UFO - or a bird

20 May 2019

Did you say a UFO?

A few evenings ago a number of ASV members helped out at the Melbourne Montessori School for their Astronomy night. AstroBlake organised the evening, assisted ably by Sadie, Mark and Tara.

Telescopes were provided by the Iscaro family, Russell, Neil, and Steve (as well as four Dobsonians provided by saxon).

Unfortunately the one thing that was beyond our control was the weather, and it clouded over before Jupiter rose. But we did get some good views of the Moon and a few clusters like the Jewel Box.

But what about the UFO?

And as you can see, the kids found it engaging - the three round the 10" Dob were watching the Moon drifting past as displayed on my phone, which was attached using a saxon ScopePix.

At least one of the kids there wants to get his own scope and liked the Dobsonian. He told me he's got enough saved already for more than half of it. Remember, no Nobel Prize winner started off with a Playstation!

Neil Creek gave a presentation on how to use what you've got to do astrophotography (no, you don't need heaps of equipment).

And yes, I got a UFO - actually two - in one of my iPhone videos of the Moon. There's been quite a bit of debate already about what they could have been: bat, bird or satellite. I've attached the movie here, I  hope it's clear enough!


I did get some photos of the Moon before it disappeared. These are both taken with my iPhone, a 10" Dobsonian, and the saxon ScopePix. The wide shot was taken using a bog-standard 25mm eyepiece, and the closer shot (of Gassendi crater) was using a beautiful saxon Cielo 6.3mm eyepiece.

Would you consider having an astronomy night at your school? The kids enjoyed it, and MMS raised a good chunk towards the telescope they're after.