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3 nights Kelling 2012


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Heres my notes from the 13th, 14th & 15th of September, 3 fantastic nights under Kelling skies

1st night - September 13th

M27 - Big bright and especially detailed with O111 filter.

M22 - Yes I caught it properly at last and its massive. Loads of stars with the 13mm resolving them nicely into the core. A little lacking in contrast due to its low altitude but still impressive. I reckon if this was as high as M13 it would be just as if not more spectacular.

M17 - Swan / Omega Nebula, A big bright tick at 73x, O11 didnt really help bring anymore out. 30x through the 30mm didnt show much more either just a little loss of contrast.

M31, M32, M110 - In the Meade at 73x the M31 core was ther plus M32 in the same fov. Some evidence of the dark dust lanes on the edge of vision. The WO with the 30mm was particularly nice as all 3 galaxies were in teh same FOV. Again some darkness indicating laning was evident. I had this 2 years ago with my old 102mm scope when I was here last.

M11 - Nice and bright with colours of the brighter stars evident, yellow with a tint of red on some. The wild duck shape was very clear.

Neptune - Small green disc even at 190x.

Uranus - Slightly larger and brighter disc but blue this time

M33 - Very large at 75x with a definite tilted oval shape with brightening towards the core and some bltchy areas further out possibly corresponding to the Ha star birth regions.

M45 - eventually came up over the trees and was spectacular in the 30mmin both scopes. I tried the 50mm Meade 2" for a laugh and that gave a very pleasing view.

Double cluster - Well this was spectacular in both scopes. I put the 30mm in the WO for a nice wide filed and had the 13mm in the Meade. This gave a superb comparison. The wide filed showed both clusters weel in the centre of the FOV and lots of field stars. The Meade had both clusters in the FOV just and a truly dark sky. There were colours in some of the brighter stars, yellows and a slight red tint to one.

M81 / 82 - Good and bright, couldnt make out any detail in 81 but Ha regions were easily spotted in 82.

Zeta Pisces - yellow both components with an estimated full mag difference

Sigma Cass - tight double

M15 - nice tight cluster, very sharp with good resolution of stars.

Crescent - no chance even with O111

Veil - yes faint but more evident in O111

M97 Owl - Very faint with the eyes only just evident but this was becauseit was very low in the north.

Jupiter - 4 moons but no detail much to see due to low altitude and poor atmospherics blowing detail out.

M74 - Dim elliptical shape no detail, some brightening towrads the centre

Little dumbell - small but bright 2 lobes with some evidence of wings

Gamma Aries - 2 equally bright white / yellow stars close separation

Lambda Aries - White / White mag contrasting pair, quite close but 13mm splits easily

Almach - Perseus - Often overlooked as a calibration star this is a nice binary with close yellow / green white pairs

NGC 891 - Wow, this was there in the 13mm on the Meade and also in widefiled in the WO with 30mm ep. Faint but evident with direct vision, no dustlane discernible.

M34 - Looks like a butterfly or dragonfly in shape

M37 - stunning as always loads of stars in the field with dark lanes through them.

2nd Night - 14th September

Started with the Mintron in the Meade 127 and had a go at the following objects




Little Dumbell


Observations - Conditions very tramsparent and dark with little wind

IO came out of transit early on but with the planet low in the sky at the time of observation, 22.30 ish, it was difficult to observe in detail due to atmospherics.

As Jupiter rose post 01:00 hours seeing improved to close to near perfect allowing high magnifications to be used (272x)

Using various filters I found no 56 green to be best for tonight and with the higher mag. Pushing to 400x lost finer detail so I stayed with the 272x.

South and North equatorial belts were prominent with several dark areas in each with a few dark spots and disturbances in them.

Prolonged observation with no filters indicated a light yellow to Jupiters disk with the belts in a reddish brown

At around 01:30 the GRS started to make itself known on the eastern limb in the south equatoril belt. As the night wore on the spot progressed across the disk and at (272x) the disturbances (Ovals, Swirls and festoons) after the GRS were very prominent, in fact I think this is the best I have seen them.

All South and North Temperate belts were easy to see but I couldnt make much detail out in them.

North and South polar regions showed darkening

Altogether I think I spent an hour on Jupiter alone just drinking in the views. I think tonight was the second best that Ive seen the planet, just a shame I missed the IO transit.

M36, 37 & 38 were high with 37 being the most impressive with loads of stars and dark lanes between them making interesting patterns.

M35 was high and a lovely sight in both scopes. The wide filed view through the WO was particularly nice with the smaller fainter cluster IC 2158 easy to see.

M1 - This was the brightest Ive seen this object, uneven trapezium shape with a bite out of one side, Couldnt make any filaments out.

M45 - Wow what a sight. I put my old Meade 4000 50mm fl 2" eyepiece in the 127 and this pulled loads of sky in to the field of view. The main stars of the cluster were blue white with a blue / white halo of nebulosity around them. At 1st sight the halo looked like glare but closer observation showed it to be nebulosity

3rd Night - 15th September

Conditions misty reducing transparency and giving glare/flare round bright objects but good enough for double stars so after re calibrating the mount I started on a few from the mount database

17 Cygni - (75x) Yellow primary with fainter white close companion about a full mag fainter.

17 Lynxis - Tight double equal mag, both yellow?

Diverted, with the help of my neighbour on the next pitch, to trying a few DSOS to see just what the scope would pick up. This was good fun pushing the conditions and scope to its limits.

NGC 6229 - Globular in Hercules - small but still bright no stars resolved but a brighter core.

NGC7331 - Large spiral galaxy, faint but with obvious darkening on one side, none of its companions visible in these conditions

NGC7320 - (Larger member of Stephans Quintet) Nothing I could see but my neighbour could see it because he knew what to look for.

NGC7479 - Barred spiral galaxy below Markab in Peg. I could just detect a faint line indicating the bar of the spiral

There were many more suggested by my neighbour but I lost my pen and was unable to log them.

Finally with Jupiter higher around 01:45 I had a quick look but conditions werent as good as last night, still a nice sight, no GRS.

Called it a night at 02:00

Wow! Three clear nights of Kelling skies on the trot, hard to beat :-)

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So gutted I wasn't there but poor Gilbert still in animal hospital now. Bill in excess of £2,000 now and vets still dilly ing & dallying about surgery which will be between another £700-1000. He's only 6 bless him. I couldn't leave him.

Here's to hoping that nothing bad happens for me just before/on EMS1-I wanna get in on this dark sky action! Not had any since Exmoor back in January/February!! Here's to hoping for clear skies at EMS1 too.

Sounds like you guys all had a fantastic time. That's a great report phil. Really enjoyable and detailed read :)

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great report Phil, and a lovely long weeked,

you forgot to add the sounds of frustration coming from my pitch most of Friday night as i tried in vain to get the meade dsi to work only to realise after 3 hours it was nackered. :angry:

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