Thursday, December 01, 2005

Venus & Mars!

This isn't a comment on that book (which I've never read but was all the rage some time back) about where men and women come from. Rather, it's about my recent astronomical observations of two planets which are very visible in the night skies at the moment. Viewing these two completes my telescopic peeking at all the planets that are easily seen with a backyard instrument, i.e. Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.

What's really cool is to look with the unaided eye at what appears like any star, basically a point-source, and then look at it through my telescope to see a clearly defined disc. I could see Jupiter's bands and moons, and Saturn's rings last winter and summer. But a few nights ago I saw the red/brown patches of Mars's deserts and a crecent Venus. Very enjoyable.

I'm looking forward to focussing again soon on Andromeda and the Orion nebula this winter.