Astronomy Benalla
Reports - 2011
Tomorrow-Today Foundation Support - 2011 During April,  Astronomy Benalla was approached to organize and conduct an astronomy outreach program viewing night for the Tomorrow-Today Foundation as part of it’s mentor program for several teenagers and parents. After a couple of phone calls it was agreed that the format would be to have several telescopes available to view the first quarter Moon and the Rings of Saturn, during May, subject to the weather being fine at the Benalla dark sky viewing site.  Come the day, it was cloudy and the weather forecast was for rain at 5-00pm, but by closely watching the web weather radar patterns, there was a gap predicted, so it was decided to go ahead. Sure enough it rained at 5-00pm but by ¼ to 6, open, blue patches began to appear. Thanks to David and Cynthia, fully rugged up for the cold air, who assembled their 10” Dobsonian, and to Rupe who set up the Group’s 80mm refractor. As the clouds parted the eight-day-old crescent Moon appeared and the eastern seas of Fertility, Nectar, Tranquility, and Serenity which together make up the Lady-in-the-Moon image became clear. These maria consist of volcanic lava plains lying at the bottom of asteroid impact craters. After fitting on a zoom lens, there were close up views of craters within craters surrounded by mountains, that brought delighted exclamations from those with their eye to the lens. As the clouds moved further to the east, the moment everyone was waiting for arrived and the planet Saturn with it’s bright, defined rings appeared. On closer inspection several of its larger moons could be made out, despite the thin high cloud masking the view from moment to moment. The red super-giant star Betelgeuse also made a short appearance in the west. The colourful Jewel Box open cluster, adjacent to the Southern Cross in the Constellation of Crux, was worth the effort of spinning the scopes to the south. With the night’s high humidity, moisture began to settle on the lenses, so all retired into the Roy Hill Pavilion to look at some of the large maps of the moon and photos taken by members over the past few years.  The short window of opportunity between the clouds had had gone, so it was time to call it a night.  A short but successful evening.
Home of Astronomy Benalla Black Hole Aristarchus crater - Moon Hubble Orbiting Earth Cosmic Pearls around Exploding Star
Pictures from the Hubble Site
Most photos on this site can be zoomed by clicking the photo Home Committee Gallery Events Activity Reports Contact Located in NE Victoria