Star Party Image of the Day (south of Tucson)

Posted: June 30, 2020 in Science
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An awe-struck professor at ASU looking up at the Sagittarius star cloud rising above the Santa Ritas in June 2020. (Check out “The Teapot” asterism  in the exact center of this image, with Scorpius a middle-right.) This is only 45 miles south of my house in central Tucson, and less than an hour away. We took our eyes, binocs, and an 8″ and a 10″ telescope, and were blown away for several hours. For those who the following has meaning, we looked at double stars (Nu Scorpii, Albireo), open clusters (M6, M7, M11, M 25, Coma Berenices), Galaxies (M51, M65, M66, M95, M96, M101, the Sombrero), globular clusters (M4, M10, M13, M22, Omega Centauri), nebulae (the Lagoon, the Triffid, the Eagle), and planets (Jupiter, Saturn). The Milky Way was so bright when it rose that several people thought it was a cloud. The high point was that at high magnification using averted vision we could see the spiral arms in M51, the nearest spiral galaxy where that’s (barely) possible with a 10″ scope.

There’s still a lot of beauty out there, folks. Enjoy! (Photo by Elaine Jones of

And as the song says, “What’s so funny about peace love and understanding?” And appreciation of the beautiful universe we all share?

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