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Another two (short) sessions down-under

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May 4 and May 5 were two very different evenings down here in Sydney. The first just gave me a few peeks at through gaps in the clouds

NGC 3766 (Caldwell 97) was first up: an easily spotted tight cluster

IC 2944/2948 (Caldwell 100) was next, a beautiful cluster/nebula combination which has a surface brightness reminiscent of M42 (perhaps a tad less).

The gaps in the clouds duly closed and I had to content myself with just 2 new Caldwells. Still very pleased. The 15x70 bins really let you make use of the slightest break in the weather.

May 5 was much better, until clouds rolled in again. In a fairly short session I got 8 new objects:

NGC 6231 (Caldwell 76) I quite accidentally ran into this in Scorpius. It is a bright, compact star cluster next to an asterism of three bright stars, one of which is strikingly red. A real beauty.

NGC 6087 (Caldwell 89) The S-Normae Cluster is easily spotted (though it is quite small) close to Cr 299, which appears larger than C89, but consists of much fainter stars.

NGC 6025 (Caldwell 95) is an open cluster a little further south, and could just be held in the same FOV as C89.

NGC 4833 (Caldwell 105) is an easily spotted globular just north of 8 Muscae

NGC 4372 (Caldwell 108) is a much more difficult globular, close to gamma Muscae.

NGC 4609 (Caldwell 98) is a tiny open cluster "touching" a star due east of alpha Crucis. It lies in the Coal Sack. It is difficult to spot because of the (foreground?) star, the glare of which tends to obscure it at low magnification (careful focusing and/or better bins needed).

As clouds came in, I spotted Antares, and got a quick look at M4, which I had somehow not logged last summer. A large fuzzy ball next to Antares showed up, and another Messier logged.

A nice finish to a short but sweet session

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