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Red letter day! Best session so far... (Beginner)




Just returned inside from a 3 hour window in clouds after a welcome flash monsoon and thunderstorm cleared all the rubbish out of the sky that has been hanging around for a couple of weeks.

What a difference from past nights. This is the fourth time I have used my own telescope and everything seemed to go well. As a complete, first scope, novice I have suffered from dust clouds, bad atmosphere, security lights, bad collimation, poorly aligned finder, limited EPs and limited viewable sky from my back yard in the last 3 sessions since getting my xt8i.

I had a look outside before bed (about 11:50pm) and saw my opportunity. After aligning the scope 3 times, it was too far out the first two times in the haste and excitement, and firing up Stellarium on the lap top I was off searching for DSOs. Immediately I was finding them in the middle of my eyepiece clerer than ive seen before. I'm really chuffed that it is possible to get excellent viewing from my back yard given decent conditions and my investment was not a waste.

I'm sure I saw more noteable objects but here is a list of things I viewed with help from the 'push to' intelliscope. I was out from the moment the cloud parted to the moment it rolled back in so really got good value. I got really good resolution on some of the globular clusters using my Orion Sirius EPs. (40mm, 27mm, 17mm)

Anyway objects viewed with help of Sky at Night Mag and Stellarium:

  • M81 - Bodes galaxy
  • M82 - Cigar galaxy
  • M63 - Spiral galaxy
  • NGC 4449 - Magellanic Dwarf galaxy
  • NGC 5005 - Spiral galaxy
  • M85 - Lenticular galaxy
  • M51 - Whirlpool galaxy (Clear double blob)
  • M102 - galaxy
  • M106 - Spiral galaxy
  • M3 - Globular cluster
  • M92 - Globular cluster (great res!)
  • M64 - Black eye galaxy
  • M52 - Open cluster
  • M53 - Globular cluster
  • M29 - Open cluster
  • M39 - Open cluster
  • NGC 6910 - Open cluster.

I was gutted that the virgo galaxy cluster that I'd been after on 2 previous occasions was behind next doors roof but the rest of my finds made up for it!

Next time maybe..

Andrew :)




Recommended Comments

You had a very successful night there Andrew and pack quite an instrument! Stellarium is quite the window to many opportunities out there isn't it?


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