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Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Four Star Night

We had the pleasure of hosting Katherine and Evan last Wednesday night under a first quarter moon. Jupiter and Uranus were still visible in the same wide-angle telescopic field and continue to make an impressive sight. People are just amazed to find out that while visible near each other in a line from earth, Uranus is 1.4 billion miles farther away than Jupiter.

The moon, although bright, did not interfere too much with our observations and made a splendid spectacle itself in the telescope. We had a good view of the Lunar Alps and Piton in Mare Imbrium.

We tried to split the Pup again (drum roll), but failed (raspberry). This is still at the top of our observing list this season. Who will be the lucky guests to be counted among the few on earth who have split the Pup? Only time will tell.

Evan was a fast learner and got three stars for being able to answer all of my questions on night vision and the position of the North Star from various latitudes on Earth. Katherine got a gold star for quickly identifying star colors, especially the Red Giants Betelgeuse and Aldebaran. She also called Capella's yellow tint immediately. A four star night! (Note to self: must get gold stars to paste on people's astronomy portfolios.)

Evan is a medical student at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Katherine is a writer for Time Out Israel. Maybe she will write something nice about us. Could we have a picture, too? :-)

Evan and Katherine, our cute young couple from Beer-Sheva

Keep on looking up!

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