The Bangalore Astronomical Society organised an observing session on May 12th 2007. Though participation was rather less, the event was pretty good. The event was held at Hosahalli, a village about 70km away from Bangalore and a frequent observing site of the Bangalore Astronomical Society. Amar Sharma, Balachandra, Shashank H.J., Akarsh Simha, Utkarsh Simha and S Abhiram were the participants. Equipment included a 12" f/4.5 Dobsonian, three 10x50 Olympus binoculars, a 8" f/8 Equatorial Newtonian Reflector, a Nikon FM10 SLR Camera, and a Sony Digital HandyCam . Skies were hazy and partially cloudy in some patches.
The participants enjoyed the views of Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon, and several deep sky objects including the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and the Ring Nebula (M57). Advanced observers like Amar and Shashank attempted more challenging and faint celestial objects, especially faint globular clusters in the halo of the Milky Way. The younger participants also took photographs of bright celestial objects like Jupiter and the Moon. All the participants were fascinated by the view of the Ring Nebula and Jupiter through the 12" Dobsonian with a 4.8mm TeleVue Nagler Eyepiece. Several different filters were used to enhance the contrast of the cloud bands of Jupiter. The view was enthralling. Globular cluster M13 was well resolved at high magnification by the 8" f/8 telescope. An Ultra High Contrast (UHC) filter was used to enhance views of the Eagle Nebula, the Swan Nebula, the Lagoon Nebula and the Trifid Nebula. The Milky way was bright and spanned the sky till the constellation of Cygnus. The Dark Rift was visible through the Milky Way.
The observing session was very eventful for Shashank H J, who found several globular clusters with the 8" f/8 telescope. It was an enjoyable experience for all the participants, despite the mildly hazy skies.