Thursday, 4 March 2010

First clear night for weeks. Found a few galaxies.

Seems to have been the first clear night in weeks, so I forced myself out into the cold for a bit. Glad I did as I easily found the Whirlpool Galaxyand also M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy, which I've hunted for a few times before, to no avail. Probably found it tonight as they were good and high in the sky, so little atmosphere in the way. The Whirlpool is interesting, as I was expecting another fuzzy blob, but actually found two. Turns out that it is two interacting galaxies, M51A and M51B. Could see no detail, but the sky wasn't particularly dark.

Also had a gander at the receding Mars. Could see the polar cap still, but is definitely smaller now than last month. Saturn was up too, so had a to have a look at it too. Still looking awesome, even with the rings nearly edge on. I need to dedicate a night to staring at Saturn, like I did in the Summer with Jupiter. Lots of easily visible moon to watch for transits and occlusions.

Posted via email from Graham's posterous

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