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Southern Hemisphere Jewels from Melbourne City Centre

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I'm currently on a business trip to Melbourne and had the foresight to bring my cheap and nasty 10x50's that I don't mind having putting in as hold luggage on the plane. I couldn't take my decent bins as I'm lugging a laptop, so would be too much hassle take as hand luggage as well.

A couple of nights ago I was walking back from the office to my hotel across the centre of town and noticed a pretty decent clear sky. Decided to get the bins out and go to the small park opposite the hotel to see what I could find - not having any familiarity with the southern sky. I was very surprised at how much I saw from the city centre - light pollution is nowehere near as bad as I get from my home in London. Centaurus and Crux were near the zenith slap bang in the middle of the winter milky way. There are a lot of very bright clusters in that region from Centaurus through Carinae. In 20 mins I bagged NGC 2516, NGC 3114, NGC 3293, IC 2602, NGC 3532, all of which are some of the loveliest binocular objects I've seen.

The icing on the cake was Omega-Centauri; a globular cluster that makes M13 look like a mote of dust. Utterly gobsmaking. Very bright and about 3 times the size of M13.

I'm here for another week and can't wait for another clear sky!!

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Ooh, that brings back memories from my stay in Sydney last year! I brought 15x70s, and the objects seen there were just great! Hope you get more opportunities to look.

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Don't forget Centaurus A. (NGC 5128). Beautiful in binoculars, the Carina region is mind blowing with dozens of Open Clusters.

Best of luck for your remaining time down under,

ATB ... Eddie

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ω Cent is about 4° south of NGC 5128 (Centaurus A). My 7 x 50's show both in the same field.

Edited by pixelsaurus

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GeorgeB, you are wetting my wish list of viewing objects to see before my trip to OZ for the November Total Eclipse, hope I have clear skies as well? As for the British version of clear skies, cannot remember that far back!


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