St Clement School - May 6, 2011

posted May 8, 2011, 8:25 AM by Jim Twellman   [ updated May 8, 2011, 12:02 PM ]
Mostly cloudy skies, with few sucker holes, were present around sunset (8pm) but we proceeded with this event with hopes that it would improve.  The temperatures were perfect, and the ground was not muddy at all.
The crescent moon was enjoyed soon after sundown.  At times covered by clouds, but mostly giving nice views of its' craggly surface.  Saturn was up next. Again, the seeing was poor fairly often, but the rings were visible and occassional showed nice detail.  As the evening went on views got slightly better, but far from great. Still, the open patches of sky grew larger, and it was not difficult to work around the clouds.  Objects shown were the great Spring globular cluster M3, galaxies M81 and M82 in one field of view, the colorful double star Iota Cancri, and open clusters M44 (the Beehive) and Melotte 111 (Bernice's hair) thru binos.  Approximately 25 students and parents came out despite the mostly cloudy skies, and stayed around until closing around 10pm.
There were a few kids and adults that hung around for extra views, which was the reward for hanging in there.  Despite the clouds and less than desirable viewing conditions, a nice variety of objects were viewed that were representative of Spring skies.   It has been a wet and cloudy Spring season, and we were fortunate to have a night out to see some of the wonders of the universe on this evening.