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glennbech

M103, C14 and an attempt at C1

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Hi!

The sky is like the sky is nowdays, with  the moon high at night and near full illumination. I had an hour or so last night between nursing kids and going to sleep and decided to fill in a few holes in my 2016 observation list. 

M103 & C13 (NGC 457) I have seen the open clusters in Casseiopeia before but only by goto, and and in low quality eyepieces. So I picked up my prepared observation plan and went for this pair. By centering my WO SWAN 33mm (19x) on Ruchbah and moving the scope slightly south and east I get both M103 and C13 into the 3.7 degrees of view. 

I moved over to M103 first and switched to my ES 4.7mm (132x). My conclusion is that cluster is not very exciting visually, but it's now on my list :)  C13 or the "ET cluster" is another story!

I am sure the ES 4.7 is made with the ET in mind. Two bright eyes (Phi-1 and Phi-2) a full body, arms and legs could be imagined easily and stretched the entire field of view. I could see nebulosity in the "body" area, coming from unresolved stars and as I observed dim stars came into view and vanished as seeing changed. Many stars in the body region could also be teased out by averted vision. That experience can only be had at the eye piece. A photograph will never to it justice!

C1. I found the location easily slightly below Polaris, but found nothing in the area where the open cluster should have been. I must wait for darker skies I guess. 

I spent a couple of minutes on Jupiter but it only gave away the two usual bands, but I think I saw some structure in them.

I am also  having fun, learning new skills. I have only been looking at the sky for a few weeks now after years of DSLR wide field photography. For instance, I think I will save the money and not buy a finder. I can easily point the Megrez 90 in the general direction of a star, and hop to the target from there with my 33mm WO 72. 

Clear skies!

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"Caldwell 1" (NGC 188) is rather faint and non-descript, and I needed to make a few attempts with an 8 inch at a dark site before managing to find it when I did the Caldwell list some years ago. Its number of course, comes from being the most northerly object in the list, which is ordered by declination. It made me realise that doing the Caldwells in numerical order wasn't a good idea. It also illustrates a feature of the list, which is that many objects are included because of their astrophysical interest, rather than appearance. NGC 188 was once thought to be the oldest known cluster in our galaxy. It's old, but no longer holds the title. It's just a faint cluster, and there are plenty others like it. So it's one to tick off the list, but no show stopper. There are quite a few others like that in the Caldwell list, which is why my preferred post-Messier list would be the one by Alan Dyer for the RASC Observer's Handbook:

http://messier.seds.org/xtra/similar/rasc-ngc.html

 

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Very well done indeed, I can't say I am over the Moon with M103 either the other cluster,ET I have not viewed. Caldwell 1 is a very faint cluster that I have seen with my 115mm Apo but it is not easy, I cheated and used the 18 inch, that shows it pretty well.

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Nice report. Always nice to hear of fellow stargazers enjoying themselves.

I'm surprised at the largely negative comments about M103, I have enjoyed observing this cluster. Regarding C14 I have never been able to make out ET but can easily see why its alternative name is the owl.

 

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Great report!

I rather like M103 (assuming I'm remembering the right one!). Quite a charming and colourful little arrowhead shape. Worth another quick look when the moon has cleared off maybe. 

Thanks for mentioning C1. I hadn't realised how well located it was. It has gone straight onto the list for next time I'm out :-)

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Very nice report! :) I enjoyed reading it! 

Thanks for sharing, Piero

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