Astronomy Benalla
Reports - 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Astronomy Benalla  Viewing Report - Saturday 27th September 2014 Winton Wetlands Date: 27th September 2014 Night: Deep Sky Night Weather: Clear sky, Bit Hazy Light Level: 21.7 Lux @ 0:00 Sun: Set: 18:32 Last Light: 18:58 Moon: Set: 21:13 Size: 16% Illumination: 8.2% Age: 3 Days Attended: Gary Svirak, John Whitehead, Patrick Watson, Les Stacey, Bev Morton Guests: Jason with his children, Noah and Isaiah (From Mansfield) Lynn with her grandchildren, Michaela and Peter (From Benalla) Vic (from Benalla) Hi Everyone, Gary arrived pretty early about 5:30 to set up followed shortly after by Patrick and John.  Then along came Les  with his 16 inch Dobsonian telescope. Gary set up his two telescopes. We were then welcomed by presence of Jason  and his two children Noah and Isaiah all the way from Mansfield eager to see what we had to show.  Gary showed  them our Moon, they thought that was awesome. Never before being able to see the Moon in such a close up view. As  yet the stars were not showing themselves, so the Moon was the main object for the time being. Vic arrived just as the  Sun began to set and the stars began to show themselves slowly one by one. First we saw Rigil Kent popping out from  almost nowhere then followed very quickly by Hadar. These are two bright stars in the constellation Centaurus. These  are commonly known as the pointers to the Southern Cross, and the Southern Cross became evident along with many  other stars of similar magnitude.   There was then some excitement as Lynn together with her two grandchildren had also arrived. Saturn the most  loved planet especially by children of all ages as well as adults. As the Moon began to set and the sky progressively  darken we were able to visit a lot more objects that had been hidden by the skies brightness one of these was the very  visited 47Tuc(NGC104) in the small Magellanic cloud. Then John followed this with the Tarantula Nebula (NGC2070) in the large Magellanic cloud. This object though being seen in the small Magellanic cloud is actually in our own MilkyWay galaxy.  The object we pointed the scopes at, when the skies became dark enough. Soon the stars where starting to appear  followed by Saturn and Mars not long after, that gave the kids something else to talk about for a moment. Then Lynn  from Benalla was on the scene who saw Saturn along with her grandchildren. So John and Gary pretty much turned  both the lasers on at the same time. And the kids became a little more excited about the bright green lasers than the  sky for a moment. The lasers took over the show.  Well the sky wasn’t as deep as one would have hoped. But never the less, John had set his telescope up for  astrophotography. Where he was demonstrating his techniques to Vic and Bev Morton. John had Saturn displayed on  his television monitor together with his laptop computer being fed from a camera mounted in his telescope, this was  displaying a lovely view of Saturn where we could all see it without having to pear into a telescope eyepiece, very  much easier for the young. Then John had the Tarantula Nebula (NGC2070) up on the screen where he was able to explain to a couple of people that where watching him how this object simulated a Tarantula Spider. Gary then took a look at  the Butterfly Cluster (M6) and then showed Vic. He was able to see the butterfly straight away. Gary then decided it was a good time to get back on the Dobsonian and found this spectacular array of stars.  Gary said to Bev, wow take a look at this.  In true apprenticeship fashion Gary said he had no idea what he looked but  it looked good. So with a bit of a frown John came over and took a look and pointed out that we were looking at the  Southern Jewel Box (NGC4755). By about 10:30 most of the guests had left, Patrick had also disappeared. And soon to  follow our last guest. Leaving John, Bev, Les and Gary. Moisture was getting the better of the Dobsonian before I  turned on the fan. After about 30 minutes my scope was like new. Perfectly clear once again. The sky wasn’t quite dark  enough to see M4, not by me anyway. The sky didn’t disappoint, 47 Tuc (NGC0104) was reasonable easy to locate.  At about 12:00, it was Les’s turn to head home. Leaving only three of us. John and Bev took an opportunity to  have a coffee. After a coffee break Pleiades (M45) started show about 12:30. And was quite spectacular.  Bev had some  good views from her telescope of Pleiades as well. By about 1:45 Gary decided to call it a night. John informed Gary  that he locked the gate about 3am before heading home. After proclaiming what a wonderful sky we had as the Moon  was well down and the Milky Way was hanging in the heavens just a bit out of reach so it seemed John made the  explanation of “why do I keep going to bed when we have this”. We have taken all sorts of photos of the Pleiades.  All in all it was a magic night, plenty of people, members and guests. With the nights getting warmer hopefully  this will improve.   John Whitehead  Gary Svirak 
Home of Astronomy Benalla Black Hole Aristarchus crater - Moon Hubble Orbiting Earth Cosmic Pearls around Exploding Star
Pictures from the Hubble Site
Most photos on this site can be zoomed by clicking the photo Home Committee Gallery Events Activity Reports Contact Located in NE Victoria