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Double Kick Drum

8th / 9th February 2015 - Two Nights In A Row, Sort Of

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So, with the Moon not rising until just after 10pm and the littl'un in bed soon after 7pm, a window of opportunity. I was ready with cooled scope soon after 8pm and began the evening with M1 (The Crab Nebula). A fine sight in the 15mm eyepiece. Quite a large nebula, which appeared rectangular and slightly grainy when UHC filtered. This was the first time I had seen it for over two years.
 

M35 was a lovely sight, with companion NGC 2158 a misty patch to the South of a group of stars South West of the main group. The use of averted vision was not necessary for this but was needed for IC 2157, a slightly more diffuse cluster further West again.

Next up was 8 - Flora, an Asteroid well placed in Leo. At magnitude 9.1, it was quite easy to locate nearby to Eta Leonis.

Another constellation rising quite high by this time is the magnificent Ursa Major. I managed to identify two more moderately diffuse galaxies which were in close proximity to Gamma Ursae Majoris; M109 and NGC 3953. Both of these required gentle movement of the scope to pick up.

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Observing Session: Sunday 8th February 2015, 20:10hrs to 21:40 hrs GMT

VLM at Zenith: 5.0 - 5.1

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Monday the 9th started with another clear sky and I was back out there by 8pm. I started with a quick re-alignment of my finderscope after I inadvertently loosened the wrong screws when disconnecting the night before (doh!).
 

I began by going back to check the movement of 8 - Flora from yesterday.

 

Before some light cloud rolled across Ursa Major / Leo, I also managed to locate NGC 2841, a bright and quite condensed galaxy near to the double star 37 Ursae Majoris which sort of makes a pair with the magnitude 8.5 star HD 80566. This is quite an easy find from the signpost stars Theta and 26 Ursae Majoris and is more prominent than a number of Messier objects.

 

With cloud parked across half the sky, I finished the night with the camera trained on Orion for a few wide-angle snaps.

 

I cannot remember the last time I had two nights running under the stars but it is nice to be back in the game. The Asteroid collection is into double figures and is ever growing;

 

1 - Ceres

3 - Juno

4 - Vesta

6 - Hebe

8 - Flora

9 - Metis

10 - Hygeia

12 - Victoria

13 - Egeria

15 - Eunomia (my first)
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Observing Session: Monday 9th February 2015, 20:00 hrs to 20:35 hrs GMT

VLM at Zenith: 4.9 - 5.0 deteriorating as wispy cloud rolled in.


New - Revisited - Failed

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Love that 2841...fine galaxy.

Asteroid hunting...There are loads of those!

Nice read. Thanks for sharing.

Mark

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Super read, we had a good few hours here last night. Good to have some excitement back !

Nick.

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