Astronomy Benalla
Reports - 2011
Public Viewing Night - Friday 11th March   With the weather forecast for scattered clouds it was to be a suck-it-and-see evening. Five keen members with three telescopes set up just before Sunset adjacent to the Mural for Astronomy Benalla’s monthly outreach viewing night.  Fortunately the clouds rolled away as the dusk set in and the six-day-old Moon popped out from between the clouds to reveal the  Lady in the Moon  in the form of: the Sea of Fertility - her head, the Sea of Tranquility - body and arm, and the Sea of Nectar, her mirror. It didn’t take long before the viewers arrived including several local young families who dropped by to see the celestial delights and asked many questions. Two carloads of Queenslander tourists spent time looking through the lenses, were amazed at the size of the mountains to be seen on the Moon’s surface, then had a late evening meal by the Ceramic Mural before coming back to see some of the double stars and nebulae. Unfortunately a local football game was on at the adjacent Benalla Show Grounds and their flood lighting polluted the locality so much, many deep sky objects could not be found to the south. However the visitors who did make use of the scopes were thankful to see the brighter stars and Moon.   Rupe Cheetham
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