Log, Mar 2, 2001

5 people. While no one could call tonight a wonderful clear dark sky, we did manage to get a bit of viewing in. When I arrived, Joe was already showing a couple from Charlestown what the Moon looked like through our 16" SCT. A bit later after using Rigil as an alignment star, we were able to do a very clean split of it companion. Jupiter was very nice. We watched Io pass behind the edge of the planet. We saw the Great Red Spot. The remaining large moons were easy targets. Saturn was very crisp and steady with Titan and Iapetus(?) easy to spot. The Cassini division was a sharp line all the way around. However the absolute best object of the evening was a glorious 19% crescent phase Venus. We were dedeviled by clouds all night. The sky was very bright because of the combination of the Moon (directly overhead), clouds and a bit of fresh snow cover.

I'd like to let everyone know about a couple of new features at our website. One is Phases of the Moon and the second is The Sky over FDO . These tools can be reached by using the "Changing Information" button on the observatory home page. The Sky over FDO can be reached the Sky Maps icon. The Phases of the Moon can be reached by the Moon icon or the link in the moon description.

These tools can be used to view the Sky or Moon on any date from 1900 to 2100 at any local time. You can shift the maps by pressing the left and right arrows. [On some browsers these may appear as a box symbol, press the left (right) box to go left (right).] I hope you'll find these small applets either fun or useful.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Mar 2, 2001
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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