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An unexpected bonus

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So I took a peep outside at about 7.30pm and was surprised to see an almost completely clear sky here in East Devon. I quickly carried my 10" Dob into the back garden, and within 5 minutes I had started observing. I just love how easy the Dob is to set up!

I managed to bag a few new objects, which I was really pleased about. The highlight was the M37 open cluster in Auriga. At low magnification, it looked like a stunning box of jewels. After a couple of minutes concentration, I felt I could see structure in the distribution of stars, like filaments or rings. Beautiful. Its nearby companion M36 was also easily found, but much less inspiring by contrast.

I had been trying to spot the Rosette Nebula for a while, and failed again. I did however, clearly locate the Satellite Cluster at its centre, so I know I was looking in the right place. I think I need much lower magnification and a darker sky to succeed with this one.

Another new Messier, the nebula M78, was soon located just east of Orion. Again, though, darker skies needed for this one, as little structure was visible.

Another success was clearly resolving the F star in the Trapezium for the first time. It took a while, but I was eventually satisfied I had spotted the elusive F.

Finally, I finished off the session by bagging my first globular cluster, M79 in Lepus. Far from spectacular (a small round smudge!), but satisfying none the less. I'm looking forward to Hercules coming round to a better position!

All in all a great session (just over an hour in total), that has left me feeling inspired and satisfied!


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The Keystone of Hercules is well placed on the line from Arcturus to Vega, before the Sun comes up. M13 is quite easy to pick out by eye.you should also get M92 above the keystone.

Also a good time to spot comet Catalina. M3 is quite well placed a bit later on at night ,as Ursa Major climbs , head half way between Cor Caroli and Arcturus. M53 is another current globular at the base of the Coma Bernices.

Had the same cloud break here , spent far too long on M37 ,


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Nice report Ed :smiley:

How did that patch of sky miss me on it's way from Devon to Derbyshire ? :embarrassed:

Just after posting the above I peeked out and it was clear here as well !

Popped the Vixen 4" refractor out and got nice views of M42 plus a number of other DSO's for 20 mins or so. Clouds have invaded again now !

Still, anything was a bonus tonight :grin:

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Very nice report on a good session. Have you tried an OIII or UHC filter on the nebula. The really can make a difference.

Good point. I don't have any filters yet, but I'll definitely be looking to get some soon. Despite being in a rural location we still have a quite a lot of light pollution from nearby towns.

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Good report :)

Also got out for about 2 hours, though cut short as was defeated by Dew in secondary mirror on 10"

Managed to test out new baader 8-24 zoom as well as lumicon uhc filter

Managed to find the crab despite bad LP, filter didn't really help also with dew so will try again in darker location.

Viewed Eskimo neb as well as couple doubles, m42 , m35, double cluster, couple more open clusters, Pleiades- good number of objects

Saw 3 meteor around 834, 838 and 904 all same direction roughly radiating from plough through Capella and Gemini regions, last one was best wasn't too bright maybe mag 3 but had about 1.5 sec burn so nice streak across sky :)

Rain seems to have cleared sky, whilst was dew around, Sky appeared to have good clarity

Grass was so wet and soggy managed to annihilate the grass too, now a mud patch in garden!

Good night ,shame was so much dew, need to build new shield for 10" as old one fallen apart

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Very nice reading!

I agree with laudropb about filters for the nebula. With my 60mm the only way I managed to 'spot' the rosette was with an OIII filter and an eyepiece giving me an exit pupil of at least 4.0mm.

I saw M79 too one week ago in Italy. :)

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