Last updated: 7 October 2002
Subject: Jupiter with my ETX70 Sent: Friday, October 4, 2002 01:42:45 From: email@example.com (Newey, Ian D.) Hi Mike and fellow star gazers. I don't know if this worthy of a mention but I'll tell you anyway. I woke up this morning at about 5:30a.m. and could smell burning. It was quite strong, so I jumped out of bed and checked the house. Phew, everything was OK but where was the smell coming from. My wife made me get dressed and go and check the neighbour's houses which I dutifully did. As soon as I walked outside the first thing that I noticed was how different the night sky looked at that hour of the morning. There were lots of new constellations that I don't normally get to see this time of year. My wife (looking out of the window) realised that what I was doing and kindly reminded me that I was supposed to be looking for a fire. I checked the surrounding properties but still no fire. The smell was still quite strong so I phoned the fire brigade/department and they said that there's a barn fire a few miles away with apparently 30 tonnes of coconut husks in it. Not the sort of thing you would expect to be in a barn in the south of England but who was I to reason why. Any normal person at this point would have gone back to bed, but while I was out staring up at the sky I saw a very bright star and guessed it must be a planet. So much to my wife's distress I got my trusty ETX70 out. I was right, it was a planet, Jupiter to be precise and I could also see three of its moons. I used a 4mm eyepiece with a 2 x Barlow. It was still small but I could see the cloud belts. I was very excited as this was my first sighting of any gas giant. My wife Catherine even came and had a look, although she was slightly less impressed than me. I think I'll try for Saturn tomorrow morning. If I'm allowed. I wish you all clear skies and understanding wives. Ian (UK)
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