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Ant

Thought that I should test out the Sky Guide.

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Well after writing the guide with Ian, I thought that I should really go out and make sure that it all makes sense.

The evening didn't start off too well, put my lad to sleep at 7:30 and fell asleep myself - which made me feel awful, so decided to veg on the settee. I was walking round the garden talking to Grant and decided that I should set up after all (cheers Grant).

I set everything up - but left all the imaging gear packed away :shock: - there's a first :D. So I spent about 2 hours, with a few minor breaks, just observing.

The sky tonight is not good, but there are stars up there. Couldn't see the milky way, M31 or the double cluster with my unaided eye's.

I knew where the double cluster was already, so started with that. I only used one EP - I'm embarrassed to say I don't know what it is (Meade I think), low power around the 20 - 26mm range I would guess.

The FOV with this EP is massive, I estimate around 2 and a half degrees. The could cluster sat nicely in the middle and the more I looked the more I could see. The double cluster for me is always a lovely sight. I was so tempted to go get the camera.

I looked at the double cluster for around 20 minutes.

Next on the list was M31 (not in the sky guide I know), I've wanted to see M31 through the ED for a while and I have to say it was rather disappointing. But IMO galaxies always are (gonna get flamed for that :lol: ). I think that the imaging side of things is going to be great with this scope though. Really looking forward to imaging M31 at Kelling.

Next I moved onto the M103, this is a nice fairly compact open cluster, with the wide FOV of my set up tonight it was easily found right where it should be. There was a nice contrast of star colours, with the orange star sticking out like a sore thumb against the other hotter stars. Sat and gazed at that one for around 15 minutes - but to be honest the sky could have been better.

Then moved over to NGC457 The Owl Cluster, again another open cluster. This is quite a bit bigger than M103. Doesn't look anything like ET :wink: . I would say that this cluster was nicer than M103 (except I liked the colour contrast in M103).

This is a fantastic piece of sky, full of some lovely objects. Take time to look at them and you'll enjoy it.

I've learnt several things tonight.

1. I'm gonna hate observing with a refractor.

2. I need a proper finder.

3. I'm gonna need a pillar (longer) or the extension for the HEQ5.

4. I need a better quality low power EP.

5. I made a mistake in choosing Perseus for this months Sky Guide - it's too damn low in the sky.

Ant

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Nice report mate! Glad you got some clear sky! I got about an hour or so but it was the first time I mounted the 10" on the eq6 so had the whole family queuing up to take a look at M52, M57, Double Cluster and M13 - by the time they went to bed it clouded over! Been waiting an hour or so and called it a night :wink:

Could be fun at Kelling if we syncronise some of the imaging - could be fun to combine results and see what happens....

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Good report Ant, Cassiopia/Perseus has loads of good stuff to observe. Weather being what it is I think most of us will be lucky if we see half of what's in the guide!

Tony..

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Just like to point out that I did view a few of the objects in the sky guide and rather than repeating myself, just have a look in todays' entry in my Stargazrs blog entitled 'It's been a while, but it was worth it!!'.

Tony..

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