Dark skies at last
For the first time since I have owned my scope I was able to treat it to some actual dark skies and meet with a fellow blogger/amateur astronomer for a night of stargazing.About a week ago I was invited to a NHAS skywatch by Marc from the Tamworth Observatory in northern NewHampshire where I met with Michael from MountWashington Valley Astronomy.Being fashionably unprepared,I managed to forget to bring my dewshield for the scope,warm clothing and some munchies.Regardless,the night was simply amazing inwhich I was in a stardaze for most of the night.So much in awe as a matter of fact that I didn’t even notice that the temps had dropped into the mid 40’sF and here I was dressed in only shorts and a short sleeve shirt.I of course didn’t realize that I was cold until I was half way home from the observing session. While at the skywatch I met Michaels girlfriend Rhonda who was a lot of fun to talk with.I also met with other very friendly knowledgeable people that were more than willing to share their insights as well as their equipment.One of the highpoints of the night was when a man in his 99th year of life looked through Michaels scope and saw Jupiter and all of it’s moons!.Just from the excited sounds of his voice,it appeared that he was extremely impressed!!!!.Another astronomer brought what I believe was a 16″+? truss tube Dobsonian which yielded fantastic views.Combine the light gathering power with a OIII neb filter and I was able to see the Veil nebula without a problem.Something I have never seen with my scope under the light polluted skies of Laconia.ARGH…..I’ve got aperture fever again.However,the remedy for that won’t happen too soon *sigh*.I didn’t get a whole lot of eyepiece time in because,I suddenly became Mr Yappy and just wanted to talk with everyone.Also,like I stated earlier,I was in a stardaze.It has been….(me thinking)…probably 20 years or more that I have seen the dustlanes in the Milkyway.I mean,I have seen them since I have been living in the middle of town but,no where near as bright as what I saw lastnight!.Even on my best night of observing on the street doesn’t remotely come close to the views that I saw from this true dark site.As impressed and thrilled that I was for these darkskies.It was brought to my attention that these dark skies didn’t compare with some of the other observing sites in the state.Their were so many stars visible that it was almost overwhelming!!!.
I would like to thank everyone involved for the warm welcome and friendly atmosphere that made this a night that I won’t soon forget!.
One of the objects that I observed (but,wasn’t able to image due to being temporarily scatterbrained)was Alberio which is a double star located in the constellation Cygnus and is easily visible in even the smallest of scopes.At 385 light years away,Alberio (also known as the beak star)forms the head of the “Swan”,which incidentally is also Cygnus.
Below is a image that I shot a couple weeks ago with a Pentax istDS digital camera and processed with PS Elements.