Just as we got the scope set up, I happened to look to the southwest and saw what I was certain was the
The first object we visited was of course the 33% illuminated moon. Using the 127mm frac with the Astro-Tech UWA 28mm (29x) we had a wonderful view of the crescent moon, with countless craters and a nice terminator line. The "earth shine" faintly illuminating the unlit portion of the disk nicely. In particular we noticed the Theophilus crater, Mare Tranquillitatis and Mare Serenitatis. It was quite beautiful in the evening gloaming.
We next visited Saturn, almost 24° to the northeast. Of course at 29x in the AR127 it was of course quite small, and he was not sure he could see the rings. So I then put in the Pentax XW 10mm (82x) which helped a lot. The rings now stood out against the not quite dark sky. We also noticed the moons Titan (mag 8.6) and Tethys (mag 10.5). He now said he would like to see Jupiter, so I moved the scope to another section of the backyard to get access to the king of the planets which was low in the east behind a tree from our original position. Leaving the 10mm in place, Jupiter was a beautiful large disk, with its two equatorial bands clearly evident. The four main moons were also front and center with Europa (mag 5.1), Ganymede (mag 4.4) and Callisto (mag 5.5) stretched out to the southwest, and lonely Io (mag 4.8) positioned to the northeast.
Now that I had shown him what I promised, I decided to let him see a few
I noticed M45, the Pleiades, rising over a neighborhood house to the northeast, and pointed it out to him. I did not have my glasses on but could see them as a fuzziness low in the sky. He also easily saw them, and I turned the scope their way. Using the 28mm (29x) again, they fit nicely into the field of view and he looked at them as I explained their nature and the fact of their proximity to us makes them look more spread out than other open clusters that are farther away. My last object shared with Theo was the double cluster in Perseus. At 29x the pair was not overly robust in the AR127 in our skies this evening, but he could definitely see them as a pair of stellar concentrations. Again I explained their nature, trying to keep it simple.
At this point I could sense he was about ready to head back inside, so I told him to go ahead while brought the gear back into the house. It was a simple little session to introduce him to the sky. I feel it was interesting to him, but I know how little kids can be, and their interests kind of wobble around a bit. So I will see as time passes whether or not he wishes to do another session with "papaw." I know I enjoyed it at least!