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What an evening!


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Had a visitor this evening, so I thought I'd get the scope out, just to show them a few stars, etc...

Anyhow, whilst they were here we looked at Polaris, M31, and Mizar. Then the clouds came rolling in and the visitor eventually went home.

Anyhow, I decided to stay outside in the hope that conditions might improve and boy am I glad I did!

As the clouds broke, I decided to start off with a look at Bode's Nebula. Now, previously I've never managed to 'see' anything other than M31 through my scope, a NexStar 4SE. However, this evening, bam! there it was! :)

I don't know if it was as a result of viewing with Pingster and Swamp Thing the other evening but I found I could see things I'd never seen before! :)

Feeling lucky, I next though, let's try for Garradd. My eldest son (11) was feeling excited at the prospect of seeing a comet, so using Stellarium, I got the Dec/RA details and put them into the handset (another first for me!). A few moments later and there it was in all it's fuzzy glory!

Next target - Jupiter! Unfortunately, the clouds came back and I thought that was going to be my lot. However, my son wanted to see Jupiter and so we decided to hang-on until midnight to see what would happen. By then, the clouds started to part and eventually, at about 12.30, Jupiter came into view. We got a lovely view of it and the four moons. Feeling a bit cocky by now, I even decided to try taking a few photos with a compact camera held to the EP. OK - they weren't too great (must get a cam or T-ring set!).

With my son off to bed, I wondered what else was out there. First off, I revisted Bode's, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke! Sure enough, it was still visible. :) Scrolling through the handset, my next target was the Ring nebula.

Pow! There it was! Even with a mere 4" I could clearly see it, complete with the ring shape. :) OK - it wasn't huge in my EP but it was certainly clear enough.

Feeling bouyed with excitment, next stop the Dumbbell nebula. Again, success! Much bigger in the EP than the Ring nebula and possibly a bit less bright, but visible all the same. :)

A few clusters followed and then I tried the Blue Snowball nebula. Now, I'm not too certain whether I managed to see this one or not. I thought I could just about make out a small circular splodge, not much larger in appearance than the stars, but it was so faint that I couldn't be totally sure.

So, that was my evening of observing. Lots of things I'd never observed before through my scope. Considering I couldn't get my scope to align properly when observing on Sunday, today was a real success and my boy went to bed feeling happy too! :(

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Excellent Chris! you certainly put the scope through its pace's.

I owned the 6se so know now capable your's will be.

The Blue Snowball is very small, even with my 925 and 9mm Nagler its not that large but is there for sure and does show a familiar blue tone, its still a really nice object. :(

Its great that you can get together with other people to observe, mind you if other bigger scopes are present that could be dangerous too. I had the pleasure of observing with tbird and his 12" dob, had great views but also had me thinking of more aperture :)

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Your enthusiasm is very infectious and brings back great memories of my own early wow days! But the great thing is, the wows just keep on coming! :)

Last night was the best I've seen Jupiter, I couldn't believe how much detail I could see! I got lucky too with clouds clearing after being solid for a good hour or so, it's great when it pays off!

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Well done Chris! Its great when you bag a great observing sessio. You live in a great area for back yard astro! Its nice to know me and swamp thing may have helped you learn to see. Swamp thin sure helped me find items i would not even know to view, objects that our goto hand controls never seem to suggest in the tour. Very odd hey? Once you see a faint fuzzy for the first time, like riding a bike you just keep on seeing them!

I am so pleased ypu gpt the goto working, two star align? Its magic when it does innit! And drives you mad when it doesnt!

Cant wait to our next next meet up. Maybe early Oct at new moon.

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