Don’t panic

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(!YES!  !PANIC!)

It all started so promisingly.

The baby 5″ is quick to set up and I took a couple of snaps for the fun of it, before the sky was properly dark.

I even managed to catch a little of the earthshine, though it needed a time long enough to over-expose the lit crescent of the moon.

The 5″ was, however, not giving a good image of Jupiter, and I lugged out the 10″.  Given that we’re talking astronomy here, no surprise that the clouds came up in a moment, and wiped the sky like a sponge across a blackboard.  At this point everything began to go wrong, a maddening saga involving collimators, flat batteries, lost screws, and the impending disintegration of the whole primary mirror assembly on the 10″.  And it wasn’t even April Fools yet.  I secured the primary before sulking off to bed, but it’s going to be a vile job to realign everything.

This afternoon was bright but it was the mist in the downs which was making me happy.

Driving home, I could see four complicated sky layers, all apparently doing different things.  By the time I could photograph, only two of the layers were obvious: the low grey layer which was the one sitting on the hills, moving quickly to the right, though there was almost no breeze at ground level; and the high white cumulus, drifting almost imperceptibly to the left.

Made me think of Jupiter all over again.

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9 responses »

      • Wow I’ve just had a look at some of the Cassini images curtesy of NASA (Cassini, Enceladus, Image of the Day) and the moon pictures are fascinating, but being the obvious science fiction type mention Saturn and I’m always dazzled by the rings.

          • My sister has a basic telescope, but she lives in the centre of Exeter and I think finds there’s too much light pollution. Mind you if her’s is powerful enough Saturn would be worth taking it up and out on Dartmoor.

          • Might get the planets if she can avoid direct streetlights in her eyes, though deep space objects will obviously be a washout. Good luck to her!

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