Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Orionids and Telescopes

Last Monday (22 Oct 2012) the RTU Astronomical Society held an overnight observation setting to train the 1st year students in the use of the telescopes as well as to catch a glimpse of the Orionids activity. For me it was an opportunity to observe the sky from RTU using the department's different telescopes.

While the lectures were being conducted upstairs, I stayed in the quadrangle with some students to observe the moon and several deep-sky targets that were visible despite the urban skylight. Among the deep-sky targets we observed were: M57(Ring Nebula); M31(Andromeda Galaxy); M29(Open Cluster) and Albireio(Double Star); NGC 884 & 869(Double Cluster); M45(Pleiades Open Cluster); M41(Open Cluster); the famous M42(Orion Nebula); as well as several other open clusters.

As soon as the lectures were over, the students came down with the rest of the telescopes to practice assembly and alignment. This gave the first year students a chance to operate the telescopes on their own. After they were graded, they were left with some time to observe which also provided me some time to do some imaging with the 12-inch Sky-Watcher SkyLiner Dobsonian telescope, as well as via piggy-back on a refracting telescope.

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