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Caithness Night Sky Index    

Caithness Night Sky
 Perseus and Cassiopeia 21 February 2006

The photo shows the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia. The Milky Way runs through these constellations, so a sweep with binoculars will not disappoint.

One particular area to check out with binoculars or a small telescope is marked on one version of the photo - this is where The Double Cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884) can be found. In clear skies it can be spotted with the naked eye, but its true glory is only revealed with optical aid. Have a look - it well worth it.

I'll cover this area of the sky in a newsletter later in the year when it is overhead and easier to see. More details on it can be found at http://www.seds.org/MESSIER/xtra/ngc/n0869.html

In the meantime lets hope for clear skies at least on the 14th & 29th March for the lunar and solar eclipses (details in Feb/Mar newsletter and below).

Info on eclipses to see during March:

Solar Eclipse - March 29th 2006
Occurs late morning (begins around 10:30am and lasts about 2 hours), but only a small fraction (less than 20%) of the sun will be seen to be obscured from Caithness viewing locations.

Important Safety Note: Eye safety is very important if viewing the Sun, even if during an eclipse. See the following link for advice on this: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/SEhelp/safety.html

Lunar Eclipse - 14th March 2006
A penumbral lunar eclipse takes place starting around 9:21pm on Tuesday 14th March 2006 and lasting the better part of 5 hours, with the eclipse maximum just before midnight. This particular type of lunar eclipse is unusual in that the full moon will not disappear, as it does not completely enter the Earth's shadow. I should be seen to visibly darken however.

Related Web Links
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/OH2006.html  Eclipses in 2006

Perseus and Cassiopeia 21 February 2006 From Caithness