Wednesday, September 28, 2005

20050927.2100 - Pleiades at TotL

I posted a report on the Yahoo group we call "gomsa". Both Charlie and I posted online reports of observing 13 stars of the Pleiades. I consider this a remarkable event for urban astronomers in Central Park. I was so amazed by our first count that after packing our gear, I mentioned to Charlie I wanted to count again to confirm our observation. In fact, we did two more times, once from TotL as mentioned and the third time from a spot on the sidewalk, north of the Metropolitan Museum, which leads into/out of the park.

By my count, we saw a total of 13 stars over the 3 times. Some only appeared once to me but, I counted them. The link above leads to the report and under the Files section of the group, I posted a chart with details of each of the stars.

Charlie's report, which he posted on his starsights blog, speaks of seeing 11 stars. In my gomsa report, I title the post with 13 and only specifically mention 12, but the total count of pleiad descriptions and the chart correctly represent my experience.

In all, this is an exceptional evening, one of those rare ones. In fact, we even blew park curfew, leaving around 2:15am. After the Pleiades, we tried for the Coat Hanger. On equally exceptional evenings, I can detect 2 or 3 of its stars. I suppose that these are the ones in the handle. On this night though the cluster was much too low in the horizon blocked by the trees. Sagitta was visible just above the trees to manhattan-West, leaning a bit to the South.