Musca and Other Beautiful Flies

18th Feb 2017

Musca as I see itMusca, the fly, has always been one of my favourite little constellations. Not only does it depict the tasty little morsel for enchanting Chamaeleon lurking nearby; it is also a particularly pretty naked eye asterism… and best of all, it holds several gorgeous deep sky objects within it.

I always assumed Musca depicted the ubiquitous housefly, Musca domestica, and I have to confess that until I came on my star-gazing meander around the Kalahari, houseflies and the occasional horsefly

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Dorado’s Other Cloud

Picture1Dorado, the gorgeous fish gracing our southern skies, appears as if it is diving into a great froth of turbulent water represented by the Large Magellanic Cloud. And it’s hard not to follow suit when one is observing in Dorado because the Large Magellanic Cloud dominates the constellation… and then some! However, Dorado is home to another cloud… the cloud of galaxies known as the Dorado Group of galaxies; a loose group comprised of an estimated 70 galaxies and

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Salt Pans and Lunar Seas

as11-40-5851“Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation.” Thus Buzz Aldrin described the Moon.

I love observing the Moon, and often, when I am meandering around on it with my telescope, Buzz Aldrin’s lovely words come to mind, because like many observers, I look at the Moon’s vast maria and wonder what it was like to stand there and look out at that magnificent desolation.

I got a feel for his words up here in the Askham area of the Kalahari when my

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