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Shooting fish in a barrel

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Popped out into the countryside for new year with my dad. His first look through a telescope, and my first stargazing trip to somewhere nice and dark. Plenty of "Wow!" moments for us both, as we went on a tour of the favourites. Every single thing spotted was hugely better than I've ever seen it.

No star hopping or maps either. Just look up, spot the target, point the scope at it, and away we go :-)

M31, naked eye, huge and bright, with both companion galaxies obvious to us both, and the orientation of M110 quite apparent.

M33, jumped out of the finder scope. Orientation obvious, and I think a suggestion of a spiral.

Crab Nebula, a bit less obvious, but located immediately, and with a hint of tattered edges.

Various open clusters, Pleiades, Beehive, M35, Double, all awesome.

Uranus. Took some searching low in the sky. Nice colour, but no moons.

M81 and 82, two for the price of one in a lovely view.

Orion... my goodness. I'd love to know, is it possible I saw the wings curl back on themselves in a complete circle? That's certainly what it looked like. Assisted by a new Oiii filter, but still spectacular without.

Horsehead? Nope. Worth a punt, but it was black on a black background.

Token new object: Almach's Ghost. It's the perfect name for it.

The ease with which we spotted things felt like cheating. I fear every other session from now on is going to seem rubbish. Gets me raring to get a few more dark site trips fixed up for 2016, with a bit more time on each target.

The Armageddon arrived at exactly midnight on the horizon, with the moon and Jupiter accompanying the drive home, and the promise of a brand new year ahead.

Anyway, happy 2016 everyone.

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Nice, well done. Happy 2016 to you too


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Nice one :)

As mentioned above. Nothing beats dark skies. As you realised Paul it's almost like cheating :grin:

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