Dear Stargazer Friends,
I hope you have been well. This will be a bit of a shorter newsletter than usual.
July has been a bit of a mixed bag here although we are all well. Good news first: A friend who lives around 50 m below our place has contacted me because of a public lightning project of our municipality (representing 7 villages in total, including the one I live in). I was aware of the project and frankly, I wasn’t very amused when I saw it. The plan is to install >10 public lights along a small road with vineyards and a few residences. So even though I’m already in a fierce battle with the municipality for another project (see below), I jumped in, sending my opposition to this monstrous project. In the meantime, we are more than 10 parties having deposited opposition. It was lovely to have all these people over at our place in July. Great people I would probably never have met otherwise.
Another highlight was the arrival of my Takahashi TSA-120. Although I was able to take pictures of Comet C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS), my mount fell end of June because of sudden heavy winds. It’s a bit embarrassing for me who is always carefully watching the weather – and not just the weather forecast. But that late afternoon, I was still working and when I finally stepped out on the terrace, all I could see was my mount falling to the ground by sudden massive winds. Sent my mount for repair to Italy later in July and it should be back next week. It was as expected the declination axis that was damaged. I was kind of devastated. But should be fine now. Also in July, we sent in our 3rd edition of our project for a Sky Dome on our garage to the local municipality. As expected, they refuse the installation of this dome. It will unfortunately be up to the judges to decide. It’ not easy but I will not give up anytime soon. Seems like women in power are against women in science here. It’s very hard to bear but nothing new in my life, sad to report.
Sorry to have been long on what has happened here. Now to our night sky. August is Milky Way season. Don’t miss the Perseides early this month. Peak will be on 12 August which is a Full Moon night. But the meteor showers are visible a few days before peak – I saw a few very strong ones last night. So watch out for these. Jupiter is beautifully visible now well beyond midnight, a great sight. If you stay up long enough or getting up early: the Pleiades are back! Look East around 4 a.m. Also, we have other messengers of the fall. Andromeda Galaxy is back – although for best moment wait till September. It’s all there, together with Perseus and Cassiopeia.
Wishing you a peaceful summer, enjoy and see you again in September for a more exhaustive astronomy calendar.
Best wishes & Clear skies,
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