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|• April 24
An opening ceremony was held for Hijikawa Town Observatory. I drove along Highway 197 to Shozan Primary School to give a lecture to celebrate the opening of the observatory. I talked for about two hours to school children, teachers, and the public. I set up the 9cm comet seeker on the stage which had been used to discover Comet Ikeya-Seki about 40 years ago. Unfortunately, it was raining that day. The observatory, equipped with a 15cm refractor, 30cm Dobsonian, and other instruments, is built at a site surrounded by low mountains. It is expected to make active contributions to astronomy taking advantage of dark skies. I stayed at Oyabu Onsen hot springs that night. I thoroughly enjoyed the mountain atmosphere listening to the sounds of streams running behind the hills.
• April 22
With the arrival of April the number of rainy days has increased, leaving us precious little time for observing. Summer has also arrived in the night sky. Through the slit on the dome Antares in Scorpius has begun to show its red flame. Mars is now in Sagittarius and attempting to approach Antares. In July and August two red giants will be blazing side by side in the southern sky.
Scorpius seen through the dome slit
Nikon FM 85mm f/2 ISO400 (60-second exposure)
|• April 5
Sunshine has finally returned this afternoon after a few days of continuous rain. More than a quarter of cherry blossoms around the center of Kochi City have already fallen to the ground. The sidewalk is all covered with pink flowers. I saw cherry blossoms along the banks of Niyodogawa River on April 1. Their beauty was unforgettable.
I drove through Kumakogen on my way to Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture. I looked for Mr. Akimasa Nakamura's observatory, but was unable to see any building looking like an observatory, as I was surrounded by tall mountains in all directions.
The photograph shows blossoming cherry trees along the banks of Niyodogawa River (Asteroid 6965) . Enjoy the cherry blossoms on the opposite bank, too.
Cherry blossoms along the banks of Niyodogawa River
Copyright (C) 2003 Tsutomu Seki.