The Big and Little Dippers

After more work on the roof, turning the old boards into a rough scaffolding, went off to C & E's for a huge lunch, with the Padre.

This afternoon, a picnic at the jetty at Campinho, and then took Elliott for a session at Dark Sky in Cumeada. Absolutely fascinating, but no chance to set up for photos; I took this of the Big and Little Dippers, aiming blind at the dark sky and hand held, so quite pleased that they're so clear.

In case you don't know, the Big Dipper's curved handle starts top left of the photo, and curves down to the bowl. You can even see the double star of Mizar, the second star of Big Dipper's handle, which we got a good look at through the telescope.

If you follow the two front stars of its bowl to the front and up, for five times that distance, you come to Polaris (the North Star), which is the first star of the handle of the Little Dipper, curving up and left. Can't see the top right star of its bowl, but pretty good for a first attempt, I think. 

We also saw Saturn and its rings really clearly, tried to quickly get a photo through the telescope, but bit fuzzy. Anyway, I see the Big Dipper clearly through my little window, will set up my tripod and try to do better another night.

- the lack of light pollution we have here, round the Alqueva Lake
- learning more about the planets and stars, mind-boggling, awe-inspiring, and even getting a glimpse of another galaxy through the telescope
- the glory of the heavens making me totally forget politics for a night

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