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Clear skies at last! It's been a while since my last report but hopefully weather armageddon has now past us by and we can get out there doing what we do best. Due to early morning commitments, this was only a short binocular session but still satisfying none the less. I started with a quick check on Ursa Minor and yes, all stars were present and correct. The sky had moved substantially since my last session so I took a little time to familiarise myself with some old friends. M27 (the Dumbbell nebula) stood out quite well in Vulpecula, as did M29 and M39 in Cygnus. Overhead, the Milky Way appeared reasonably clear and it was very enjoyable just sweeping through the rich star fields. To the North-East, Casseopeia was beginning to rise. NGC 663 and M52 were both very obvious in the 15x70s. I couldn't see M32, once I had moved round to Andromeda but M31 filled a substantial part of my field of view. I have only ever seen the Andromeda companions in a scope. I wonder if anyone has managed them with a pair of binoculars. I then moved round to the Southern skies to test the sky out for future reference. In Scutum, M11 (the Wild Duck cluster) looked very nice but I couldn't find M26. To be fair, I didn't spend long looking.... there was Sagittarius (or at least the Northern half of it) just popping his head over the low-ish tree line. M22 was impressive, despite it being so low in the sky. Sadly, I wasn't sure if I could make out M28. Anything further South is impossible due to viewing restriction. M24 was not as clear as I had previously seen it but it is a fine starfield and tolerant of a bit of light thrown up by Medway, which is three miles to the South of me. North in a line from M24, I could find three fuzzies. First was the open cluster M18. I believe this has 20 - 25 members but the binoculars revealed just a very small fuzzy circle. Just North from there was a larger and easier fuzzy area to view. I look forward to getting M17 (the Omega nebula) in my scope sight. Further North again is M16 (the Eagle nebula) though obviously it was just the associated cluster that I could see. Nice to start the season with three new finds. I look forward to spending a little more time with Sagittarius. It is my favourite constellation. __________________________________________________ ______ Observing Session: Sunday 22nd July 2012, 23:30 hrs to 00:05 hrs BST VLM at Zenith: 5.4 New - Revisited - Failed