Flintstone Stargazing

March 6, 2008

March 6th viewing report

Tonight was nice with moderately good seeing and relatively warm temperatures (50°). While we were setting up (my wife came out too), some a neighbor stopped by to say hi and see what we were up to. They brought along two friends who were visiting from out of town – the husband was from Togo (which would qualify as way out of town). Once I got the scope aligned, I showed them Mars, Orion and Saturn. It was fun talking to them – my wife had been to Africa – Niger, Ivory Coast and a couple other places, but had missed Togo – and we had a nice discussion about geography and the stars. It was fun to meet them and I think they genuinely enjoyed the sights, particularly Saturn (who doesn’t love Saturn?).

NGC2392-Eskimo Nebula on 3/6/08

After they headed on, I hooked up the camera and went to NGC2392-The Eskimo Nebula. This was a Sky and Telescope recommended target for March and I’m going to try to see all of their recommendations this month. The Nebula was easily visible in the telescope as a small fuzzy and in the camera was more visible as a blue slightly bigger fuzzy. It’s really a neat looking deep sky object. Unfortunately, to really see it well, I think I’d need a bigger scope with a much longer focal length – I couldn’t really get any detail with my Barlow on it (I did try).

I also took a couple other images, but I haven’t had time to process those. Here’s an image from last night though – the M105 group of galaxies:

M105 Group on 3/5/08
M105 Group on 3/5/08

All three were visible in the scope and obviously visible in the camera. There are a number of clusters like this in Leo. I need to recharge the battery on the D50 and get some wide angle shots – I should be able to get a number of galaxies in several shots.


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