Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stay and Stargaze Special - VEGA SPECIAL

To all you stargazers out there the Buttonwood is offering a special this month. Lodge with us for two nights or more and use our 10 Inch Meade Schmidt-Newtonian to view the wonders of the New Hampshire night sky!
We are in a low light pollution area and now is a perfect time to view the Constellation Lyra which includes the Northern night skys' second brightest star, VEGA. Nearly directly overhead we can count on the lowest possible amount of atmospheric disturbance and the current weather conditions have been nearly perfect for viewing.

Bring your own scope if you like as our viewing area is quite large and can easily support multiple setups.

We'll have the Mount Surprise media room setup with our 50 inch plasma to do some pre-night viewing of the constellation and it's multiple targets like: The Ring Nebula M57 which is a classic planetary nebula. Vega, Altair, and Deneb form The Summer Triangle.

The Ring Nebula M57
The Ring belongs to a class of objects known as "planetary nebulae" which have nothing whatever to do with planets. They were called that back in the days of crude telescopes because their small disk shapes resembled planets and the name has stuck. A planetary nebula is actually a large cloud of gas which was previously expelled from the central star. Having lost much mass to the cloud, the central star compresses to a very dense and hot star that illuminates the gas cloud via ultraviolet radiation in much the same way as electric current lights up neon in a sign.

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