DAS at the DelMarva StarGaze XX April 24 - 27, 2014

DAS at the DelMarva StarGaze XX April 24 - 27, 2014

Three planets, a few dozen galaxies, several galaxy groups and a couple of galaxy clusters, along with a number of various eye popping nebulae and  a comet were all on call at the DelMarva StarGaze XX at Tuckahoe State Park April 24 to 27. At least 8 DAS members and friends gathered for several nights of observing and imaging as they partook in the available tasty treats prepared by the ever affable DelMarva StarGazers headed by Don Surles. The long awaited rise of Sagittarius was no disappointment with its offerings of bright emission nebulae in the very early hours of those  dark mornings under 6+ naked eye limiting magnitude skies. Those that weathered the Friday storms were rewarded with another clear Saturday night well into the wee hours repeating the observing and imaging, sharing views among each other’s various sizes of telescopes and challenging our observing skills with objects that would never be attempted in our local skies such as the galaxy groups of Stephan's Quintet, Hickson 44 and Hickson 68 which all showed nicely in the larger telescopes on the field. Thursday night had the steadier skies as Mars displayed both polar caps and albedo features in good relief.  The Silver Needle, the Whale and particularly the Whirlpool were all positioned at good altitudes minimizing atmospherics to uncover their splendid structure. This event in the Spring observing season is a forerunner of several more upcoming astronomy events. Look for them elsewhere in the May 2014 issue of The FOCUS.


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