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Observation Report From Saturday 3rd June 2006


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Saturday evening started with a family and friends BBQ ending up with a full blown Astro and Imaging evening ending at about 03.30AM!!

The astro started at about 2230rs with my wife's 12 year old God daughter asking what the bright star was in the South, I explained that it wasn't a star but a planet and would she like to have a look through some binos..

After the usual "Rings around Uranus" Jokes! Several guests wanted to have a look...The bino's were not going to be enough!

I decided to clear a space on the patio and get the ED80 out..Telling the ones that had had more than 2 cans of beer to stay away or the shotgun would come out as well!!

After 20 min of setting up and explaining how a EQ mount works, they then proceeded to hog the views of Jupiter and it's moons, so I decided to get the 120 frac out on the EQ3...With that I had to start rationing the views as I wasn't going to get a looky :)

The night was crystal clear, with the Milky way just starting to show through...The time was getting on and there were several youngsters around..Past bed times and all that. Several of the parents commented that the children and adults were learning and enjoying themselves so much that a bit longer wouldn't hurt.

By this time it was getting on for midnight several interesting deepsky views were visible from my location so a quick lecture on the difference between Nebula's and clusters..Inner solar system, outer solar system Blah, Blah!!

M13 in Hurcules was a nice view along with talk on clusters and how they originated.

The adults had seen some of my deep sky photo's around the house and wanted to see what was involved in taking these photo's, so the camera kit came out.

What started as a BBQ for a group of friends and family now was rapidly turning into a full blown Star party with imaging thrown in.

A quick talk on the Constallations and how to find things in the sky proved more interesting to the adults than the children so I just let the children look through the scopes under a watchful wife! Whilst I walked around the garden pointing out Constallations and the odd satelite.

Time was getting on and I gave a quick demo on imaging and the various forms of..Snapping M57 and M27 in the process, a round of hot chocolate and Photoshop and all the kids had a picture of a nebula to take home for the bedroom wall.

We quickly finished off with the 8" Newt on the HEQ5 and a really good look a Jupiter.....A few of the adults were breathless as they never realised Jupiter had moons, what you could see by just looking up!! Or what you could see through a scope.

Needless to say there were no "Rings around Uranus" Jokes again!!

By the time everone had left it was near to 3.30am.

The following day I had phone calls from the kids to thank me for a great evening and if I would help them with school projects if required and the parents asking how much a telescope was going to cost them!!


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Thanks folks..

I can understand where these teachers get their inspiration from...Their little brains were like sponges soaking all this science stuff up...

The adults must have enjoyed it as I had loads of booze left over the following morning :shock:


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I had a similar experience just last night. Had a few friends around and we sat in the garden drinking and chatting. As it went dark i mentioned it was a great night for stargazing and pointed out Jupiter. Well that was it, they wanted to see it through the scope. An impromtu star party with Jupiter, Saturn and the moon being the star guests. The best bit was when one of my mates said "You mean it's just gas? All of it? But it's got moons! How can it be just gas?" I then told him how big it was and he didn't believe me. They loved it though and i think i have a few converts :)

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When I told them if you had an ocean big enough it would float......They just couldn't get their heads around that one!!

Not only was it a astro evening but it turned into a "Think on a different level" Night..

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