Thursday, March 15, 2007

Night of Star Gazing

I went star gazing tonite, with my former housemate. Everyone else seemed to be busy. We went up to the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. Tonite was a special night as it was part of the Science Week at Cambridge. So, there were a lot of parents with kids there as well.

With more than 100 people this evening, they broke us up into two separate groups. The first group started off with a lecture before going out to the telescopes to have a tour of the sky. We started off with the sky tour. We were brought out to this large open space where they had several telescopes and projectors set up. The sky was thankfully very clear.

We were given a tour of the night sky starting with the big dipper, all the way around, and ending with the big dipper. The guy speaking, used a green laser pointer to show us the different constellations. Along the way, we were shown close ups of several star clusters as well as Saturn and Venus. It was all very cool.

Then, we were supposed to go listen to the lecture on the discovery of Neptune. However, some of us decided to skip the lecture and to go up to the main telescope to view saturn directly. There was a long queue though. After about half an hour, we managed to get our 15 seconds with Saturn. It was really clear. I not only got to see Saturn, but also the rings around it and several of it's moons.

Since we had missed the lecture anyway, I decided to take a few pictures. I got some good pictures of Orion and also the main telescope. It took me a while to set it all up. I'm still trying to learn how to do this correctly. Some of the pictures turned out quite nicely though. Happy.

*** image of the main telescope with cassiopeia ***

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