Ursa Major

The Big Dipper

Anne and I enjoyed an unusual date night on Friday. It started out fairly conventionally, with dinner at Flaco Cocina, in U-City. Afterwards, it sort of digressed from the norm. We went up to the Riverlands, winter home for many water fowl. Our sponsor was the Audubon Society, so we kept the bird motif going. The theme for the evening though was star-gazing, a prurient interest of mine. You can ask the twin-headed Annes about that one.

The astronomy club affiliated with the Science Center had loads of telescopes setup for looking at the heavens. The big hit of the evening was Saturn. You could see it and its rings quite clearly. You could also see Saturn’s moon, Titian. It was further from Saturn than I would have expected a principal moon to be, but so I was told. The weather was perfect and I have not seen Saturn so well since college and that was through the university’s much more expensive telescope. The Science Center guys did alright.

I tried some night photography there. A crescent moon was setting and you might see shots of that in the future. The picture with this post is a long exposure shot, 20 or 30 seconds. The camera was tripod mounted. Looking beyond the seven bright stars one can see fainter red and blue stars. At least I believe that they are real stars. Why they are so distinctly color code is a mystery to me. Look for further experimentation in the future. And no, I do not believe that these red and blue spots are just dust on the lens.

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