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13th/14th May : Summer pickings.


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Watched as the Moon went down over Sin City. Then got rid of all extraneous light by use of 6 washing line poles and old throws. This gives a lovely dark enclosure, eyes really got adapted. Not bad for mid May , temperature was almost frostio ,had to go back in for warm gear. Put on the iPod to drown out the fighting cats and rustling of hedgehogs. Plus unknown rustling .

Saturn was rising along the south, a quick look showed some wobbly detail, but skies were transparent to faint targets.

Serpens and Hercules were high and I got the double and triple stars here. Including Struve2007 at x80, 100 Herculis, the celestial cat's eyes and the great contrast of Sarin at x150. 49 Serpentis is a tight orang double at x125, Struve 1987 is a gold/blue pair even at x40.

Then onto Ophuichus , the lovely bright cluster NGC6633 and the summer Beehive IC4665. IC4665 is a lovely cluster to the north of Cebalrai .This area is rich in globular clusters , NGC6366 is in line with M10 and M12.

I caught a lovely view of M104, The Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo just as it went into an oak tree.

M64 , the Blackeye Galaxy in Coma Bernices at x40 was stunningly bright, more magnification showed grainy detail.

Cygnus flying from Cepheus climbed higher in the east which the garden faces. M57 was glowing and M27 was a giant powder puff in a lovely wide star field. Running the scope up and down shows the full density of the Milky Way. There's a whole mass of open clusters in this area, M39 was stunningly bright.

These summer evenings are so short, there's lots of targets rising for which you'll need

clear skies,


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Nice report. I was looking at that same area last night too and many the same objects.

Good to see the reddish Chi Cygni near max shining brightly at around mag 4 - an extra star in the Cygnus cross at the moment !

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