Sugarloaf Friday May 3

6 months 3 weeks ago #107634 by lunartic
Sugarloaf Friday May 3 was created by lunartic
Hi all
Meetup have arranged a meeting for the Sugarloaf at 9.00 pm.  Everyone welcome.

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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6 months 2 weeks ago #107640 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Sugarloaf Friday May 3
Freezing northerly wind greeted 7 of us at the Sugarloaf Car Park on Friday night.
But what could we do?
It was great meeting up with Liam, Vali, young Luke, Michael, Paul and Ben.
I refused to use stronger magnifications than 112X. 
The wind was causing problems with tight double stars. 
54 Leonis looked good whenever the wind eased even momentarily. 

My "new" binary was Xi Ursae Majoris which the most exotic name -Alula Australis. 
I did see (briefly) a black gap in between the 2 stars at 112X.
But I will have to study it again under calmer conditions. 
It definitely is a very beautiful true binary. 
For the record, its magnitudes are 4.3 and 4.8. The separation is currently 2.1 arc seconds. The PA is 156 degrees. I thought I could see orange and yellow colours -but the wind was disturbing me almost non stop. 

The sky seemed to clear up after 10.30 pm, and Virgo was easily visible. 
M87 galaxy was on my menu. 
And it brought great joy to find it by star hopping to it for the very first time. 
Its magnitude is 8.6 and its optical diameter is 8.7 arc minutes. 
Its distance is 55, 000,000 light years from us. 
I would go along with its description as a very bright, very large, round with a brighter centre. 
I have since found out that M87 is a bit bigger than our Milky Way. Amazing. It looked good at 112X. 
What we all now know is that this galaxy has the infamous Black Hole buried at its centre. 

Clear skies to all from Aubrey.  
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