Posted by: nativeiowan | December 17, 2012

you learn something every day…

I am playing the suburban star-gazer game with the boys. Angelo’s b-day a while back gave me a good excuse to buy a quality star-scope. After some research we settled for a Meade, Starnavigator. http://store.meade.com/telescopes/starter-scopes/starnavigator-102mm-refractor-with-goto.html

We have recently been studying Jupiter. Tonight’s gazing got called due to weather. Angelo and I were just out looking at the sky and watching sheet lighting. A decent sized storm if brewing. Been real hot here and the dryness lends itself to lots of good lightning. Lots of good ear splitting cracks.

I was sitting on the bench, Angelo was leaning over watching as I tried to reset the camera, when a big, big crack of lightning, very, very close sent us into a frightful man-hug. Angelo said it was like Shaggy and Scoobie Doo when they are frightened.

But, the point of the post is learning and star-gazing…

The neat thing about Jupiter is you can easily see the planet and the 4 moons with very simple optics. Most binoculars allow you to distinctly see at least two of the moons. Not that I can any more but you can pick out at least one moon with the naked eye.

In all of this we needed names for everything we were viewing. I was impressed that Mendozza knew there were indeed four moons though we could not immediately remember all 4 names.

I’ll ask the public, who can name the moons of Jupiter?

Between Angelo, Mendozza and I we got 3 of the 4.

Also, if you don’t already have it, a neat iphone app… https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/star-walk-5-stars-astronomy/id295430577?mt=8

Makes being an expert star-gazer incredibly easy.

All good and more later

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