Thursday, April 07, 2011

What a night!

So, my first foray outside for a while and what a night it was!
The crescent Moon looked superb in the West and the full globe was actually visible due to Earth shine.
Swinging the other way to the East, Saturn looked splendid with Titan clearly visible. The rings haven't opened out properly yet, so not as good as she can be.
I think I had my last look at Orion and the Nebula (M42) as he sank below the horizon - shouting in the arrival of Spring I guess.
Now ..... as I moved to a darker spot something caught my (averted vision) eye. It was a cluster of stars slightly low and east of the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux.
I viewed the cluster with some delight and after consulting "Turn Left at Orion" found it was M44 - The Beehive Cluster (see photo). I have NEVER seen this before, but it is quite a large naked eye cluster.
A meteorite graced me with its presence towards the end of the session and showed a long trail. This was near my zenith (sounds painful but means overhead!).
Overall it was a great night. Very clear skies and just like a summer's evening. Lovely.

MJ

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