About a dozen EAS enthusiasts turned out on Thursday for what will probably be the last observing evening of this season. A little haze high in the sky meant that there was a slight background wash making faint objects more challenging, but we still bagged a good set of observations.
Orion offered final views of M42 (The Orion Nebula) nebula setting in the west, and we also took a long look at Betelgeuse (Alpha Orinonis) while observing individual stars including Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris), Castor (Alpha Geminorum) – a double separated by 90 light years or 5 arcsec viewed from Earth – and Pollox (Beta Geminorum).
Open clusters were a feature of the evening, M35 in Gemini, M36 (“The Pinwheel”), M37 and M38 (“The Starfish”) in Auriga and M44 (“The Beehive”) in Cancer.
Galaxies M65 and M66, two of the “Leo Triplet”, were just visible in Leo, as were M81 and M82 in Ursa Major.
Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák was seen as a very challenging fuzzy spot in my 115mm refractor, as was nearby M97 (The Owl Nebula) used for comparison.
We finished with pretty good views of Jupiter and the four Gallilean moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
My sincere thanks go to all members who come and make these sessions a success. There is still room for improvement and I look forward to canvassing members’ views over the next few EAS meetings to see how we can make then even better.