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31/03/2016- Gliding around Leo & more specific targets


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At wembury beach, as normal.

Once I got the scope set up and the camera taking photos of Orion & Monoceros, I went and looked at M42 to start off with. The bright arc looking as impressive as ever, the northern section faintly visible and the arc underneath the bright core faintly seen with averted vision. 

Next I turned to my star charts to try and figure out where not-on-earth Cancer was... After much conferring I roughly managed to locate it's brightest stars in the right pattern (a tricky constellation). And the beehive cluster was visible with the unaided eye, through the telescope it looked like an ocean of bright lights accompanied by quite a few dimmer friends in the field of view. While I was in the area, I managed to locate ι Cnc, an easy split in the 10mm SLV.

In Leo, I first had a look at Algieba, a more challenging split than ι Cnc but doable. I was a little surprised at both stars being brown, I thought one of them was blue but I may be mistaken. Next stop in Leo is the Triplet below theta leonis. All three galaxies appeared in the 24mm MaxVision, with the NGC obviously appearing much dimmer than the other two- my dad nearly didn't see the third! I could have thought that in one of them I spied some hints of 'spiral' structure. I'm uncertain about that, however. After failing miserably to locate Coma Berenices, I feared for not finding Markarian's chain... I don't believe I did, either. I scouted around the region looking down the 24mm MaxVision and found a number of faint fuzzies... But I think I was too far behind Leo to find it by scouting around like that.

I viewed M51, which was surprisingly better in the 24mm MaxVision than the 10mm SLV. It just made the galaxy dimmer and fuzzier. I checked on near by stars but they were all in focus. Perhaps too much light pollution? It was in the north so I'd not be surprised.

Mizar looked impressive in the new scope, with Mizar on one side of the MaxVision's FOV, Alcor on the other and Mizar B visible as a blue star clearly separated from Mizar A.

Jupiter was also looked at- My first clear view of the GRS!

That concludes the observation session!

The photo produced by the camera tonight: Pretty good IMO but there's that yellow blob obscuring the Lambda Orionis nebula!


Clear skies!


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