Monday, 12 May 2014

Moon, Mars and Saturn through and above the trees

Tonight the Moon  was calling me, a big bright gibbous Moon, sitting above the treeline, along with Mars.... they were irresistible! 

Plus at the other end of the garden a brilliant shining Saturn was winking at me from amongst the naked ash trees.

Definitely time to drag out the Schmidt.

I set up outside the front door, the street lights had all gone out, and the neighbour's lights all switched off...perfect for a spot of observing.

The north polar cap of Mars stood out well, plus a few dark markings. There seemed to be a hint of south polar cap, though this was probably haze or cloud.

The Moon was gibbous and very bright, almost sunglasses bright as viewed through the 25mm Kellner eyepiece (x50).

I can highly recommend wearing sunglasses for telescopically observing the bright Moon, and cheaper than a moon filter!

Saturn looked amazing tonight (x220), through the gaps in the trees I could easily detect some surface banding, with a hint of colour (brownish to my eyes). The Cassini Division was noted, but not very distinct.

Tonight was one of the best nights this year for actual observing comfort. I was sitting outside in jeans and t-shirt,  I don't often get to say that from where I live...

Fingers crossed for the warmer months ahead.


Clear "Warm" Skies

Mark

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