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Wymeswold 30.3.2013


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127mm Meade AR5. EQ5 Synscan mount,(loaned).    20.00 - 00.00 at Wymeswold


At  last, a clear night! First up had to be Panstarrs, and it did look nice, both through the scope, and 15x70 Bino's. The nucleus was nice and bright, with a short, fan shaped tail extending from it. Having found it last night, it was easy to see again now I know where to look.


Then a quick look at M31, which was washed out due to it following the Sun down, only the central core was apparent.


Then a wander over to the Pleiades, both in the scope and the Bin's, loads of stars and lovely to look at.


It was then the turn of my favourite cluster, M44, the Beehive cluster. This was superb in the scope, although it couldn't get the whole group in, there were some great colours, blues, orange yellow, and surprisingly for a cluster a good smattering of reds. These all seemed to be on a talcum powder background of millions of distant stars. Not hard to see why it's a favourite.


M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy then had the attention of the scope, it was there and discernible as two components, but both were faint. This benefits from the extra aperture my Dob has, and is yet another favourite.


I had a look at M3 next, a nice globular cluster. This is stuck in the middle of nowhere, between Bootes, Coma Berenices and is just in Canes Venatici. This is a compact collection and by pushing the magnification I could resolve stars, but doing this dimmed the image, and colour was not apparent.


A squint at M104 the Sombrero galaxy seemed a good idea, and this presented a decent view. Knowing where the dust lane is, the shape was quite good, and probably the best galaxy of the night for me.


It then had to be Saturn, which had just cleared the tree line at 23.00. I can still see why this Planet got me into the hobby all those years ago in the old dancing Tasco. This is the first time I have seen it this time round, and it is gorgeous. Titan clearly visible to it's side, this just kept me there for a while, until I needed to move due to the cold.


I finished the night with M13, the great globular cluster in Hercules. This does take magnification well, and the stars not only resolved, but showed the blue ones in the core with the yellow ones in the outlying area's.

It did though look spectacular in Angus's 12" Dob, with a 6mm wide field eyepiece in. It just looked like a firework going off.


By this time, everything was getting a good coating of frost, (-4). So I called it a night. The first decent night of this year in fact for me.


Thanks to everyone who attended, not only for the good company, but to James helping out with an electrical issue which nearly put paid to the night.

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Great report and glad you had a good night, it was just too cold for me to stay out more than 2 hours so Im afraid I had to give it a miss. Managed 2 hours in the protection of the obs though.

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