Observing Evening

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Although attendee numbers were a bit on the low side (suspected competition from the football!) the sky was clear enough to allow those who did turn up to do some observing.

We had the opportunity to compare the performance of a basic Meade refractor with a 6” Celestron Nexstar brought along by Lee Sproats from Green Witch. Mars was high up in Gemini, but the disc size was small compared with its close apparition a few years ago. Despite this, it was possible to see surface features on Mars using the Nexstar in conjunction with a low power but high quality eyepiece. This was literally a real eye opener to what good optics can achieve.

Orion was conveniently placed for a view of the much observed nebula, M42/NGC1976 (pictured above). The Nexstar provided a strikingly clear and bright view of the nebula, demonstrating once again the high quality of its optics.

Lee showed us some new CCD cameras and a filter wheel from Atik which, although not cheap, are very good value for money. More information can be obtained from the Green Witch website.

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