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Special K

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Special K last won the day on November 29 2013

Special K had the most liked content!

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About Special K

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    St Albans, UK
  1. Nice report, Stu! What a great feeling to finally achieve a view after trying for so long. @markse68the double double should split easily at x100, so if that’s not working I’d agree there could be something mechanical at fault.
  2. On vacation at Lake Tahoe and have the bins with me this time. The weather has been perfect so a quick jaunt uphill out of the town provided some excellent views. The mountains are high all around us so the moon was not up until much later. As my eyes adapted, the Milky Way started to emerge. Without the moon this would have been much better even with local LP. The stunning sights were to the south west where Jupiter hovers over Scorpius. Antares was a brilliant beacon and the tail clearly visible leading to a full view of the Teapot of Sagittarius which has Saturn near its handle. This alone was worth the climb! With the bins steadied on a convenient lean-to wooden fence, I hauled in some nice finds. M4 was a soft splotch compared to M22 which is bold as anything. M8 Lagoon was naked eye and in bins showed plenty of nebulousity. The Triffid’s cluster was neatly marked and thought I could detect a puff in there. Up to the M24 Star Cloud which this time reminded me of the smiling cat asterism in Auriga. As always this was a dense, well...cloud! Aptly named. To the east lay another Messier open cluster (thinking M50?). The Swan was bright but struck me as quite small without a telescope, while the Eagle’s cluster was nice and bright. Holding as steady as possible I could make out the oval shape of Saturn and those bright moons of Jupiter. The highlight was discovering M8 Prolemy’s Cluster behind a fir tree! This is a dazzler and was at a great angle to view from the fence. The nearby M6 Butterfly was a nice bundle of stars as well. All in all a refreshing and uplifting view of the summer sky. This is a great place to visit day and night, in all seasons. There are some locations you can drive to if you want absolute dark but for a 10 minute walk, this is pretty good. Clear (binocular) Skies!
  3. Those small cluster in Cass can be a lot of fun. I’m with you on M52.....it’s a very faint bunch. With averted you’d never miss it as a fuzzy but doesn’t yield many stand out points of light when looking directly at it.
  4. That’s a handy list of doubles I must try for. Small constellation too! I had a look at M15 the other night and it sure is dense. Nice one!
  5. The field sounds like a winner. One man’s solitude is another man’s peace and quiet! It’s good to share and the moon is a real crowd pleaser that’s for sure.
  6. That Crescent is one faint object! Thanks for posting
  7. That's a hefty, chunky looking scope!!! Bet the views are grand, and of course the moon is in the way at the moment. Wishing you many more happy trails across the sky
  8. That looks like a great deal for someone skilled enough to clean those lenses. Sorry it cannot be me!
  9. That’s a great report and I have to agree using bins is effortless and rewarding. I looked at Zeta Lyr at 44” separation in the scope s week back and didn’t linger. But looking at them in 10x50s a few nights later and Wow!!!
  10. Excellent one Peter!!! Just reaffirms what I was seeing at just that time. The tail in your image is very distinct. That’s a picture to be proud of and grateful for!
  11. I’ve heard this quite a few times now and looking forward to LED! We’re still on the orange ones here but my tshirt-on-a-stick trick works a treat for the worst lamp across the street!
  12. Great report! Some nights just seem to stand out. Ouch, I didn’t know that dark adaptation also deteriorates with age! I hope that’s not the case as there are enough things to struggle with as it is. A delaying of dark adaptation by a few extra minutes is not going to have a functional impact on observing over several hours. I choose to ignore it! Let’s face it: age will have an impact on our sight. But hopefully, experience in observations can overcome some of these handicaps. On the topic of measuring quality of skies, there’s a lot of layers to the onion. Some methods are useful for different things, e.g. the Bortle Scale seems to get very detailed at the highest levels where a key factor is whether you are detecting Zodiacal light or Gegenschein. I also find NELM indicative of the base conditions of the location being observed from and add to this the factors of local seeing and transparency. Just to make things more confusing, there are SQM measurements too
  13. Great report! The fog is a kicker. Towards 4am this morning I was packing it up and skies were closing in. When I woke around 8:30 there was a heavy ground fog being illuminated by the rising sun. A beautiful scene in its own right!!
  14. This morning offered the best view yet! 21P was not shy and retiring any more, and I'm gonna go out on that limb and claim I could see the tail fanning out from the coma a little bit. I did the sketch below around 3am and then tinkered around other objects. I came back about 45 mins after the sketch and it had shifted half the distance of the last void toward that huge pack of stars!!! It's not often you can visually observe the cosmos moving and what a delight!
  15. @Wyvernlooking at that picture, all of the stars look dimmer so it's hard to tell. Atmospherics must have really had an effect. This was the morning I missed and should have been out looking! It was bright as anything Weds morning and would have been a great view. There was no chance today due to cloud, so I slept through
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