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Observing session at Gibraltar Point 31/03/2013


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Hi guys,


A couple of us are planning to go down to Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve carpark near Skegness on Sunday evening as the forcast looks good, clear with little in the way of wind.  Anyone that wishes to join us would be more than welcome and we shall be arriving around 7PM -7.30PM.


Comet Panstarrs is looking good at the moment so would be a good chance to see a bright Comet if anyone is up for it. Also a lot of galaxies and Globular clusters are visible this time of year.

So hope to see you there if you can make it?



*** Due to the forcast giving a better night tonight (Saturday), we will be heading to Gibraltar Point car park today (Saturday) for around 6.30-7pm.*****

Edited by oldfruit
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Many thanks to Paul and Justin for keeping me company tonight. Though tonights session was short notice, it was good to see a couple of familiar faces. And Justin you should have waited as the cloud that came over soon cleared and we stayed until 11pm.


Tonight looked promising with the forcast giving little cloud so we headed down to Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve to do some observing at last.


We set up in daylight and waited for twilight and turned our scopes towards Comet Panstarrs, even in the twilight sky it was obvious in the bins but showed more detail in the scopes. Still quite bright with a diffuse tail fanning upwards. As the sky darkened i could just barely make out the comet naked eye. It was a lovely sight and i hope to be able to observe it again before it fades too much.


A lot of objects were observed tonight. Jupiter was looking good and there was a shadow transit in progress when we observed it tonight. The small inky black disc on the disc of Jupiter was vey sharp. Not sure which moon it was from but a nice sight none the less.


As the sky was so clear and dark we had a go at some galaxies tonight. M51 was shoing some good detail tonight with the spiral structure quite apparent and this object was returned to time and time again tonight and seemed to improve as it got higher in the sky.

The Leo Triplet was showing nicely tonight and all three members easily within the field of view in the 28mm Nirvana.

We also looked at the Sombrero and at higher magnification the dark "brim" was visible. As Paul remarked tonight though, this galaxy really is quite small.

M101 was seen by me for the first time tonight and from the dark site seemed quite obvious, and there were hints of some of the outer structure though it was more a case of "i think i can see something" than a definate yes. Quite a ghostly galaxy this one but i am glad to have finally ticked it off my list.

Also had a quick scan around the Virgo cluster tonight but there were fuzzies everywhere and i was lost as to what i was looking at.

M81 showed a bright core with an elongated halo and M82 showed some obvious mottling and darker patches.


We had a look at a couple of globular clusters tonight. M3 was really bright in the 12 inch dob and it seemed that hundreds of stars were resolved. M13 looked impressive and i think i could see the "propeller" but as i have not seen it before i was not sure.

I saw the Ring Nebula Briefly and also The Owl Nebula which was suprisingly bright tonight, though it was almost overhead.


To end the night we had a brief but enjoyable look at Saturn, and no matter how many times you look at it, it is still one of the most amazing sights through the telescope.

At this point it started to snow so we packed up and headed home.

I had a great evening tonight and it was good to get out observing again after the poor long spell of weather we have had.

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Good write up Mark. We also had several visitors who were staying at the nature reserve come over, and were pleased we could show them the comet.


I was pleased that I could say I'd finally seen it, as I was beginning to think it was going to elude me.


Lovely picture Mark, here's mine, but I didn't have long enough exposure to show the full extent of the tail.



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Glad you had a great time chaps and that's a smashing write up Mark. :)


Nice comet pics - I saw it for the first time too last night but it was the other way up in the 12" Orion dob - very nice scope indeed!

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Sounds as if I missed a good night Mark! never mind (so did Dave!!)!  looking forward to the 13 Apr for the next meet  :)

(like the PanStarrs photo's!)




Edited by Ron Clarke
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Guest @ndyC

Its good to read how well you got on dispite the cold and some nice images too. Ive been looking after my daughter who has Chicken Pox so i will plan to come up for the next meet.

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