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cotterless45 last won the day on September 7

cotterless45 had the most liked content!

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About cotterless45

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    " Look up at the stars and not down at your feet."

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  1. cotterless45

    The Tropics of Scotland

    Super reports, dark sky beats everything, Nick.
  2. cotterless45

    Tricky Double Double In Auriga, And More

    Super report , some real favourites there , Nick.
  3. cotterless45

    Cornucopia of delights !

    Clear sky , setting crescent Moon and Patbloke ( Pat ) on his way with great humour , enthusiasm and best of all a shiny Equinox 120. First serious light with my Eq6 pro and a quick start with Pegasus binaries. We gave Mars several shots , but later the pure clean disc of Uranus ruled the sky. Seeing and contrast improved greatly after midnight and gave some awesome views. M35 , later in the south gave a beautiful contrasty view with a 22mm LVW. We went for carbon stars , open clusters and planetary nebulae with a few oddities , all observable from the edge of town. Carbon stars . VX Andromedae , WZ Cass. ,RV Monocerotis and Hind's Crimson in Lepus were stunning. I gave included details below. Very well worth sorting out. Pegasus. M15 resolved . Andromeda . High power view of the "Blue Snowball", NGC 7662. This lead us onto the Cygnus planetary nebulae, the very bright NGC 7027 (+9). The elusive "Blue Flash" NGC 6905. We had different focussing and even before getting close to the ep the " blinking planetary" NGC 6826, was flashing wildly way out of focus. Open clusters here included NGC 6811 ("Hole in the cluster"), NGC 6910 "rocking horse " and the powdered glass of NGC6819. Cassiopeia. Never get tired of the triple iota.Onto the Pacman, NGC 281 with signs of nebulosity and the easy central triple , Burnham 1. Double cluster, M33 ( just there !) , Auriga clusters including awesome M37, NGC 2281, 1893,2281 and the asterism NGC 1790. Prize here was the gorgeous fish like NGC 2240 . Gemini . Gave M35. Mekbuda (SAO 79032), gave a wide view with a hidden third element.Wasat opened up as surprisingly did Kappa at the shoulder of Pollux ( drawn). Taurus. M1 (just there) NGC 1758 and the poorer NGC 1647. Monoceros. NGC 2301 ("Hagrid's dragon"), NGC 2353 ("Avery's Island ") and the lovely M50. Orion. 4 stars to Sigma Orionis, but no E or F in the Trap..Led us down to M41 in CaMa. Lynx. Just a spark of NGC 2419. Leo . Gave a wide Regulus and a lovely view of Algieba.NGC7339 was on view. Leo Minor gave the yellow and blue of Σ 1374 (SAO 61629). Up to UMa and a view of 57 UMa (great contrast in magnitudes, SAO 62572). Some areas of the sky stopped us stunned with clarity and seeing , other areas were bubbling. Cloud thickened and passed to the south and north. We spent hours in a clear area surrounded by cloud. No fine Optics will get you through bubbling stars , the closest nearly clacking together. We focussed and waited for the views to come. Nothing can prepare you for horrendous dew when the temperature fell. The dew strip had been gently on from kickoff , that worked. The mount was singing its "swish swish swish" tracking tune. Superb night. Great company , questions and dubious answers and the time just expanded ! Mind you if anyone asks me to show them "Bode's" again ,( one mate is obsessed), I'm off, Clear skies ! Nick.
  4. cotterless45

    Sir Patrick as the new £50

    Done , Sir Patrick. What's a £50 note ? old Nick.
  5. cotterless45

    Big frac shoot out !

    We were soon dewed then iced up. Patbloke's 120 Equinox was again a joy to use . I caved in and kept the 120 aperture mask on the C6r. The first thing we noticed was the increase in contrast to clusters , such as the double cluster. In no order. Gemini . Gave a beautiful split to Wasat and a very challenging Propus. We enjoyed M35 and companion before hitting the Esquimaux nebula. Getting this up at about x200 gave the hood and the central white dwarf , this just blinked in and out of view. Aries. Lovely view of Mesartim (gamma) the "ram's eyes" , first split by Joseph Hooker in 1664. Which led us onto NGC 1664 in Auriga. Down to the flickering theta (Bogardus) and not the stable easy split that we had last time. The Messier clusters followed. We still had 8 hours to go ! Andromeda . A superb view of our closest binary , Groombridge 34. We picked up the faint +8.1 primary and little dot of the +11.4 companion. This has a very fast 2.9" per annum proper motion. Both kappa and Σ162 gave triples. Cygnus. Look at Rukh ! That's a sight ! Pegasus.Σ3021 gave a lovely triple with a split to the faint companion. Lyra. The wide Aladfar and surrounds to eta Lyrae giving SHJ289, HLM19 and SEI584. Monoceros. NGC 2301, no night would be complete with "Hagrid's Dragon " across the field of view. Orion. Catching the binary at the end of the "3" in the "37" cluster ,NGC2301. Trapezium stars would not settle, so we had a look at Hind's Crimson star, deep crimson delight in Lepus. The challenging Keid (triple) in Eridanus. We followed that with the cheerful greenly colour disc of Uranus. Comet 38P/ Stephan -Oterma, gave a difficult ghostly speck in Gemini. We returned a couple of times. Seeing varied a lot as did general sky brightness being very good zenith way. Pat had a coffee and mince pie . I had two cans of Stella and two big whiskies ! Didn't feel the cold . It did get a bit nippy, notebooks and books were sliding over each other's ice . Cancer. Tegmine , my favourite, a staggeringly beautiful bright triple. Went straight over to Beta Monocerotis to compare. OTU ! No.1 son came out in his socks . Pat showed him a selection of chocolate box views. Gradually cranking up the raucous AVX to full steam ahead. Our guest had cold feet about the views. "It's all stars". M27 was fluff and M57 a ring. Stargazing is not in the genes or socks . Later the moonglow followed by itself climbed up. I got a Lunar V. You want a great view , try the 120 Equinox with a 5mm Vixen LZW ! Certainly cracked open some very tight binaries. Lessons. The sky dominates what you observe without a struggle. The 120 Equinox controlled the brightest stars with ease, it behaved reasonably well against the yard cannon. Not all eyepieces are equal. We had stunning views with a 13mm Nagler, 8.8mm 5000 Meade UWA , 5mm LVW and the Meade HD really wowed with crispiness. Missed out loads , a long night , but so very memorable for the company , banter and those clear skies ! Nick. Thawing out the notebook !
  6. cotterless45

    Blinking planetaries !

    Kick off 5.30 and four hours before the gibbous moon kicked off. Seeing started as pretty poor. In the East , tight binaries were clacking together. It improved later on , but gave a chance to observe and admire some current planetary nebulae. These were all without filters using a 120mm aperture mask . Really surprising how they vary in brightness and size . I kept to x92 to get contrast in light edge of town skies. Some took x200 , such as NGC 6543. They blink well in the field and view and are obviously non stellar in a sharply focussed field. Some great colour here , ending up with the "Blue Snowball". I got M57 at x 240, the whole glow just filling the view. Clear skies !Nick. Here's Rob's superb guide , can't get the link up through gremlins. PlanetaryNebulae: a little guide Qualia posted a topic in Observing - Deep Sky PlanetaryNebulae Chapter 1: Historical Background Messier - The Unknowing Discoverer At the end of its lifetime the Sun will swell into a red giant, a moribund star hundreds of millions of kilometeres in size, expanding out beyond the orbit of Venus and Earth. As it burns through its fuel, the Su..
  7. Cracking night before the Moon came up. Closed the 150 aperture down to 120 , gave some more contrast to the views. Some lovely seeing Cracked open some tight binaries such as Σ2854. Best views were the faint companions to κ Pegasi and 3 Pegasi. Clear skies ! Nick.
  8. Very readable and current 2018. Written by Dr. Maggie with such enthusiasm that I can almost forgive its glare. Just packed and presented with info. Lovely readable book ,Nick.
  9. cotterless45

    Gadgets that work !

    Thanks to prompting by a couple of observing buddies , the wallet was prized open allowing cash and moths to escape. I hate buying gadgets that don't work , these do ! First up. The Antares twist lock self centering 1.25" adapter. It works so very well and so smoothly. Enables your eps etc to be held securely by gently twisting the knurled ring . Very well finished and a joy to use . secondly . A right angled polar scope finder and adapter. This comes in two bits . The adapter is wonderfully made and fits snugly onto the eq5/pro /6 polar scope. Plenty room for those long adjusting bolts that replaced the grub ones. The right angled finder fits snugly onto the adapter giving a x1 or useful x2 correct view. In addition it can be focussed and swivelled round out of the way when you're aligned. just the hammer if you need a better viewing and securing gadget , Nick.
  10. cotterless45

    TeleVue 13mm Nagler Type 6

    Brilliant ! My 13mm gives wonderful contrasts and tack sharp views . It's quite remarkable on binary stars , often picking up doubles at a useful x92. Enjoy ! Nick.
  11. cotterless45

    Equinox 120 opens up the sky !

    Yep, really shocked at times to see what 120 caught. Pat kept adding extra companions, including to sigma Orionis. Tempting to go down from 150 mm, but some tight squeezes ,the 150 view could put a car through the separations! Really great to showcase a few targets, Nick.
  12. When a good friend arrives bearing a 120 Equinox tooled up with a Maxbright diagonal on a Moonlite focuser , something says you're going to have an enjoyable session. No way were we going down the "same old " targets road ! Despite the Moon , we kicked off heading away from the glare. Andromeda gave the initial test for good seeing and we managed to consistently crack 1.1 arc second gaps. The Lacerta clusters wowed with their dusty cores. What stood out for me was the ease of spotting really faint close companions , especially to monsters such as Propus, Bogardus and Rukh. The diffraction discs were just astounding . Tegmine provided my highlight , it was great to catch the E and F stars of the Trapezium with ease. Lovely to catch the gems of Monoceros and Gemini. Packed up at 4.30 , really astounded by what we had caught from the edge of town. Probably missed out loads ! clear skies ! Nick.
  13. cotterless45

    Portable heater to keep the cold away

    Don't be making your own poor seeing ! You can experience this at star parties over central heated tents ! Good thermals , especially neck protection, good socks , boots and a hat will keep the cold out . Nick.
  14. Ultra stable night , just a peek at 36 Andromedae and there was a large clear gap ! Wish that the devotees had been with me , some truly awesome sights. Of particular interest , Ho 197 and Σ 162,lovely triplesΣ52, ΟΣ21 and Σ249, giving lovely delicate companions , in particular the last one here . Really surprised to get some of these with the Moon shining widely . clear skies , Nick.
  15. Brilliant ! I'm getting dark sky fever ! Thanks for putting this together and posting , ace ! Further light shows here ! http://www.glendaleskye.com/aurora_borealis.php old Nick.

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