Had a small star party happen last night. In attendance were The Flat and significant friends, Bill, Pip and Rusty. Despite the wonders of a beautiful clear night, a lot of people were more interested in the laser of Martins than the stars themselves. But there was fire, friends and stellar fusion, so that was all good.
We started with Jupiter before he went down - there he is in the pic, just above the streetlamp. Then M42, which is always a fave. In fact I think I am addicted to M42, it's beautiful!
Then while waiting for Mars, we went sky hunting - mainly looking for the Horsehead (IC434) and even with running inside and checking Stellarium, we couldn't see it - we found the right spot in the sky, but we thought it was too dim maybe? The plan next time is to go somewhere really dark and try.
Also, there was a good number of both satellites and meteorites visible last night - the best of which left some lovely glowing trails across the sky. I should have time-lapsed it, but was ouit of battery :( Perhaps tonight.
Then we went on looking at things ... we found something that was christened "Bill's Blob" just off the SMC, which it turns out is NGC104, Mag 4 ... all that could be said was "My God, it's full of stars!" And some of the detail within the Milky Way was awe-inspiring - reminded me why I love doing all this.
Once Mars came up, we all had a look at the bright orange blobby disk, was close to horizon and very wobbly, and then it was all wrapped up really.
So that was an awesome time, and my thanks to Bill and Pip et al for sharing the wonders of the universe with me, and to everyone else who liked the frikken laser!