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cotterless45

SGL X1 , an observer's view.

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Thursday gave a short session, Friday two sessions broken by cloud and Saturday was just cloudy. Sunday was a very fine day, light cloud soon cleared and from dusk until the early hours there was a cold calm feast under 21.3mag skies. There was so much on view you must forgiven the many that I have by default of memory or beer , omitted.

By eye.
So many stars at the zenith, then clusters popped out.Melotte 111 was very bright and sparkling in Coma Berenices, the corner stars were easily visible as was M44, the Beehive. As darkness really cranked up, more stars and M35 appeared in Gemini, Leo and Virgo. Ursa Major was just astounding. In the north Perseus and Cassiopeia were still clinging on. Later Arcturus to Vega showed the bright Corona Borealis and Hercules with M13. Ophuichus and Serpens climbed with Lyra and all of Cygnus climbing out from the hills.
Taking a break from the scope and just looking opened up more details, just astounding.

Show tour.
As the first quarter moon was brightening up the west, just a short session for some seasonal showpieces, much enjoyed by Mark and the Manx man !
We kicked off in Monoceros with the lovely beta triple. Then the Christmas tree in NGC 2264 with the basal complex 15 Mon.
NGC 2301 ( Hagid's Dragon) looked winged , fine and sparkling. Later I came back for M50, 46,47,48 and a low M41.Down to the very red Hind's Crimson Star in Lepus, a glowing low coal.
Several folk had tried Tegmine and it was lovely to increase the magnification to split the AB at 1.1". As we were in Cancer M44 opened up , even beyond the reach of Mark's 55mm tv. M67 provided a full light dusty sprinkle.
Up to Gemini, catching the central white dwarf in the Eskimo nebula at x216. Then over to M35 and NGC 2158. Over to the Auriga clusters and M37 took the spotlight, or Moonlight well.
All were very pleased get a small sparkle of NGC 2419 in Lynx following the arc of stars. I later returned and got more by averted vision.The Trapezium, sigma Orionis , NGC 2903 and Bode's completed a short tour.
All three of the Leo triplet were caught, such an early start as the Moon went down with a beer, the hardcore stuff began.

We enjoyed a clear and colourful GRS in Mark's triplet, hurrah ! 
First to Gemini and the Bilobed NGC 2371-2 , a UHC filter helped, but one was quite faint.
M51 just looked stunning, with plenty detail and bright fires.Down to M63, M106 and into Canes Venatic , catching the "whale " again. 
I lost track of Leo and Virgo galaxies , catching M104 , the "Sombrero",the "eyes" (NGC 4435-8) and Markarian's Chain from M84 ,M86 and across.A 31mm Aspheric just filled the fov with galaxies with dust lanes and some spiral structure.
I lost count of galaxies and went for resolving globular clusters.

By now the dew was horrendous. I switched to an 8" F6 Newt and had a fantastic view of M5 in Serpens. This is my favourite globular cluster, we resolved a mass of sparkling stars surrounding the bright core.

This and the view of Jupiter in Dereck's 16" Dob will stay with me a long time.
As will the splendid atmosphere, friendliness and accessibility of all who make this great event,
Clear skies,

I image.thumb.jpeg.aa26aa3a5b7d628fae46444image.thumb.jpeg.7c20e3a85f9ca2d406b8822image.thumb.jpeg.94fe3ff6467a9d96bf9b5f4enclose these bits as its good to know what you're looking at , sometimes. The Mass of galaxies can look confusing, easiest is to sort out the brightest Messiers then work down to what your sky will permit.

Clear skies !


Nick.

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brilliant write up nick. i think all that stayed on sunday night had a amazing time and like you said mag 21 + skys were ace.

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What a cracking and detailed report, so informative. :)

Kudos young Sir.:hello2:

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Proper stargazing that is!

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The mob had a good night also bagging many faints ...was great to observe at a star party!!! Wonderful read Nick old boy. Clear dark skies with good mates take some beating!

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Nice one Nick, best skies I've had for quite some time. M51 looked fab in the 8" and I lost count of the galaxies!!

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Great write up Nick and good to see you again. I managed some observing for 4 out of 5 nights - that 's not bad by any standards and certainly in comparison  with my last SGL 2 years ago.. Wednesday and Sunday being by far the best with some great views. 

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Good writeup Nick. I agree re Jupiter through Derek's 16" (once he columated it!).

Paul

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