Saturday, December 27, 2008

Preamble - first clear night of the blog

With a bit of luck the sky was clear the evening the blog was started and even though we're not yet in the IYA, let alone having passed the Opening Ceremony, why shouldn't we grab the opportunity to pull out a little telescope and sneak a peek at the stars? 

What equipment do we have in our observatory? Well nothing more than a little 4.5inch (diameter of main mirror) Dobsonian telescope, the Orion Skyquest XT4.5 to be exact - a couple of mirrors in a metal tube to be technical about it. As a point and look system it can't be beaten, but it can lead to ages wandering around the sky looking for your intended target, but then what's the rush, just scanning across the milky way at your leisure is fun enough surely? 

Anyway, Orion was prominent and up to the right of his shoulder the Hyades and then the Pleiades. The latter always looks beautiful, sharp and bright, filling my little eyepiece. Only a bigger telescope shows the glowing 'nebulosity' around some of the stars (as in the picture here -not taken from our telescope!).

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