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Geoff Barnes

Stargazing With a Wombat.

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There I was, engrossed in my observing, sweeping back and forth from the Sombrero and Pinwheel Galaxies, over to Carina Nebula, Crux, Jewell Box, Omega Centauri, then a few doubles, Algieba, Algorab, Porrima and Cor Caroli. All the while I was aware that there was a soft, slightly strange popping sound coming from behind me. I took no notice, thinking it was probably a possum up a tree dropping bits and pieces as they do. It wasn't until the sound became obviously much closer I thought I ought to take a look, leaving the Wishing Well Cluster in the eyepiece I looked over my shoulder to see the dark moonlit silhouette of our local wombat grazing on the front lawn about 2 metres behind me.

It occurred to me that I may well have been the only astronomer in the world stargazing with a wombat. :)

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You are lucky just to be stargazing as we have had virtually non stop rain for 3 days. I would willingly share my skywatching with a wombat 😀

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Brilliant! However you forgot to tell us what the Wombat thought of the Pinwheel because it's only fair to share the views. :)

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7 minutes ago, banjaxed said:

You are lucky just to be stargazing as we have had virtually non stop rain for 3 days. I would willingly share my skywatching with a wombat 😀

To be fair I've just gone 4 weeks without a single clear night, frustrating innit? :)

2 minutes ago, Paz said:

Brilliant! However you forgot to tell us what the Wombat thought of the Pinwheel because it's only fair to share the views. :)

Well, while I was looking up, he was only interested in looking down. :)

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Yes it is very frustrating as I have had 20 minutes since I got my new scope on 25th April 😒

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Never had a wombat visit me during my sessions (would actually be quite worried if I did in the UK!), but have often had foxes and even the occasional badger. Not bad for a built-up area.

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Hedgehogs and neighbourhood [removed word]-cats keep me company during my observing sessions... and one or two urban-foxes when I am not.

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I have an owl that likes to hang around when I'm observing. I bet deep sky objects would look pretty spectacular in his f1 eyes!

Edited by timwetherell
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A black spidery toad used to come out in my garden some nights, but I haven't seen the little creature in a while. My other companion (astronomy dog Omar, named in honor of the The Wire character) was terrified of the toad.

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Always seem to see nocturnal wildlife when observing. Possums on Mount Dandenong (near the OP); bats and owls back in Cornwall. It was a bit disturbing outside my son's house in Selby, VIC to hear rustling behind me, turn on a head torch to see what it was to find three pairs of possum eyes shining back at me!

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We get owls bats in the twilight here - lovely to see them in an urban environment. So eager - like puppies with wings!

Edited by Ags
bats not owls!
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Back when I was a teenager, some 40 years ago, and out observing with my modest 60mm refractor, our neighbur's black cat would shorten my life by several years, when I suddenly sensed movement in the dark right next to me... 😱

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My dog and Cat were regular observers with me, my dog would stay for about 40 mins but would head back into the warm once she had seen the milky way and Andromeda, the Cat would stay with me all night.

Alan

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I feel like I'm one of the few people in the world commenting on observing with Wombats at this moment, thanks for that Geoff...

                          Freddie.

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Guest chaz2b

Fifteen years ago I owned a Meade 8” SCT and thought I’d give imaging a go, I had been to an evening with Nik Szymanek at Cardiff University, this gave me the courage to use Electra chrome film, that meant at least an hour exposure.  I sat out quite patiently near the scope when I heard a movement towards me, not wanting to ruin the exposure, I didn’t switch on my torch, then heard a scrapping sound at the base of the tripod.....bloody cat!! Only eight lives left after that!

chaz

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