The ye old objects-of-the-month club, and any other observing tidbits we come up with.

2018-06-11: A Couple Of Observing Alerts

1) Last chance to observe Omega Centauri this year. It is now visible at the end of astronomical twilight almost due south, within a binocular field of the horizon (less than 5 degrees). By midnight it is below the horizon. Don't miss this spectacular DSO.

2) Mars is rapidly approaching opposition (end of July) when it will be 24 arc seconds in diameter. It is already over 16 arc seconds and appears very similar in size to the disc of Saturn. Much detail can already be seen in small scopes at only 150 - 200x.

3) We are now getting periods of a few days of monsoonal circulation (though not the rain, which is likely a few weeks off). The monsoons bring a lot of clouds and fewer nights, but the best seeing of the year. Take advantage of any clear nights and treat yourself to some superb views.

Clear skies,
Bob Pody

2018-05-12: Challenge Accepted

Dr. Dan and I were taking a peek at Omega Centauri through some binoculars at Etscorn Observatory...and then M13...and then the idea came up to take a picture with the same settings of both objects to compare their sizes. M13 is on the left, and Omega Centauri on the right. The pictures are intrinsically crap, because I was testing the mount and the scope, and not planning on taking any good pictures, but you can get the idea. These are the same scale, and were the same exposure length, so the size difference is real. The Omega one is hazy, because of light pollution.

Bob G (Bob2)


May 2018

If you have a low southern horizon, scan the horizon around 11:30 pm for a view of the Omega Centauri globular cluster. Look between Corvus and Spica (along the horizon). It is visible to the naked eye under dark skies, but more easily spotted in binoculars as a large (moon-size) granular glow. If you place Omega Centauri at the bottom of the binocular field you will spot the Centaurus A galaxy near the top of the field as a small dim 'spot'. The famous dust lane is easily seen (with averted vision) in small telescopes.

Clear skies,
Bob Pody