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Stargazing in Mallorca


Tweedledee
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Been having a look at the sky every night here in Alcudia, Mallorca, but up till now there has been a haze across the sky blotting out the milky way completely until last night. During evening a very welcome light breeze came along to clear the days stagnant 38 degree heat haze from the sky leaving it crystal clear by darkness. Got a private sun terrace on the roof surrounded by a 4 foot wall that completely shrouds any of the minimal lighting around here when you are laid on a lounger. If you want to do naked stargazing then this roof is the place :) At about 26 degrees in the night I was tempted, but did keep my shorts on.

Only had my 10x50 binos and started off in Cygnus soon getting adapted and seeing the milky way. Deneb looked to be very slightly north of the zenith. M39 was a bright sparse cluster inside a triangle of stars and M29 just a tiny twinkling of several stars imprisoned together and hanging below gamma Cygni but almost indistinguishable from the rich milky way. Had a look at 52 Cygni thinking I should have brought my newly purchased UHC filter to try for the Veil and NAN. Cluster NGC 6940 stood out nebulous against the background.

I then looked down and saw the Sagittarius Teapot pouring into the horizon and thought that I'd better look there before it tips any lower. M8 the Lagoon was a massive nebulous area elongated with some undulations around the edge and studded with stars. In the same field was the smaller but still large M20 Triffid Nebula surrounded by stars. These two nebulae in such a rich field would give Orions M42 some major competition if they just got a bit higher in the UK. Just above was M16 and 17 (Eagle and Omega nebulas) putting on a great fuzzy show. Scanning this area showed several other interesting little smudges which I could not identify from memory, and I wasn't about to spoil my night vision by looking at Stellarium on the iPhone. So I just carried on enjoying the rich fields up into Scutum and Ophiuchus. M11 the Wild Duck cluster looked like a nebula and M26 was similar but smaller and fainter, both joined by a curvy chain of stars. Just a little north of these were a couple of big scattered clusters which I now know to be IC 4756 and NGC 6633. Tried for some of the globulars in Ophiuchus but although the sky looked clear enough 10x magnification would probably only show them as stars.

Hercules next and M13 was an easy fuzz ball and M92 looked identical but smaller. Nu Draconis split nicely into two equal brightness stars . Way low down in the north I found M81 and M82 very tiny and faint but unmistakeable ghostly shapes.  Being slightly lower still, M51 eluded me, even from these pristine skies and I do know precisely where to find it. Back up to the zenith again and the Garnet star showed it's deep ruby colour against lots of slightly less splendid milky way diamonds. Finished off with M71 in Sagitta, The Coathanger and did a double take when I saw a small faint rectangle that must have been M27 The Dumbell.

What a wonderful nights viewing, and referring back to a previous thread on stargazing music, was listening to some Rhianna and Lady Gaga from a nearby resort. Not used to observing with beads of sweat trickling down my face, but it certainly beats numb fingers on a winter night back home. Sorry if I've bored everyone with my long binogazing report, but I loved it. 

Cheers. 

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Fabulous report Pete - that's a teriffic binocs session - though I think I'd give the Gaga and "goolies out" a miss lol. :)

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Hi Pete, did some stargazing there back in May, stayed at Porta Pollencia just up the coast from you. From our hotel on the sea front the LP was overwelming (Could only see the 3 brightest stars!!) But later on in the week I went up the Boque Valley, very quiet and dark and LP was still noticeable but much reduced and I could see the Milky Way quite well. I think you have to go up to the mountain top observatory there to get a perfect sky but never had that chance! Enjoy Mallorca, it's our favourite holiday place by far! (I'm also a birdwatcher, thats why I love the island!)

Cheers

Ron

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Excellent report Pete, that sounds an awesome night. Iam not jealous.

If you want to do some stargazing in the buff at Belper, I can lend you a windbreak! :D

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Yes great report and far from a bore.

Makes we want to book a holiday - anyone want to look after 4 dogs & 2 cats for a week? :)

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Guest Ely Ellis

Brilliant report Pete and most certainly not boring. I enjoy reading these reports and to cram so much in one night too!

Edited by Ely Ellis
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I'm on my way out to alcudia this morning, staying at bell vue apartments, hopefully the clear skies will hold for 10 days, see you all when I get back.

Rob

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Have a good holiday Rob, sunny days and clear Sky's mate. (take a trip up the Boque Valley and see the eagles etc.great walking!!)

Cheers

Ron

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Sounds like a session I had when I stayed in Gozo and that was also a fantastic night. I agree with you about M8 if it was a little higher then it would be a spectacular sight from England.

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wow is it hot, at 8 pm last night it was still 30 degrees, almost a full Moon so i cant see any milkyway form here and there is alittle sky glow although not much, shame, although my eyesight has been alittle blured by the alcohol, it s almost 24 hours drinking here, sam went to get 2 icecreams and came back with 3 beers, he is only 15 ! but he had a smile on his face L.O.L.

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Hi Rob,

It is a lovely place and those temperatures are very pleasant, if a bit too hot at times.

I managed to avoid the moon last week.

If you get chance, have a day at Marineland, Palma. The dolphin show alone was well worth the money.

Have a great time, just wish I was still there.

Cheers.

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kids are wanting to go to the water park, i want to visit the caves, looks like we'll be doing beach today as it's overcast and i've burnt my legs, so jet skies look the order of the day, that's if i can get them moving from the pool.

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Hi Rob, I enjoyed the Blue John Mine in Derbyshire more than the Caves of Drach in Mallorca!! Bit over done I thought! Enjoy your day..

Ron

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