Yes, you read that right, it’s been almost 3 years since my last (written) entry. I wish I woulda kept more journal entries but I didn’t. There were SO many times I went out observing, just never documented it in this journal. Some of them I did put on my website but it would have been nice to have them here (in my hand-written, physical journal). There were some GOOD entries.
-This night (if I were in a darker-sky city) would be the quintessential night for observing!! No moon, Orion high in the south, Jupiter and Venus blazing in the west separated by no more than a thumb’s width held at arms length. Mars shining red at JUST past opposition in the east. And the Pleiades & Taurus open clusters in the middle of it all. My Astro-tech 6″ Ritchey-Chretien go-to scope is nicely aligned, and my binoculars and beer are topping it all off. Oh, and did I mention that I’m outside at 10pm on March 13th in a t-shirt?! 2011-2012 was the year we skipped winter, no joke. No snow school days, nothin’… pretty nice actually.
Anyways, the Orion Nebula is always so amazing I can never get over it and tonight is no exception. It’s brighter than ever. I’ve been making my rounds through all the normal stuff just enjoying the night and taking it all in.
-So, using the ‘tour’ setting on the scope, I’ve come to realize that I LOVE double star systems. When I first started in astronomy, I though plain ol’ stars were boring, but after seeing some of the notable one’s and learning about them, I love them! I just checked out Almach and I gotta say… cool as hell!! A nice bright golden (and I mean golden) star contrasted by a sapphire blue tiny star – so cool. Maybe it’s the colors, or maybe it’s the close proximity to each other I find so fascinating. How awesome would it be to live on a planet circling Almach?!
-Ok, here’s my other find for the night: Beta Mon. Beta Monocerotis is a triple star system in the constellation Monoceros that looks to the naked eye as the single brightest star in the constellation. But through a telescope you can see three stars very close together making it one of the coolest things I’ve seen in the sky, and my first triple star system. Each star is 6-7 solar masses and all very blue. I don’t think I can top this so I’m calling it a night!