The Monkton Stargazers
The first scheduled viewing session of 2015 was cancelled due to the clouds but John Hislop gave an informative presentation on the winter night sky. There was a good attendance despite the cold and everyone was inspired to find the featured celestial objects. The following evening had lovely clear skies so we held an impromptu viewing. With Tim Long at the controls we observed the Pleiades, the M42 Orion Nebula and Jupiter, which got a “wow” as we could see 4 moons and dark bands on the planet. The waxing crescent moon showed lots of contrast with spectacular mountains and craters. We also saw the Andromeda galaxy, the Christmas tree cluster, the Beehive cluster and the M35 open cluster which was amazing. Steve Capp brought his telescope, a 6-inch Schmidt Cassegrain, so we had two on the go.