Here's what we looked at:
- Venus: Venus appeared as the brightest object in the evening sky. As a planet interior to Earth, Venus is seen to go through phases like the Moon. Through the telescope we could see Venus in its gibbous phase.
- Jupiter : We were able to make out cloud bands on the planet and the four Galilean satellites- Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
- Saturn : Saturn was too low for the the 14-inch scopes inside the observatory, therefore we looked at the ringed beauty with the 8-inch scope on the deck.
- M13, (the Hercules cluster): We also looked at the globular cluster, M13. M13 can be found in the constellation of Hercules and is about 22,000 light-years from Earth.
- M57 (the Ring Nebula): Next up was M57, a planetary nebula. M57 can be found in the constellation of Lyra and is located about 2,300 light-years from Earth. Planetary nebulae are the remnants of lower mass stars after they've used up their nuclear fuel. The Ring Nebula appeared as a delicate smoke-ring in the eyepiece.
- Albireo: Albireo is a double star system in Cygnus. The two stars (one blue, one gold) can't be resolved with the naked eye, but through our telescopes we are able to see the pair. The system is about 430 light-years distant.
Sincere thanks to Maryam, Iadviga, and Ryan for their assistance with the event.
And of course, BIG thank you everyone for attending, and for your enthusiasm about all things astronomical! I hope to see folks again at another event.