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When the Moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie its ...Valentines night!

Valentines night is a time to look up into the evening sky, catch a falling star, and fly me to the Moon, or so go the many songs that connect the night sky with romance and love. We could not have asked for a better evening to prove this connection than when Sydney City Skywatchers members brought their telescopes and binoculars to provide an astronomical night in Centennial Park on Valentines night 2022.

The evening started with a fabulous sunset.

During twilight we watched the flying foxes silhouetted against the pale ball of the Moon which was waxing gibbous, Orion appeared high in the sky and some of the telescopes provided wonderful views of the Great Orion Nebula and Betelgeuse.

Sirius, the Dog star was also a treat to behold as were globular clusters and other objects which became more visible, even with such a bright Moon, as the night darkened.

A big thank you to Christiaan from Centennial Park for his meticulous covid-safe organisation which meant the 90 or so romantic picnickers delighted in being able to participate in astronomy viewing. Also to our members who are always so generous with their time and knowledge.

We were happy to see each other in person - for some it had been almost 2 years! It also meant we could try out our recently donated club Dobsonian telescope and share our knowledge and experience. The Moon really was bright so the song about it 'hitting your eye like a pizza pie...' has some truth in it - unless you use a Moon filter of course!

Look out for the next outreach - it's coming up soon.

All photographs by T. Stevenson, 14/02/2022.


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