Observing Report for Saturday 9th April

12 04 2016

Although the turnout was the smallest to date, two members and one visitor attended, with two telescopes and a set of binoculars.
Various weather reports were predicting poor visibility, due to cloud cover. However, the NightSky Pro app on my i-phone was telling me the cloud cover would be fairly low from 8pm onwards. We decided to set up prior to sunset and take our chances. Ross and I used our Nexstar 5SE telescope and our large binoculars, and John set up his ED80 refractor for astrophotography.
After sunset, the cloud cover started to dissipate, which allowed clear areas of approximately 30-40% for the first hour or so. We had to keep moving the ‘scope into the clear areas, but were able to observe the Eta Carina and Orion nebulae, plus many star clusters, and John achieved his best shot, to date, of the Chicken nebula.
The clarity of the sky was excellent, with very little little pollution, and the moon (which set early in the evening) was terrific to view through the binoculars.
From about 8pm onwards we enjoyed around 80% visibility, and silently thanked NightSky Pro for the heads up. It goes to show just how difficult it is to predict what will happen at the Terrey Hills site and, although only a few of us attended, the night was a wonderful success.
The dew had well and truly set in by 9:30, so we called it a night and left around 10pm. Julie Evans.