Monday, March 23, 2009

All Things Being Equal - Naked Eye Astronomy

I was watching Venus Friday night. I didn't realize the huge dive toward the horizon it had taken in the past week. I recall coming home around 8 pm a few times during the week, the past several months, and seeing Venus high and bright. Friday night at Houge Park we were looking for it in early twilight. I was looking high, but Paul Mancuso said its getting very low. I was totally surprised at how low it was, and how much dimmer it had gotten.

Speaking of naked-eye astronomy, at that star party Friday night (Houge Park), I blew it and forgot the mount for my Dob. I was pretty unhappy at myself, but Mancuso suggested I just mooch photons, and enjoy myself. Resigned to it, I soon found I was having a great time with the public, just talking about the constellations, deep sky objects in them, their mythology. Borrowing a laser pointer made it pretty easy.

After I got home, I realized I hadn't done anything like that in eons. Made me think of ancients doing naked eye astronomy - like at Stonehenge, but without Druids. Coincidentally, Friday was the Vernal Equinox... and all things being equal, naked eye astronomy was absolutely lots of fun.

1 comment:

Rob J said...

You forgot the base? Wow, that's kind of a major thing to forget!

But hey, it happens to all of us. When I was new to all this, it seemed like there were a million things to remember to bring or do. So, I forgot all my eyepieces on a trip to Tahoe. Luckily, my buddy had brought some of his to use in my new scope. That saved the day (night!).