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Truly Epic


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This hobby (obsession) is difficult in that there have not been many truly uplifting, exciting, satisfying nights (not if you live in the UK!) I feel.

I remember a Saturday in February 2012, when the grass was crispy white and the weekend of cold weather was accompanied with that clear, dark blue / black at sunset. Orion in my 10" dob with nebulosity that was so obviously discernable. That evening the temperature in one of the domes was minus 12; I hurt my finger tips putting the tube back into the car.

February this year, finding the Triangulum Galaxy in my 3" Tak. March in Confolens at the Knowledge Observatory in France; a failed Messier Marathon, where I "only" saw 68 Messiers, but the thrill of seeing for the first time some of the objects in Scorpius; packing up at 630am with the scope, bags and eyepiece case covered in frost, knowing that I'd seen 27 Messier objects for the very first time! I went to bed that morning physically wrecked, legs, back and eyes aching but so elated.

After years / months of trying, last night at  Seething I managed to see for the first some of the elusive objects in Sagittarius. We're at 52 degrees, so the "teapot" looks nothing like those guides in the popular astronomy magazines, it's low and in the murk! With the help of an experienced observer (and this is the reason to join an Astro Society / Star Party) we saw the Lagoon, Triffid, Eagle and Swan Nebulae, with and without a UHC...I could see the shape of the "swan" albeit upside down. My Sky Safari app claims M16 "is found rather easily". WHAT? Maybe from SoCal, but not from South Norfolk!  

M22 is huge, a large as M13, but so difficult to see as it's always low.

Seeing the Lagoon and Triffid in the same field of view (a Tak 76 with a Panoptic 24) was breathtaking, beautiful and so makes up for the nights where it all goes wrong.  

Am still struggling (and cursing) to see M74 and M77, maybe not with a 3 inch scope, who knows, but I'll be trying (and cursing) until I do.

Thank you to Helix on here, for your help on Friday, and to DP who lurks here occasionally.




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