Wednesday, February 20, 2013

La Luna

We brought our telescope to 2 Star Parties this past weekend.

The first was sponsored by a local elementary school, and was attended by the students and their families. Our scope was one of four set up that evening.

Many of the people there had never looked through an astronomical telescope before.

The second Star Party was a regularly scheduled event at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, in Palm Desert.

The Moon was prominent in the sky during both events. Normally, we'd rather observe the night sky without the Moon's bright light washing out the fainter objects. But it is a popular object for viewing. We had good looks at Jupiter and its Galilean moons, the Orion Nebula and other objects. We all enjoyed watching a reall-l-l-l-y long flyover by the Hubble Space Telescope, at the Visitor Center star party.

This picture of the Moon was taken with my SmartPhone camera, held to the eyepiece of our telescope. Not exactly rocket science, but the image turned out better than I thought it would.

"The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand.
Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the joy of a moonlit night."
~Yasunari Kawabata, from Palm-of-the-Hand Stories

For satellite and Iridium flare predictions, custom star charts and other astronomy fun:

For local public star party schedule, hikes, public education programs and special events:

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