' Astronomy, the only hobby that can promise the sun and the moon, and deliver!'
The Moon, is it friend or foe, well it depends on what you want to see in the night sky.
If you live in the city, and your friends are coming over, you would want the moon to be out, as
itís the most impressive object for newcomers to visual astronomy, and if there are any planets out
there view will not be obscured by even the full moon. But If you live in the darker suburbs, or in
a good Dark sky area, the full moon will be the bane of your observing session, dimming deepsky
objects, making even the brighter Nebula and clusters less visible.
CLICK HERE for the moons current phase :
Spring and Summer 2006 will be great seasons for viewing Jupiter and Saturn, the two most awe inspiring
objects for observers new to Observing. You will find Saturn in the east sky an hour after sunset, look for
the steady 'star' near Leo the Lion. Jupiter rises in the south East in the mid evening, and is the brightest
object in the summer sky this year.
The Messier objects are a set of astronomical objects catalogued by Charles Messier in his catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters.
Messiers list is the 'right of passage' for new Astronomers, and beyond the Moon and Planets, are the most viewed and even in small
telescopes, are fine sights to see. One of the best list of 'M" objects can be found HERE
For a few weeks in April you can view all 110 Messier objects in one night, coined a ' Messier marathon ' observers try to find
as many objects as they can, starting at dusk, with the last objects found at dawn. Often times astronomy clubs in the area have
starparties centered around the best nights to complete the Marathon. For More info CLICK HERE
Beyond the 110 Messier Objects, The mighty NGC ( New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars)
holds over 7800 objects. CLICK HERE for a list of the 100 best. Or if you would like to find them yourself, here's the whole list!
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