Last night’s “MoonWatch” was a big success, depsite the weather’s best attempts to spoil it for us by putting clouds back in teh sky after almost a week of perfectly cloud-free nights!
Around half a dozen members of the Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal gathered in the town’s Gooseholme Park, to enjoy looking at – and showing other people – the Moon, and we were hoping to catch a glimpse of Venus too, with just a week or so to go before its long-awaited Transit of the Sun. The park was understandably busy with groups of people playing football or having a sneaky barbecue, but none of them came over to see us, so we were left to observe by ourselves.
And we got some cracking views of the Moon, through a variety of telescopes. The sky was still bright – the Sun low in the sky still – when we set up, so our first views of Luna were quite dim and lacking in detail, but as the evening drew on the view got better and better, and we had some great views of craters, mountains and valleys on the lunar surface.
And then a little later, eagle-eyed EAS member Ian Bradley spotted the planet Venus trying to sneak away without being seen, almost vanishing behind a building. Quickly telescopes and cameras were turned on the planet, and we all enjoyed quite lovely views of its beautiful exceptionally-slim crescent, probably our last chance *to* see it before the Transit in a week or so’s time.
So, all in all a very enjoyable evening, great company, great views, and glorious weather to. Next? Hopefully some NLC displays, and then the Big Day – the Transit of Venus on the morning of June 6th…
Some photos from last night:
See that tiny crescent, above? That’s not the Moon – that’s Venus! :-)
* Thanks to Simon White for permission to use his photos.
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