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August 24, 2016: Lovely stroll thorugh the stars with binoculars

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After a nice barbecue, when the smoke and vapour had settled, I decided to hook out the 15x70 Helios Apollo HDs, and indulge in a little casual stargazing. As a first, I almost always turn to Messier 13, the first DSO I picked up in binoculars when I started the hobby in earnest in about 1978. Easy "hole-in-one" target (I just aim the bins, and it is there in the centre of the FOV). The same held for M92 nearby, and M3. I almost always get that one using the line from Arcturus to Cor Caroli as a guide. A quick hop from Sagitta caught M27 very nicely in the 70mm bins. M81 and M82 were next up, along with M51, and M101. I then went after M5, which I often found tricky to find, by star hopping from Arcturus, but found much easier from Unukalhai (alpha Serpentis). I do not know why I always went from Arcturus. The new route is much easier, one to remember.

I then picked up M10 and M12 in Ophiuchus quite readily, and as I had M13 as well, made a little excursion to M11, making a nice little run from M10 to M13 complete. I had a quick bash at finding M15 (easy from Enif (epsilon Pegasi)). Looking just above the tops of the row of trees behind the house, I spotted my old summertime friend M16, and a little star-hop north and westward bagged M14, completing the run from M10 to M16 inclusive. M9 turned out to be hidden by trees, as were M17 and M18, so I left it at that. I did pick up two more galaxies: M31 and M32. M110 was hidden in the slowly increasing hazy cloud, and with a last look at the double cluster I called it a day. Very enjoyable and relaxing session

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