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cotterless45 last won the day on December 19 2018

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. Everyone here's afraid of the dark. Wonder they don't start a street and security light magazine, old Nick.
  2. Setting up at midnight for three hours gave some beautiful dark views. Neighbours were asleep ,as were the many high security lights around. Kicked off with a few galaxies in Canes Venatici, just some streaks and fuzz. "La Superba" , Y Canum Venaticorum gave lots of poppy red colour , now a lovely glowing coal at +5.3. Both Arcturus and Vega were good and high. It's a magic line between them starting with Corona Borealis and then Hercules. Kicked off with "The White pea ", IC4593 . Discovered in 1907, a lot of magnification will pick out the central white dwarf. Very obvious blinker in low power views.A very bright NGC 6210 planetary ("Turtle Nebula"), managed a bright spot at high mag.central star. Then a very faint glimpse of the planetary ,NGC 6058. The globular cluster NGC 6229 is a bright +9.4 and distant at 100,000 lys. Sarin (delta) is a multiple system, gave a lovely glimpse of its secondary.Worth picking out. Rasalgethi gave a gorgeous red colour and an obvious close secondary at 4.6". Finished with a tour of the Corona Borealis. T ("blaze star") is always worth a look , currently at +10.1, a recurring nova waiting to pop. Σ 1932 gave a 1.6" split. Ζeta and Σ 1964 showed up together in a wide view, lovely contrast.. Sigma gave a wide 7.2" white and blue pair. Lovely crisp session. The mini led streetlights seem to be doing something good, hope that you can get to Clear skies ! Nick.
  3. This is blooming awful , no haven for birds ( hurrah for an illuminated bird table ) , insects or hedgehogs. Just needs a roof over the top . Why are some folk so blooming daft and inconsiderate ? Nick.
  4. After a few nights of Milky skies, it was a lovely surprise to get a bit of dark back. After 11 the golf driving range arc lights go out . That's a mile away and throws up enough light be be scattered over half the sky with moist air. The neighbour's security lights stay off and the air settles. Just absolutely bedazzled to get such results. Couple nights back had a struggle , but some very good results in Bootes. That bright star , Seginus , straight down from the panhandle leads the arm up to Alkaid. This is a tremendous area ! Mu Bootis ( Alkalurops ) gives a lovely triple sight. Epsilon Bootis ( Izar ) pick out the delicate companion from the glare ! Hardly any glare with theta Bootis, just lovely clear diffraction rings and a clean little B. Some difference the sky makes ! Lovely views to rising Leo. 49 Leonis gave the appearance of " a star with a planet". Onto 90 Leonis and a wide triple. Staying in Leo and a tight 1.6" ΟΣ215, really settled sky . Had a shot at the triple Σ1426, just about squeezed out .9" at x267 using a 4.5mm TMB. A very pleasing session with a few wows. Here's to more , clear skies ! Nick.
  5. Not much doing as far as sky conditions last night . Just set up and tried two challenges to get a comfy sitting at the ep.Took a while to get them as the companions are very faint and only picked up by averted vision. This can be difficult at high mag if there aren't any other stars to focus on. I tried a few eyepieces, 13mm Nager and 5.5mm Meade UWA getting there ,under clear skies ! Nick.
  6. Nightly visitor on holiday in Wales. First night I set the Dob up and there was so much noise ! This chap and a young one came back every night , Nick.
  7. Yo Chris , super post . Just about got Σ 1037. It was a lot easier last time I looked at 1.1". Most curious choice in AN, given that there are so many easy and very colourful binaries ,in Leo for example, Nick.
  8. A short session before the Moon glow got going. This time it was the "snow Moon", big bright and silvery as SWMBO pointed out . Very surprised to get a lovely unfiltered view of NGC 2440, a bright +9.3 planetary Nebula in Puppis. Discovered by Herschel , it bears the hottest central white dwarf. Continuing with obscure a lucky view pulled out by averted vision of 15 Hydrae . The B companion giving a 1.2" split with two further faint companions. Staying in Hydra and a great view of M48. Two further challenges in Gemini , Σ1037 and Σ1081. Looking at the Trapezium , the E star was quite obvious , but no sign of the F . Probably as Orion rested on the town lights. We've got led streetlights, the glow is pretty fierce , but doesn't give that horrible orange glow. Just a few clusters worth observing ,M46, M47 , M50 and the compact NGC 2420. Lovely early session with the yard cannon ,under , Clear skies ! Nick.
  9. Clearoutside and Scopenights gave massive cloud cover. Listening to radio 4 , I heard "clear breaks" and a touch of frost. Heading out at 10 gave three lovely clear hours . Transparency wasn't up to much , I usually don't look south west , but Gemini looked great and I had one of the best views of NGC 2392 , the "Eskimo Nebula". X216 really brought out the central star the bright core and the dimmer halo. Had a go at Coma Berenices galaxies , M64 ("black eye"), M85 with a star like centre, the faint M88,M91 ,M99 and M100 by averted vision, no great things there ! NGC 4725 at +9.4 did look bright as did the "needle galaxy", NGC 4565. M53 did show as a globular , but not much contrast. Better luck with binaries, very surprised to see the secondary of 35 Coma.b at low power, it opens out into a stunning triple. What secrets these low power views hold ! Cold hovered around zero degrees , no breeze and still clear. Porrima showed as very open at 2.8", a stunning sight. Up to Canes Venatici and a lovely view of "La Superba" one of the brightest red stars , on its way to becoming a planetary Nebula. 25 CNv gave a wide 1.7", a bit wider for Σ 261 . Followed this with a view of the colourful Cor Caroli. Just a few years ago and with less light pollution , I'd scan the remarkable CNv galaxies. Nowadays they are hardly a streak ( "whale galaxy") , plenty of accessible targets , under , Clear skies ! Nick.
  10. Hi Ciaran, any black card does . You'll get 4 on an A4 sheet. Recently I found some A5 spiral bound note pads , much more convenient. A4 card I'd great to start out with and not expensive.I prefer black paper , it hides a multitude of mistakes , any errors can be blacked out and darkened in photo shop. Materials. Chinagraph pencil, nice and soft . Draw the circles ( I use a glass ) . Chinagraph Pencil good for nebulae , galaxies etc. Hybrid gel Pentel pen, fine .7mm. Great for writing and stars as dots. Different pressures give you different brightnesses. Use chains and shapes of stars to get several down at a time. Take your time , start with something easy . I use a dim red head lamp. At the ep. You soon get used to looking at drawing and the target. It's very relaxing.Put your target in the middle then work outwards in each direction. Note name , scope , date etc. You'll end up with a personal record which a others like to see. You can add cardinal points by noting the field drift (west). For even number of mirrors , north is anti-clockwise from west ( Newts) . For an odd number (frac with diagonal) , north is clockwise. This'll help compare your picture with others. You'll definately see more detail as your eye is relaxed and intent on picking out detail. Hope this helps , give it a go ! Nick.
  11. Kicked off early , then it clouded over. Set up again a few hours later went through to a chilly midnight. Our Italian neighbour must have had escapees , his 10,000 watt security light was on and off . Certainly lights up the sky. Very surprised at getting a super bright view of "Hubble's variable Nebula" NGC 2261. Stayed in Monoceros to get lovely clear views of 15 Mon at the base of the Christmad tree NGC 2264. It's the bright star, look a little closer and there's a faint companion. Beta Mon gave a right bright clear view of this most lovely triples. Managed a great view of Sigma Orionis , the fishhook and the group of iota Orionis. Even a smudge of NGC 2419 showed up in Lynx. Not a night here for galaxies, went for some great open clusters, M 48,M46 and M67. Gave them a bit of magnification to boost contrast to get some dimmer stars. They do look fine in a wide field away from lights. Quite surprised at how high up Hydra is. I tried for the lovely view of Σ1348 and Σ1355 ιn the same fov. Caught the former split easily. Just about make out the head of Hydra when the light went out. Lynx gave some great binaries including the triples 12 and 19 Lynchis. Not a bad session and great to be out at New moon, under Clear skies ! Nick.
  12. Bright ! Couldn't even see M42 by eye . As the temperature dropped it got brighter , packed in at midnight -3.7 degrees. No benefit of being frozen to the ep. It did give a chance to visit some bright old favourites and low Messier's. No chance of anything faint . Followed by a tour of Leo .Algieba is bright and a stunning sight. Subra (ο ) in the lion's paw,gives a most delicate view, somewhere I had this as a multiple. 90 Leonis is a lovely triple system. Caught both " winter Albireo" sets . Thought that HJ 3945 was just superlative with brilliant glowing orange and sapphire blue. Monoceros gave some stunning clusters, including the overlooked M50 . Dropping down to C Major, caught M41, a bit of magnification giving contrast.M47 gave a beautiful view with a very bright binary foremost in the view. Had another look at the deep red coal glow of "Hind's Crimson " and compared it to the very bright "La Superba" (Y CNv). Very chuffed with the views , lingering over a few and a quick dot to dot attempt adds to the pleasure as does a hot choccy drink, under clear skies ! Nick.
  13. Some superb informative posts here and surprising results . At 8.30 I managed by recounting 9 stars excluding the frame stars. Only one was above the belt. Our southern sky is over town and bright. West of that are the arc lights of the golf driving range. I shall be putting that in the comments section. Some nights have been better in the early hours ,with a complete Orion bow on view. It might be a flawed survey , comparable to the back garden bird survey. But it does give CPRE a rough idea . In addition it might have got folks outside, although I thought the advice given on the BBC to sit in the garden until your eyes adapted was more an SAS trial than enjoying the sky ! Nick.
  14. As there may be a chance of clear skies , a bit of time counting the visible stars in Orion. You can also add suitable comments . Be interesting to report back with some numbers ,Nick. https://www.cpre.org.uk/what-we-do/countryside/dark-skies/star-count-2019?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=campaigns-update-2019-jan&utm_content=Campaigns+Update+2019+Jan
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