Bull's Eye

1997 Dec 12

San Jose, CA: This evening your intrepid observer braved the cold and damp armed only with a Meade LX200 and a Macintosh to make sure nothing was amiss as the Earth was briefly hidden from the ever watchful Eye of the Bull.

Happily married man that I am, I was eager to have my wife observe it with me. And as it is the Christmas season I broke out the binoviewer so we could watch together, cheek to cheek, one eyepiece each (as befits my political inclinations, I got the left one :-) It worked splendidly! Since we both have roughly equally bad eyes we didn't even have to worry about the dreaded lack of individual focusing. I highly recommend this technique for astronomers and friends regardless of the season!

While waiting for the scheduled reappearance, with the aid of Rulk's atlas and Akkana's great _Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon_ , I tracked down a few goodies in the favorable libration zones. Mare Marginis and crater Neper were easy as was the far shore of Mare Smithii. I even caught a glimpse of the edge of Mare Australe.

The conditions were just about as bad as they could be, though. Cold, damp, clouds whizzing by almost obscuring the Moon at times. Not a good night for anything. But it was sufficient to see the event.

And for those of you who were ever in doubt, Aldebaran did reappear as predicted apparently above the southern shore of Mare Smithii. The Eye of the Bull sees again.

Bill Arnett; last updated: 1997 Dec 12