Astronomy Report 11-15-21 – The Mother-in-law’s Bortle 7 Backyard

This was an impromptu session.  I didn’t have my telescope with me but one of the family had a pair of Canon 10×42 L IS WP binoculars he wanted to show me.  He’s a hunter so he had these to help him identify birds from a distance.  He was talking about seeing the definition of the craters of the moon with it a few nights before and was wondering why he couldn’t see the same type of detail that night.  I explained how the brightness would wash out a lot of detail as the moon was almost full as compared to the night he was viewing it.  If he wanted to see greater detail, he could invest in some neutral density filters for it but ultimately, he decided not since they wouldn’t help with his bird identification.  He let me use them for the rest of the night.

I started on the Moon and reveled in the view; the image stabilization was totally awesome.  I moved over to Jupiter and could see all four Galilean moons; these little binoculars were truly amazing.  I moved to Venus as she was still in the sky.  Then came the truly fun part for me.  I tried locating the Andromeda Galaxy.  I had a rough idea where it was but wasn’t having much luck until I brought out my cell phone and used Stellarium to get a more precise idea where it was.  Once I spotted Andromeda in those little binoculars, I began to understand the enthusiasm for visual observation a lot of folks have.  While my passion is astrophotography, I do enjoy looking at the sky with my eyes as well.  I tend to lean more for the AP side of this hobby since I don’t see 20-20 even with glasses.  It was a wonder to listen to my family describe what stars they could see with their eyes.  My niece was describing a star pattern to me asking if I knew what they were.  After listening to her for a few moments and looking to where she was looking at, I identified them as the Pleiades.  Sadly, I couldn’t see them without the aid of the binoculars due to their proximity to the Moon and the class of sky.  We moved on to Capella, it caught her attention because of the shift of colors coming from it.  I told her that it was actually a quadruple star system, made up of two pairs of binary stars, two bright yellow giants and two cooler red dwarfs.  I had learned this just recently myself.

I moved back and forth between different sections of the sky over the rest of the evening but didn’t stay very long any one time as my neck and shoulders because quite strained, 😊 I learned that my grand nephew was still interested in astronomy and was using Stellarium on his phone daily.  He was identifying with the constellations and what month he was born in.  I can only hope his interest continues.

Clear Skies for now!

Leave a Reply