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12.1. 2013 Belper.


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I would readily admit this was an act of sheer desperation, rather than a serious attempt at an observing session. I knew from the forecasts that we would be lucky if we got any decent sky, as it was forecast to be freezing, and foggy. This meant there would be a lot of moisture about.


I got there at 19.00, and Sheila, Stephen, Felix, and Mick were already there. Mike, Dave, and Mark turned up a bit later.


There sky would have been superb had it not been for constant and never ending streams of high Cirrus cloud coming from the West and stretching across the entire sky in bands. There were gaps, and some observing was done through these.

That and dodging frozens puddles as the ground was frozen and water logged all at the same time.


I had my new Sky Watcher 2" 26mm Panaview with me, and this was it's first light.

Jupiter was first on the list, well it has to be doesn't it! And it didn't disappoint. the view was crisp, sharp and bright, really bright. The  viewing end of the eyepiece has got to be 25mm or more, that is a good amount of glass to look through.

All four moons were in attendance, and the equatorial bands and some of the temperate ones were clearly discernible. I thought I saw the Great Red Spot, but checking the tables, this was not the case. Blatant optimism was though!


Here's the table for future reference. 




Next was M42. Again a magnificent sight, the nebula showing a definite muted green hue, and the four main stars of the trapezium easily seen.


Then through breaks in the cloud, M31 & 32. over to M81 & M82, and finally M51, which was visible even through a thin layer of cloud.


At 23.00 I had become fed up and bored with the constant streams of cloud, which were building up in the southern horizon to be a bit more ominous. so we packed up and called it a night, that is with the exception of Mike, who's sheer bloody determination to first light his new ED80, was somewhat humbling to those of us shuffling off to a warm house.


Overall, Iam pleased with the new eyepiece, it does have some coma around the outer edge of the field of view. But I think this is down to it being in a fast-ish newt (F4.5), and that is where the coma is from. I will try it in the refractor next time I get a chance and more fully explore its capabilities.

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Nice report Martyn. It was very chilly and as you say there was a lot of moisture about, but when it was clear, it was really clear and stable. I turned in at 1:30am after grabbing an hour of data on M42. There were a few shooters going through orion from Betelguse toward the upper right end of the belt, these probably peaked around 12-12:15 with maybe 4 in that time. Not hugely bright nor with long tails, but still nice to see.

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Great report Martyn. Once finally aligned I saw NGC457, double cluster, M52,M31,M42 and Jupiter. It was nice to compare the view of the owl cluster between my scope and Mick's-obviously Mick's 300P and WO UWAN blew my 200P and Hyperion Zoom out ifthe water ;) Enjoyable night.

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