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Wymeswold report - 1.12.2012


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Wymeswold Darksite

Skywatcher 300P Auto F4.9 1500mm FL

Moon had a 324° phase and was in the SE

Seeing was 4.7 mag

Observing time 19.30 - 23.25

Sky conditions were pretty good, I could see four stars inside the square of Pegasus easily and I estimate the magnitude of the sky to be in the region of 4.7 mag. The moon was very bright and the sky in the South East did look a little washed out.

First objects of the night were M81 and M82 also known as the Bodes Galaxies. I have seen these so many times before in a very large range of telescopes, and I still love the way they fill my FOV in my 28mm Uwan.. The spiral galaxy M81 was easily seen and a very bright core could be detected. The spiral arms were also seen but only after a long periods of uninterrupted viewing. You really had to stare at the galaxy until they popped out. The cigar galaxy M82 was also easily seen and the elongated shape easily stood out against the dark sky.

Over to Cassiopeia next and the fantastic looking cluster of stars known as Ngc 457 also known by many names such as the ET Cluster, the Owl cluster. The bright stars are the ET's eyes and the other stars his body. It's pretty large at 13'x13' and shines at a magnitude of 6.

Staying in the constellation Cassiopeia I found Ngc 7789 a pretty large 16'x16' cluster of very dim starts amoungst lots of brighter ones. This cluster was dim and I estimate at least 250 stars of mag 12 to 13. There was a background nublosity as well which I imagine were a mass of even dimmer stas invisible to my 12" of aperture.

M52 was next, this cluster looked amazing in the 28 Uwan, a very rich star cluster, with so many stars resolved and few around the edges that were just on the limit of vision. This object has been described as a "salt and pepper" cluster due to its dense arrangement of about 200 bright stars. M52 is believed to be only 23 million years old. Its distance from Earth is not certain. Estimates range anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 light-years.

Ngc752 a very open and loose cluster in Andromeda was next, it covers nearly a degree of sky and shines at a magnitude of 5.7. Very pretty in a arrow type formation, I counted about 30 stars. Two very bright yellow stars to the west were hr556 and 56 And.

I then looked at the Garnet star in Cepheus, I have observed this in the past but I had totally forgot how red this star is, extremely colourful and pretty.

Next was M15 which is a globular cluster of stars in the constellation Pegasus. It is perhaps the densest of all the globular clusters in the Milky Way. It is also the only known globular cluster to contain a planetary nebula. M15 contains over 100 variable stars, which ranks it third for variables. It also contains 9 known pulsars. This cluster is 40,000 light-years distant, and with a visual magnitude of 6.2. I just love this globular cluster, I have visited it many times and in my 16mm Uwan I can resolve quite alot of the cluster but insert my 12.5 ortho I get the tingling sensation that I'm inside the cluster, it's just so awesome that I cannot stop revisiting.

I then swung the telescope in the direction of Taurus and checked out M45. I love this cluster of stars. I swear I saw slight nebulosity around Merope. My 28 Uwan picks out so many stars I just love this cluster.

I then had a look at my favourites M37, M36 and M38 in Auriga. As always these three clusters never fail to entertain me, so much to look at. While looking at M38 I managed to bag NGC 1907 it 's an open cluster in Auriga and consisted of about 30 stars. Two very bright stars were towards the southern limits of the cluster. Easily fitted into the FOV of my 28mm Uwan.

Up to another favourite M31 and it's companions M32 and M110. All I can say an awesome sight, M31 was amazing, very large with a diffused core, while M110 was a lot dimmer but still visible.

Next over to Triangulum and M33 which is a member of our local group of galaxies. It is a spiral galaxy with a diameter of 60,000 light-years, which makes it much smaller than its neighbor, M31. It is also a little farther away, at about 2,300,000 light-years from Earth. Even though extremely dim as it only has a surface magnitude of 14.2 it is very large and appeared as a very faint smudge which was easier to see with averted vision.

Down to Orion next and onto the wonderful M42 and M43. So much detail emerged in the 28mm Uwan and even a hint of green popped out. A fantastic image and the highlight of the night. I then attempted to split the Trapezium into a possible 5 or 6 members. I tried all my eyepieces but the best view and a definite split into 5 stars was with the 6mm Ortho.

Throughout the night I visited the Moon, and basically blinded myself everytime I did, but the views were to die for, the craters, rilles and mountains were so clearly visible and detailed.

Started to ice up about 23.15 so called it a night.

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I like reading your reports Mick - so well written and so much extra info - a superb session - don't know how you pack so much in - and a very enjoyable read thanks :)

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I would say not as dark as Belper but close.

The clubhouse is better then Belper as it has electric without a genny.

Not as much parking but still ample.

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So we're going to alternate between the two sites now? :D

Great report Mick, I wish I could have been there... gutted I was ill (was and still am).

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It's a good way to go - I'll more likely use Wymeswold most but will allways go to quarterly meets wherever they're held - and odd Belper visits when conditions are right - just like when we had Sawley. I expect the northern most folks will do the opposite which is cool. :)

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An enjoyable report Mick.

I wish I could have been there, but like so many of us I was feeling unwell and very tired just getting over a cold.

I'm from up north Kim but definitely intend to give Wymeswold a try soon. I see Friday night is looking good at the moment, and no moon.

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thin alternating is OK for the quarterly meetings not sure about the general ones as each is much further travel for some folks.

Whether it be Belper and Wymeswold. Some of the north people would have a trek to Wymeswold and vice versa.

Although the toilets are a bonus at Wymeswold LOL


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Great report.

I'm all for alternating the meets between the two sites. Both are about the same distance for me. I'll be at the nexr meet on the 15th, with a possible newb as well (if the seeing is good)

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Fantastic report - shame I missed it but I`m there on the 15th, please be clear.....please be clear.......

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