Saturday, September 20, 2008

Family Stargazing

My sister drove us to the countryside to have a short stargazing session tonight. After around an hour of car trip, plus around 10 minutes walk, we arrived a relatively darker place, Tai Mei Tuk.

Originally I planned to take my LXD55 together with my C5, but then I changed my setup to my Ranger plus Manfrotto 410 head on a small Gitzo G106 trip. That really eases my load significantly! At least the 12V 7Ah SLA battery and the counter weight alone are huge saving!

The sky was not very clear, I would rate it as 5/10, with some cloud floating around, seeing was very poor at 2/10... Stars were not pinpoint even at 48x!

We observed Albireo, which was very lovely at 24x! Two very contrasty stars were seen with clean separation. We also saw Almach, but this pair was not as cleanly resolved as it was rather low in the sky, and that region was covered by thin haze.

My elder daughter is called Alby, which is derived from Alb-ireo, and then my second daughter is called Almy, which is derived from Alm-ach, that's why these two were our prime target! I see that Alby has a very beautiful smile after she watched her star(s) in the eyepiece! Too bad that Almy was sleeping at that time, or else she could see her own star(s) as well.

We also saw Jupiter and its satellites as well. I also describe the summer sky with a small green laser pointer to my daughter and my sister.

That's the end of the very short session, it's short, but very enjoyable and relaxing!

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