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On the Poop Deck!


dick_dangerous
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Ah Puppis, I never thought of you as a Northern Hemisphere constellation, and yet there you are crowning over the horizon...

After a tasty meal with friends, I discovered as they left that there appeared to be not a cloud in the sky. With the moon due over the horizon in an hour and a half I took advantage of the rare opportunity to get a quickie session in down the park and sallied forth.

Puppis was my main target tonight - one of those constellations that's around for what seems like a fleeting part of the year, and well placed from my usual observing spot. Conditions were great (If cold) and a short forty-five minutes yielded some good results:

  • M93 - The finder star (Asimo.... asbo... er... Asmidiske!) was very obvious so I trained my finder over and got my first scalp - faint little M93. It's a nice cluster, often forgotten, but rather a pleasing little string of stars skirting the horizon.
  • M47 - Heading port side (Or maybe it was the aft) I managed to successfully locate M47 after my serendipitous finding of Caroline's Cluster last time. M47 is one of those big brassy clusters, very populous and very spread out. Hard to miss really, but my excuse last time was that I hadn't star-hopped far enough.
  • M46 - The fainter and, dare I say it, more interesting sibling of M47. A fine mist of stars with the 25mm that becomes a sprinkling with the 15mm.
  • NGC 2438 - Of course the reason that M46 is so interesting is that it's on a line of sight with this little planetary nebula. With the UHC filter it stands out against the background cluster as a little blob of fuzzy light.
  • M42 etc - It's rude not to - very bright with lots of detail tonight.
  • M65, 66 - I had a look for the Leo Triplet but it's still low in the east where the Light Pollution is at its worst (And the moon was about to come up) so I couldn't spot it. Having said that, even at zenith its a stretch in the park.
  • Jupiter - Save the best for last, and Jupiter never lets you down. Just past opposition it was presenting a big, clear disc, with lots of bands visible and all four moons showing nice little discs in the 8mm lens.

At that point I decided I was too cold and trooped back in - it might have been a short little session but it was highly enjoyable!

DD

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Sounds like you had a lovely session, DD. M46 is often an overlooked cluster but is a bonafide gem. I feel on a darker night later on in the year, you will be able to tweak M 65, 66 etc. Thank you for the report :smiley:

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Nice little session and report. Puppis hides behind tree a lot over here, but it is well worth the effort to scour it when it shyly rises over the crowns

M46 and 47 actually get surprisingly high. I always used to consider anything from Argo Navis to be a Southern Hemisphere thing.

Sounds like you had a lovely session, DD. M46 is often an overlooked cluster but is a bonafide gem. I feel on a darker night later on in the year, you will be able to tweak M 65, 66 etc. Thank you for the report :smiley:

I've got M65 and 66 from the park before. The full triplet is very much a dark sky thing, but it was beautiful from Cornwall last year. We're off to the Lizard this Spring, so who knows what I'll manage then!

Great report - not a constellation I've really dabbled in. I'd be interested in your complete spectrum of descriptions from "fine mist" through "sprinkling" and on to, let me see, "peppering"??

Paul

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I'm careful not to use the phrase "Fuzzy blob" too much. Tends not to engender enthusiasm!

DD

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Cold and cleat, I braved lying on the back step to get the streetlights behind the fence. Chance to catch orion before it goes behind the tree for another year. I was looking for nebulae and picked up a few I haven't found from home, so not bad.

Cheers

Peter

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It's quite fortuitous that most of the interesting objects in Puppis are in the bit we can see, unlike Scorpius for instance. M46/47 I always find by following a line from Murzim through Sirius and going east, they reach a decent height. M93 is quite a bit lower but easy to find off the 2 stars of Puppis that are visible (Xi and Rho). It's a nice little cluster.

I always think of those 2 stars, that follow behind the "triangle" at the base of Canis Major, as the last bit of the winter sky in the south. Once they start to set there is absolutely nothing in that direction until Corvus and Crater appear, a good 2-3 hours later. The bit below Alphard is a complete void- I have spotted a couple of stars of Pyxis in the binoculars but have never seen anything of Antlia. A bit of a let down when there is so much to see in the northern spring sky.

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