So the much belated start to 2015, while the real year started 17 days ago but, with the weather in Edinburgh having been on the terrible side of atrocious, the star gazing year only got going last night. For the first night of the year i thought i would do something a little different and i had my first night out at Harperrig Reservoir (Edinburgh). What a place it is; you get a slight red glow to the NW from Edinburgh/Edinburgh Airport and the lights of one house but, for the darker sites that I've been too and to be fair it's not many, it's the best.
Normally I'm a city centre amateur astronomer; sometimes when i get out to a darker site my mind does get a little blown away. I'm used to Orion slowly rising over the houses to my left not being sat there fully out in all its glory. I'm used to star hopping with a limited number of visible stars and using "Turn Left at Orion", so when i can see so much i often forget what to look for and just end up gawping up at the night sky and not using the scope. I suppose my normal plan is to just look out of the window and if its not cloudy get the scope out, not very scientific but it can be fun. Last night i went out with a plan, Comet Lovejoy was the prime target, Jupiter and then as many Messier/NGC items i could throw in and this was the haul;
Comet Lovejoy (It was like a star with a fuzzy nebula around it, but don't worry others confirmed that it was the comet)
Jupiter (all four moons and some great detail and colour on the planet itself)
NGC2169 (The 37 Cluster)
NGC2264 (Cone Nebula)
It was getting cold, -4 when i got in the car and i'd forgotten my flask of tea so enough was enough and my first night of 2015 was over.