Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Stay and Stargaze Special - VEGA SPECIAL
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 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.