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Club Observatory Visit - 19th November

Club Observatory Visit - 19th November

Sunday, 25. November 2012 - 22:30

At 7.0pm on Monday 19th November a group of Club members, some with their family, met at the German School at La Mairena on the top of the mountain above Urbanization Elviria. Our Club member Mechthild had arranged for us to have an Evening of Astronomy in the observatory on the roof of the school. Dr Göpfert, who is a science teacher at the school and a well-known writer on Astronomy for some German newspapers, was our instructor. 

The enormous telescope (photo 1 below) is housed in an aluminium building that looks like a dalek.                                                                                                                                                             

It was a completely clear night and the stars sparkled. Dr Göpfert pointed out many constellations including the Pleiades, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Ursa Major pointing to the North Pole star, Perseus and Hydra. When he first pointed out the planet Jupiter, it was just above the distant mountain tops to the East but as time went by it slowly moved up towards the Zenith.

Dr Göpfert then took us inside the observatory and focused the huge telescope on the crescent moon. Through the eyepiece we could clearly see its craters. After that he moved the focus to Jupiter and we could see its 4 largest moons and the darker stripes across its surface. Lastly he showed us the remains of a star that had exploded about 20,000 light years ago and through the telescope we saw a ring of glittering dust. Charlotte Vystavel took photos of Jupiter and the moon through the telescope eyepiece with her mobile phone. (Photos 2 and 3 below)

It was a wonderful evening and we hope that Dr Göpfert will invite us again next summer.