Astronomy Benalla
Reports - 2010
Whirlpool Galaxy m51 & companion galaxy ps07 (Hubble) Black Hole Butterfly Nebula (Hubble image) Sombrero Galaxy (Hubble) Home of Astronomy Benalla Carina Nebula Pillar - ps49 (Hubble image) Most photos on this site can be zoomed by clicking the photo
Astronomy Benalla  Baddaginnie Dark Sky Site Report - Saturday 15th May 2010 With the nights drawing in earlier 'Astronomy Benalla' commenced its viewing at 6-00pm at the Baddaginnie Rec Res venue. The evening started reasonably warm with the sky dark & clear. Venus beaming brightly in the west was the first to draw our attention before it dropped below the horizon. Patrick used his Maksutov-Newtonian telescope to concentrate on the Orion Constellation The Hunter and closed in on the beautiful Orion Nebula known as M42, lit up by the four huge bright young stars in the Tripisium, he followed up by sighting the huge stars of Orion's belt, Mintaka, 90,000 times more luminous than our Sun, Alnilam another giant Type B star and Alnitaka a triple star whose primary is the hottest Type O star in the sky.  A bonus for the night was to see a fast bright sporadic meteor emanating from the Virgo Constellation. The planet Saturn, now high in the sky, showed that its rings were almost flat allowing its moons to be easily seen by David & Cynthia's scopes. Ron's quality binoculars proved more than adequate to drag associated objects in the small and large Magellanic clouds. Beside the usual members in attendance we had nine visitors from Melbourne, Violet Town, Shepparton & Baddaginnie, all keen to move around the five telescopes and see many outstanding celestial sights. Rupe concentrated on globular clusters and showed the visitors these huge balls of millions of stars in the constellations of Centauris, Scorpius, and Tucana. The fainter M4 object just near the giant red star Antares was a new one to be added to his growing Messier list. Later in the night, because of the very high humidity and the sudden drop in temperature, the telescope tubes became wet with moisture and the lenses and mirrors started to fog up, so everyone retired for an early supper. With no one having anti- dew equipment it was decided to call it a night which lead to driving home in fog and being back in bed at a reasonable time for a change. Interested amateur astronomers continue to join & attend the Astronomy Benalla' s meetings with a result the numbers have nearly doubled. At last Wednesday's meeting Cynthia Webb’s talk on the ‘Winter Fashions for Astronomers' drew considerable interest when she opened her case. Starting with colourful thermal underwear, then a range of beanies & balaclavas to protect the head, fingerless gloves & mittens and finishing with woolen jumpers, polar-fleece jackets and a freezer suit, suitable for temperatures down to -20 deg. With these clothes there in no reason to not be out viewing this winter she said. David Webb was the next presenter on “Telescopes for Beginners”. He had brought along for display a 70mm refractor, light to carry, well-priced, requires a minimum of maintenance and not taking up much space when transporting it in the car. He showed how easy it was to point and focus. Interest was also shown when it was suggested that individuals could easily make and use a 150mm diameter Dobsonian telescope for a minimum of cost that would enable members to view many more celestial objects. Next Viewing Night will be Sat 12th June at the Baddaginnie venue, subject to weather conditions. The month of June is the time to look forward to viewing the Constellation of Leo where the eight members of the small M96 Group of galaxies will be found huddling between the Lion's legs just 38 million light years distance. So rug up with your thermals & warm wooly jackets and join us to look at the winter wonderland in the sky.
Virgo Constellation
Virgo Constellation
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