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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Planets Galore!

Good times for astronomy in Northern Virginia. The temperature is freakishly high, and daylight savings time has pushed the darkness into my early-morning shack time. My telescope troubles are sorted out, and I just discovered that with my current contact lens prescription, my right eye is much better for telescope work than the left. (Who knew!) I found an excellent and inspirational book on astronomy: "The Four Percent Universe." And this morning, while fooling around with my Stellarium program, I noticed that Saturn is high in the South-West before dawn. Coffee cup in hand I went out and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the ringed planet. I could even see one of the divisions between the rings. Titan was also visible. Last night Maria and I were looking at Mars. I can make out the ice cap and (vaguely) some the big valley features. No canals.

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  1. Good times indeed!

    We live in the light-infested city, and normally do not get to see anything, but this week my 4 year old son & I were really enjoying watching Jupiter & Venus, as it's been in the western sky with a very good view from my comfortable back porch.

    Still have not had a successful sched with Mars yet, but we're trying.

    Stellarium is excellent by the way!

  2. Stellarium is a blast. One of the cool things about Ubuntu no doubt. Despite the smog, we have been getting great views of Mars, the Venus-Jup twins of course and also Saturn. A friend has a good scope and we hope to drive to Sayula (lake bed) just south of Guadalajara on Saturday for some decent views.
    Have fun..from GDL saludos.... ..


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