Saturday, May 20, 2017

Star Parties in Northern Latitudes

We had a family from church over for a star party last night.   In a northern latitude, the sky is not usefully dark until after 9:00. Los Angeles spoiled me in that respect (34 degrees latitude ), and even Sonoma County (38 degrees) were nice.  Nonetheless,  we had a nice time.

Jupiter was out first.  Even at 57x, all four of the Galilean satellites were visible, lined up like beads on a string and the cloud bands were obvious.  Only at 285x did the image break down enough to stop rewarding more power,  at least in part because Jupiter was still low in the sky.

No Moon meant the other powerful delight was unavailable,  and Saturn is still a early morning object. I have not made much use of my big telescope's digital setting circles.  Without at least two bright known stars the is no way to set it up,  and by the time we called it quits,  we're just beginning to get enough stars.  I received this beast shortly before my stroke,  and I recall for a few months wondering if I was ever going to use it again.   Tonight I will be using it again.


  1. Clayton, "beast" is underlined, but there's no link there.

    You're talking about a much bigger telescope, right?

  2. Beast now links to a posting showing it.