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Public Night Log

The Milky Way Galaxy center rising over Frosty Drew Grounds on this night. Photo by: Scott MacNeill

The Milky Way Galaxy center rising over Frosty Drew Grounds on this night. Photo by: Scott MacNeill

Last night was a truly classic Frosty Drew night. With no Moon and clear skies overhead the public and astronomers alike were mesmerized by all the fantastic planets, nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters that were visible.

We started the night out with a beautiful observation of Venus in 10% waning crescent fashion, followed by the best observation of Saturn we have had this year. Five of Saturns moon, the Cassini Division, and multiple equatorial bands were visible.

As midnight crept up on us, we had the company of some devoted star gazers who experienced with us a fantastic star hop from Virgo to Cygnus stopping at M104 (The Sombrero Galaxy), M64 (The Black Eye Galaxy), M5, M57 (The Ring Nebula), and Alberio.

Dave stuck around the observatory till 3:30 a.m. during which we watched the Milky Way rise in the east while shooting photos and gleefully chatting about the fantastic skies that we were looking at. I packed it in at 4:00 a.m. with an SD card full of photos and the hope that this night was a certain taste of things to come this summer.

Here's to Susan, who got to see the polar ice cap on Mars for the first time!

-Scott

Scott MacNeill
Author:
Scott MacNeill
Entry Date:
May 18, 2012
Published Under:
Scott MacNeill's Log
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