Friday, April 6, 2012

Astronomy For Dummies



I am so excited to bring to you another edition of astronomy for dummies! Last night was full of both stars and fail, so its only fair to do it all justice. Telescopes are not for the faint of heart or for those lacking brain cells, lets just get that out of the way right there! You want me to do math? Oh, shit.

But first things first.

I've been reading all week about how Venus is near/passing through my homeslices The Pleiades star cluster, and how it's so amazing and blah blah blah. I'm not totally impressed with Venus, just to be clear; in fact, I find her bright shining a major distraction to other items in the sky. The thought of her invading "my" star cluster actually made me roll my eyes in contempt (and yeah I take it that seriously, shut up). That is, until I saw it through the finder scope last night, and my jaw dropped from its beauty.

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I can't explain it. You have to see for yourself. Luckily, tonight you still can!

After that spectacle, I ran inside and announced that it was Telescope Night. Unfortnately, we didn't get our crap together until after Venus set, and it was incredibly cold and very windy on our exposed roof, so Scott was having a heck of a time balancing the 'scope. We never did really get it balanced last night, if I'm going to be completely honest. Oh well?

We ended up focusing on two close-to-home objects last night: Mars and Saturn.

Mars was cool, but it wasn't nearly as cool as I'd imagined it would be. It was still essentially a dot, albeit one that pulsated in four directions from its center as I observed it from the 'scope. Kinda like this, except it clearly had four pulsating sides & never looked like a sphere to me:




And then, like, Saturn happened. I was kind of hoping to see rings, but we did see a bulge on the blob that represented Saturn in the telescope, which leads me to think we did see rings, just not undifferentiated rings. Onion rings? Engagement rings? Wedding rings? Promise rings? You promised, Saturn.

I SEE NO EFFING RINGS, YO. 


I took the 'scope on a random, not-at-all planned out "tour" of the night sky for a bit, but wasn't exactly sure what I was seeing. Additionally,  on top of other issues including a broken adjustment knob, by this time we were akin to two neandertals frozen to death in the snow, so we packed up & headed back inside. I have realized that summer seriously can't come fast enough. I NEED ASTRONOMY WEATHER.  ☆


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