Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Southern Sky

While in French Polynesia we were treated to some awesome sky viewing in relatively light free sky. The only negative was the near full moon (there was a lunar eclipse early in the week) that rose up in the evening and took out the dimmer stars.

The Paul Gauguin cruise ship is equipped with two large reflecting telescopes (Orion 10 and 12). Add to that a knowledgable crew (with iPod apps if needed) with lots of experience and we have the makings of a great star party.

Here are some pictures of the night sky as we saw it. About an hour or two or three after sunset... click on the images for a better view. The most frequent item sought in the southern sky was the Southern Cross or Crux. It is easy to find as seen in the following images.

Southern Sky as seen in Tahiti (30 second exposure Sony NEX 5N)

Finding the Southern Cross

Constellations visible
I want to personally thank Megan, Lars, and Josh of the Paul Gauguin who organized and ran several star parties during our recent voyage. You guys are amazing and are doing a fantastic job. I've been involved in thousands of star gazing sessions and while a bit more advanced than your average cruiser, I was impressed with the smooth presentation and confidence in the subject demonstrated. Excellent job!

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