August 28, 2011
A Galactic Full Moon-Lite Surprise
Temp: 70* Moon phase: "Waxing Gibbous" 95 % full.
So I went to enjoy the light of the full moon and I received a galactic surprise. I had a complete blast photographing the moon's light that was splashed around my backyard and my house. I am more a goof off rather than a serious one with my digital camera,but, tonight I shot some exciting shots around my backyard of the moon light bouncing onto my house. You can check them out by scrolling down too my story called ' A Night Enjoying Some Moon-Shine'.
Later I decided to pick up my new binocs and explore the new constellations popping up around the northeast area of the sky. First thing I did was breeze my binocs around Cassiopeia, what a fun area to explore. If you like to see lots of cool stars this is an area you'll like. I spent about 20 minutes just moving my binocs any which way above and below Cassiopeia A star. Then I saw the star Andromeda galaxy is above was out so I popped it to the star and wow what a great orange star!
I am so impressed with my new binoculars it was worth every penny. As I got wandering around my binocs were living up to it's name 'Messiers Comet' they were gliding to precision. All of a sudden there was a huge fuzzy, oblong in roundness and unmistakably there. Wow once I had that in my view they were locked in, these binocs were not moving any time soon. Now remember, I am a telescope girl so you'd see me with my scope out more than binoculars out there but now it's a competition. My old 10x50 binocs I used many times but Messiers Comet is packed for a punch so I'll be cruising the skies with them every chance I get. When Andromeda galaxy was in view it was a very well seen smudge and reminded me of when Comet Holmes was out October 2007. Wasn't that Comet a blast?
Let's get back to that orange star, it was so spectacular, I enjoyed looking at it. The star is Mirach in constellation Andromeda. Then as I moved my binocs upward to the galaxy I was scouting out there is a smaller group of stars hanging out together and I'd say there were maybe 6 or 7 of them, dim but well seen. It surprised me how it came into my view so easy, and wide. I got hungry for more galaxies to find in my binocs but I left my observing books inside, decided to just poke aimlessly around the sky tonight. So around 12:30am the old unwanted yawning started and I did have a busy day so I started to pack it in and as I went to grab the blankets I saw it, a blob of light north-east. I thought it was a close airplane, there is an airport across the river. As I walked across my lawn I remembered airplanes do not come from that direction and realized it was Jupiter.
So I grabbed my binocs and saw Jupiter and saw the spectacular disk and three moons and was glad to see Jupiter. Looking forward to this years adventures with Jupiter. Always nice to have a planet gracing our skies at night. Too the right and up to the East more Uranus is out, looks like I'll have a challange up my sleeve with my 12 inch dobsonian. A double planetary hunt!
(Here is the trail I describe above, click for bigger photo)