Wednesday 13 March 2013

Cocktails and astronomy

It was freezing last night for my first astronomy session in an age last night. So I decided something tropical would help me feel warmer.

It has indeed been an age since the weather allowed me to get on with any stargazing, so despite temperatures of minus 3 and a strong desire to crawl under my duvet, I headed outside with my 10x50s to see what I might see. Alas not Comet Pann-STARRS - the sunsets at the moment are pretty, but that is because of the pretty orange and pink thick clouds.

To me, this is always a bad time for binocular astronomy; there's not much in the way of milky way objects to see, and the galaxies of Virgo, currently dominating the southern aspect, are far too faint from my urban skies to see.

I did take the opportunity to find Messier 3, the globular cluster on the borders of Bootes and Canes Venatici halfway betweem Arcturus and Cor Caroli, but was totally unsuccessful in my attempt to see La Superba. It must have passed through my field of view countless times, but I see nothing glowing like a ruby hot coal to confirm its presence. Damn and blast.

Feeling my hands and fingers begin the process of falling off, I turned my 10x50s south, and took in a lovely view of the constellation of Coma Berenices. It's more like an oversized open cluster than a constellatio0n, and although none of its galaxies are visible, it sits there glittering near Leo's back legs, in the manner that legend has it Queen Berenice's hair glittered, impressing the Gods so much they decided to place her shining tresses in the sky.

No comments:

Post a Comment