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Holy Cow! It's Scorpius!

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Clouds were moving in yesterday eve, so no reason to lug out the big scope, so my youngest son (he's 12!) and I took the bins out into the garden.

"Little" Iain (he's taller than I am now :D ) was using his 8x40's, I had the 15x70's Resolux (Orion USA) on the tripod. Saturn was wonderful, less than half a degree from Porrima, they made a beautiful 'triple' with blue Porrima and another (un-named) yellow star in Virgo. Iain had the colors down in his bins, and with the 15x70's showed Saturn as an elongated object, brilliant yellow-cream color. Seeing was too poor, so no detail was available.

We swept north, hopping from Spica to Arcturus, and explored Coma Berenices and the nice clusters there. My son is learning about star types (spectral classes), having been involved in a science quiz challenge at school - (he had the astronomy section, of course!), and had a blast picking out different star colors and classes. I used my Green laser to trace constellations, and we would sweep them together.

Then my son took a look in the south-east and said - 'Wow - look at that red giant!' Looking away from the bins, I was thrilled to see Scorpius rising over the garden hedge. We looked for M4 and M80, but without success. The temps had dropped down to 40F, and the wind was picking up enough to rock the bins on the tripod, and we called it a night by 11PM.

We had fresh snow on the San Jacinto Mtn's this morning (that pronounced 'Saan Ha - SEEN - toe' chaps!), and rain clouds scudding across the sky. Had anyone told me last year I'd be out on Memorial Day weekend in a woolen undershirt, winter jacket (zipped up the the neck, no less) and woolen cap (with the ear flaps down!) - I would have laughed in their face! Never the less, it was a wonderful 'Father & Son' evening with the bins! :p


Edited by Ad Astra
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Great report. Binoculars are just great for this kind of stuff. I am not too surprised you did not get M80 if it is low in the sky, but M4 is quite easy due to its size. It does not have a very high surface brightness, which may have caused problems. When I was in Sydney I first logged both, but they were quite high in the sky by then.

While I was down in Sydney, I checked out the 10.5x70 Resolux at the BinTel shop (nice people there), and was really impressed by the optics. Much better than my Omegon 15x70. Unfortunately, they did not have the 15x70 (better exit pupil for me) so I did not get one. They are sold under various brand names here, and will shortly order one here (APM most likely).

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Great report Dan, sounds like you guys had a great night:)

I have just started using binoculars and i must say i love them, i have a pair of celestron entry level 10x50s mounted on a tripod and the freedom is just brilliant. Now i understand why they are recommended to novices and more seasoned stargazers alike.

With some of the stunning equipment you have the fact the bins still get used is testement to how great they are:).

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