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December 6th - Naked Eye Joy


cloud9
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Well i decided to make this report from last nights brilliant skies to try and prove to beginners (like myself) that you don't need hundreds of pounds of kit to enjoy a night with the stars.

Unfortunately my only viewing directions are South, South East and South West and i have a lot of light pollution in the area. However this did not down my spirits and i was as excited as ever at the thought of a clear night

Sights Seen

Jupiter

Mars

Moon

Orion

Canis Major

Canis Minor

Auriga & Taurus

The night started early because i didnt want to miss Jupiter behind the trees and i sat there fascinated by this huge planet and thinking about how far that light has come. By this time Jupiter was slowly disappearing for me behind the trees so i popped inside to warm up and have a sneaky pot noodle before going back outside at roughly 10 o'clock.

At 10 Capella and Aldebaran were clearly visible directly above me and a little bit further east i could see Orion clearly, Rigel and Betelguese were easily visible so i could also pick out Orions Belt.

Straining my neck East i could also see Procyon in the constellation Canis Minor.

I went inside for a while and went back out at midnight to see my favourite star, Sirius, dominating the skyline whilst Rigel was also a strong presence. Looking upwards i could see so many stars but unfortunately i could only name a few. Sirius kept me staring at the sky for a long time before deciding to have a little bit of sleep so i could wake up for the morning show.

4.30 my alarm went off and i rushed out to see a spectacular sight. The moon was dominating the skyline, as you would expect and it was a brilliant sight for a beginner like me to see more detail on the moon than i ever had before. Lingering just above the moon however was my favourite moment of the night, Mars. I didnt spot it at first becasue i was transfixed on the moon but i saw the stereotypical dully red mark in the sky and i knew immediately what it was. MARS! It was my first viewing of mars and i was ecstatic with seeing the planet. By this time it had clouded over and i didnt have a chance to try and spot Saturn (im not sure whether i would have seen it naked eye viewing anyway).

Sorry for the lengthy post but it was my first proper night out and i loved it!

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Very nice report! Enthusiasm is contagious!

i didnt have a chance to try and spot Saturn (im not sure whether i would have seen it naked eye viewing anyway).

Not as bright as Mars, but still quite easy to see. With the lights out, I saw Saturn naked eye through my living room window this morning.

Edited by George Jones
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Thanks for all your comments.

I wish i could have some equipment to try and expand my viewing experience because at the moment Jupiter and Saturn look relatively the same and i'd love to get some detail when looking at them. I just don't know where to start

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Really glad you are enjoying the night sky with no equipment other than your eyes. If you have a limited budget, keep your eye on places like Lidl who sometimes offer binoculars for less than a tenner.

I like the idea of a sneaky pot noodle. Might have to try that myself.

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