This semester has been unusually draining, and this weekend capped off the last of the "for credit" field trips I had planned. For something different, but to go to an old favourite - I decided to try out an afternoon/evening trip to Red Rock Canyon so that we could take a gander at constellation spotting. It was a beautiful day, nice temperature, and I borrowed my Rock Buddy's fabulous green laser pointer for pointing out stuff far away in the night sky.
To my sheer delight, the amphitheater at Red Rock blocked out the big shiny moon for hours and we had an amazing view. Armed with binoculars (thanks daddy!) we were actually able to see, shockingly clearly, the Andromeda Galaxy (also known as M31), the Orion Nebula (aka M42), and two of Jupiter's moons (though they were only pin pricks). I assembled a collage of sorts to show my students what we had been looking at: