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Log, Jan 27, 2006

54+ people. We had a huge crowd tonight. I am not sure if the busload of kids was included in the number or not but I suspect quite a few of them were not counted and there were more than 40 of them. So the total ranges between 54 (signatures) and 90+.

The big event tonight was the "close" pass of Saturn and the Earth. Titan, Rhea, Dione and Tethys were seen by just about everybody. Enceladus and Mimas were seen by a few folks, particularly those with experience. Cassini's division sometimes was visible but sometimes was lost in the turbulence of the air. Hyperion and Iapetus were theoretically visible, but with the large crowd, we couldn't make a careful search. Saturn is close enough to the Beehive (Praesepe, M44) that some of the outlier stars were in the same field of view.

We looked at the Great Galaxy in Andromeda (M31) and the Great Orion Nebula (M42/M43). The Trapezium was particularly clear tonight. Everyone saw the four bright stars and almost everyone saw "E" and at least half the people saw "F". If we were not so busy, I would have tried for "G" but no one reported seeing it where it is located.

Mars has become quite small. We could see no detail on the surface except for the polar cap. Mare Sirenum should have been visible as a darker area but it simply did not stand out.

We rounded out the night with a selection of globular clusters, double stars, planetary nebulae and open clusters.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Jan 27, 2006
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Leslie Coleman's Log
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