Saturday Night Clubbing

After a long day at the parish, I was looking forward to the annual club picnic and some viewing. It had been a crystal-clear day in Kansas City. We were late arriving at the picnic, so most of my homemade salsa was scooped up later by the Boy Scout troop when they arrived for their outing.

The moon was big (about 85% full) and bright and I saw the strangely shaped crater Schiller in the early morning sun (there). Lunar observing is interesting to me because of my interest in geology. The shadows are long at the line of lunar sunrise (or sunset) and even over consecutive nights (or even sometimes a few hours) you can track the changing lunarscapes: craters definitely, but also cliffs and rilles. Unfortunately when the moon is so bright, it washes out a lot of dim objects. I could barely see down to fourth magnitude with my corrected vision. No Milky Way for me.

These simulated images are from the Solar System Simulator, courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech:

And they show the change in position of Io and Europa over a two-hour span.

Other than that, I did see a helicopter cross the face of the moon while I was viewing through a scope and a meteor almost as bright as Jupiter after I had just lain down next to my wife and daughter on the picnic blanket. Too bad they were talking to each other; they missed it.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Saturday Night Clubbing

  1. Dustin says:

    Do you own a telescope of your own? In which case, what are you using? I have a 4 1/2 reflector, although the eyepieces are poor.

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