Flutterby™! : A night with the stars

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A night with the stars

2009-09-20 05:54:44.945093+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Charlene is taking an astronomy class that involves several nights in the field. Yesterday evening I drive up to Liberty Glen, part of the Lake Sonoma area, set up camp and met Charlene at one thirty this morning as her class ended. Tonight I'm sitting overlooking the lake and gazing out at the stars.

The class syllabus forbids visitors, so I'm on my own. Last night I used a scope that a friend had bought as a gift to Charlene that has middling optical quality, but two eyepieces, one of which really fills the screen. Tonight I'm using a rather nice borrowed Celestron on a Mead Autostar mount, but I'm having no luck getting the mount calibrated, and the only eyepiece has a fairly wide field of view, so I'm randomly panning around and regularly checking back on Jupiter's moons. It is a good experience to get reacquainted with the constellations.

Lacking better sky mapping technology, Charlene has the nice spinner thingy, I'm using three iPhone apps, Distant Suns, GoSkyWatch, and Star Walk. Reviews coming when I'm typing on a real keyboard.

The main realization is just a reminder of how much light pollution we suffer from. The sky glow from Santa Rosa is hefty here, but even with that I can see enough of the Milky Way to make picking out Cygnus take a little searching.

And pictures of the rattlesnake that curled up under Charlene's bag back at camp are coming when I get back home. Next time I definitely bring hiking boots first, sandals second.

[ related topics: Photography Nature and environment Space & Astronomy Astronomy iPhone ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-21 13:41:37.302276+00 by: jeff

Rattlensake under Charlene's bag? Yikes! Any photos of planets or Messier objects to share?