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A starry night! At last...!


Smithysteve
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After too many weeks of cloud and a dazzling 'super moon', at last an opportunity to see a few deep sky fuzzies! It was fairly cloudy until 10.pm but the sky was clearing so I got wrapped up in several layers of clothes and tootled off into the dome. I was armed with a list of potential targets, several of which were on my Messier 'to do' list - those below marked with a *.


(10" LX200 with mostly a 2", 40mm, ES, 62deg FOV eyepiece giving me just over 1deg TFOV. & 63x magnification. Ideal for lots of the open clusters...)

 

M1, Crab Nebula, just a fuzzy patch, but an object well worth visiting every now and then.
M31, Andromeda Spiral Galaxy - amazing to think how many billions of stars you are looking at and I then like to swing to M32, then move on to M110 passing through M31... Lovely! M110 was quite faint but discernible again the background stars.
M42, I just had to get an eyeful of this great sight. The Great Orion Nebula and the trapezium is one of my favourites, the great horns of grey tenuous nebulosity filling the whole field of view... the trap stars glowing like white diamonds! Magic! - I will hopefully be spending many hours looking at this and the surrounding area over the next few months...
M45, Pleiades, Taurus, +1.50 Mag. Seeing the stars embedded in their reflection nebula is a great sight!
*M50, a bright open cluster in Monoceros
*M52, Open Cluster, Cassiopeia, +6.90 Mag - a fine collection of stars.
*M67, Open Cluster in Cancer, +6.90 Mag - a gorgeous sight.
M78, Reflection Nebula, Orion, +8.30 Mag. 
*M79, Glob Cluster, Lepus, +7.73 Mag. A lovely tight glob...
*M103, Open Cluster in Cassiopeia - a small and somewhat faint cluster.
NGC 869 & NGC 884 - the Double Cluster, Perseus, +5.30 Mag. - magnificent as usual, this is one of my oldest favourites...


Later... and these were very low in southern sky... I knocked off a few more on my Messier todo list
*M41, Open Cluster, Canis Major, +4.5 Mag.
*M46, Open Cluster, Puppis, +6.09 Mag & NGC 2438 planetary nebula. Tweedledee had primed me to try and see the planetary neb! I could not see it at first but it became obvious immediately I used an Oiii filter by holding the filter in my hand in front of the lens. I tried to see the neb without the filter, even though I knew where to look but, like the veil, I could see it unfiltered! This was the most memorable sight of the night!
*M47, Open Cluster, Puppis, +4.40 Mag
*M48, Open Cluster, Hydra, +5.80 Mag.
So that's a few more in the Messier bag...


I noticed that the plough was swinging nicely around, with M81 and M82 in a good position, so finished up on these. It is really great to see both of these in the same field of view! 
Wrapped up at 01.00am.


Woke up this morning with the bubble neb NGC 2438 in my minds eye!
Thanks for reading, if you have got this far!
Cheers??

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Very good report

It was a bit chilly so I did not put the visual on the mount.

Havs a rather long imaging session though :D

 

I have though got the 102 ready for tonight and a few doulbes I think and maybe a few M's

 

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1 hour ago, Doc said:

Fantastic report Steve with some great objects observed. 

 

I'm surprised you lasted so long, it was very cold.

 

How are the Uwan's holding up?

 

Thanks for your kind words Mick. With three layers on, + scarf, Astro gloves and furry hat, I was warmer then the abominable ⛄️

The uwans are great!

A lot of the objects could be regarded as 'run of the mill' but like you said they are great objects.

 

1 hour ago, Ibbo said:

Very good report

It was a bit chilly so I did not put the visual on the mount.

Havs a rather long imaging session though :D

 

I have though got the 102 ready for tonight and a few doulbes I think and maybe a few M's

 

Thanks! You have to make the most of it!

Good luck tonight Steve. I am going to a lecture on grav waves etc at the local obs then I plan to get out there again! - cheers!

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Lovely report Steve, and a great set of interesting objects. :thumbsup:

 

Glad you got the planetary nebula in M46. When I had my 10" LX200 a few years ago, I saw the planetary with a 31mm Nagler (about 80x) without a filter. It showed itself better when I doubled the power using the Nagler in a TV Big Barlow.

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I have just had 2 nights viewing after weeks of cloud great report Steve I managed  a lot but not as much as you last night the shed roof iced open had job closing it -6 degrees in the shed

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7 hours ago, Stephen said:

I have just had 2 nights viewing after weeks of cloud great report Steve I managed  a lot but not as much as you last night the shed roof iced open had job closing it -6 degrees in the shed

 

It sure was cold Stephen! :brr:

Like you said, it has been very cloudy for weeks! And It looks like clouds again for rest of week -  so we have to take the opportunities to see stuff whenever we can, despite the temperatures!

i went out again last night too - the missus thinks I am mad! :)

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