While you were enjoying the warm weather earlier this week, your neighborhood aeronautics and space agency was hard at work exploring the solar system. Neighbor Clifton, Chief of Astronomical Research for the Bernal Aeronautics and Space Administration (BASA), files this report on his most recent observations from the Bernal Heights Observatory:
The skies above Bernal Heights are ablaze with activity this week. The current heat wave and passing of the Fall Equinox has created a double whammy of astronomical delights. The constellation Orion has reappeared in the early morning, sporting “The Great Orion Nebula” or M42. Look for M42 just under the 3 star belt of Orion, it’s the blurry patch just under the belt which can be seen by naked eye and resolved brilliantly with just about any pair of binoculars.
The Autumn sky also brings the return of the king of planets: Jupiter — which I’ve been busy attempting imaging via the webcam method. This week’s waning Gibbous Moon has been an excellent target for Jupiter practice. I did a quick survey on Monday. The sky was so clear I was able to do a close-up of the lunar surface.
I also took a crack at Jupiter, with somewhat disappointing results:
Jupiter will raise earlier as the year concludes, there will be more opportunity. Look for Jupiter, or Jove as I like to call him, about 30 degrees following the moon towards the Eastern Horizon. Jupiter raises at about 12:00 AM this week.
This is your BASA astronomer, wishing you clear skies.
PHOTOS: Clifton Reed