Moon and Mars conjunction Oct 2020

Moon and MarsEither we stay on Earth and go extinct, or we become a multi-planetary species
– Quantum Biology Researcher, Adriana Marais-

I’m glad I am of an age where I don’t have to consider the question: Would I go to Mars?

I think I have become too attached to Earth but there’s nothing preventing me from sharing in the excitement when spacecraft are launched to Mars.

Until the time is right, I think I’d prefer if robots were sent instead of humans.

But we have to dream big….


This image of the Moon and Mars conjunction was taken from my window on Oct 3, 2020

Gum 50 & Trumpler 23

While working through South African astronomer, Magda Streicher’s, list of delightful asterisms to enjoy the pretty in the night sky, I have come across some very interesting deep-sky objects in the nearby regions of the sky.

I noticed a pinkish-reddish object to the north of asterism, Streicher 34. I ran the co-ordinates in Aladin Sky Atlas and identified this as Gum 50. Then another surprise! I also found the faint but destinctive open cluster, Trumpler 23 northeast of Gum 50. The cluster has an interesting shape and almost looks connected to Gum 50 by a string of stars. Could they be somehow connected?
If only I could understand what’s been written in scientific papers by Y M and Y P Georgelin and Veta Avedisova, I would have a clearer idea.

At one stage Avedisova placed Gum 50 and Trumpler 23 in the same star forming region. After measuring distances and determining spectral classes of the stars, the Georgelins cast doubt on whether the cluster was associated with Gum 50, which goes by RCW 99 as well.