered some excellent views with many craters along the terminator.
The clouds closed in on us at 21:30 which was a little earlier than the forecast, however we had a good evening with plenty of visitors a few of whom brought their own equipment and were conducting observations and imaging until we were clouded out.
- Planets – a few facts