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Last nights observing


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Had a really enjoyable night out last night.

I tried to avoid my usual favourites (although I did sit and stare at andromeda for a good 15 minutes) and find some new things....

M15 in Pegasus - nice Globular cluster, resolving granularity and stars pretty much to the center.

M38 in Auriga - was just clearing the roofs of the houses, but a got a nice view of this open cluster.

M33 in Triangulum - completely alluded me - had a good old scan around but no luck - and eventually gave up and moved on.

The Blue Snowball - was a nice and round little ball with slightly fuzzy edges. I thought I could detect a bit of a blue-ish tinge to it, but not sure whether that was just my brain telling me its blue because thats in the name, or whether I actually saw it.

M76 - The litte dumbell - was faint at first, but with a good long stare and a spot of averted vision I could see an almost rectangular shape.

Then to round things off Jupiter had popped out over the neighbours roof. I'd been looking forward to this... I've only seen Jupiter in a 4" reflector before and last night was the first time I got to look at it in the 12" Lightbridge. Even though the seeing wasn't great and it was low in the sky over the rooftops it was stunning. I could clearly see the main banding and with 20 mins of looking start making out some subtle variations in colours across the planet. It seemed best last night using a 12mm eyepiece (so 125x mag) - though I'm looking forward to completing my equatorial platform build as I find the constant dob-nudge pretty distracting.

All in all a good night out (with the exception of a slight chair problem which I'll mention in the DIY forum). Really looking forward to Jupiter getting higher in the sky earlier as the months go on and was pleased to bag some new DSO's.

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Good report Jim, nice session.

Agreed on the Blue Snowball. My eyes don't perceive colour very well at all, even Jupiter is just shades if grey to me, but the Blue Snowball was definitely blue to me. Saw it for the first time the other night, very nice, and bright! Have you tried the Blinking Planetary? That one appeared distinctly green to me.

Jupiter is looking good isn't it, should be able to use higher mag as it gets higher and we hopefully get more stable and transparent skies over the winter. I was viewing at around x170 and it looked fab, plenty of detail.

The equatorial platform sounds like a great idea, will be much better observing at higher mags without all the nudging :-). When will you get it done do you think?


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Seems I wasnt imagining the blue then

Stu - I havent seen the blinking planetary yet - so will put it on the list. I started the platform this weekend - I've been taking pictures and I'll start documenting the build in the DIY section of the forum - no idea how long it will take... probably depends on how many problems I hit on the way.

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I look forward to watching progress Jim

The blinking planetary is fun. With averted vision you see the whole planetary nebula, when you look directly it disappears and you just see the central star. The last time I looked, the skies were very good and I could see the nebula ruth direct vision so it didn't blink really. Either way, a nice object which shows a nice green colour.


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