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Cornish Sky


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A brief swap of my light polluted Bristol sky for a Cornish canopy.  The transparency and seeing on Tuesday & Wednesday night were excellent, tested briefly on Jupiter a few times. 

Highlights were:

Jupiter, Spica & The Sombrero Galaxy as if by magic geometry plotted an equilateral triangle ! Who would ever turn down M104? Since owning a telescope its been high priority but its usually a tricky target. But from here tonight it was placed generously high, with some 2 bright signposts pointing at it.  I went hunting low power (x33) and got it easily and quickly.

Moving up to x74, the first thing I noticed was how delicate & compact it seemed, then the core (stellar but smudged), then the split of the glow across the centre by the edge-on dark lane.  It was with averted viewing (especially if above and central) that the true textbook shape became apparent.  I spend ages fascinated by this eerie glow, tiny in the 10mm eyepiece but colossal in every other respect.  I could have spent all night on it, and went back for deserved revisits.

Cygnus:  I don't have a filter to enhance the Veil & the North American Nebula remained elusive to me without filtering too.  Keeping things pure and simple:  Spend ages scanning with wide-field (x33) & concentrate solely on 'seeing' the obscuring dust of the great rift.  Does black get any blacker than this?  Getting lost is a whole new concept here, imagine being able to enter the edge of this cloak and get inside it light years deep.  This vastness of the cold dark dust & the cold wind blowing in from the nearby Haven off the north coast made me mumble Syd Barret's lyrics from Interstellar Overdrive......'Neptune, Titan, Stars can frighten'...............This hobby does some strange things to you if you spend too long out there alone.


Other targets viewed were: M13, M57, M101, Double Cluster, Double Double & many open clusters. 

Saw the Cone Nebula or NGC 2244 naked eye but could not verify details. 


Gear Used: TAK FC-100DF with 22mm LVW & 10mm XW


Edited by jabeoo1
grammer/spelling etc ect
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24 minutes ago, Alan White said:


Cornish sky, wonderful.
Go each Summer (as many do) and even then the sky when clear does not dissapoint.

What mount were you using?


It's an Altair Sabre II on a Berlebach Uni 28.  After getting used to the lack of Slo-Mo controls it has proven to be my favourite set up.  

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19 minutes ago, Alan White said:

James, thanks for the information.

I Keep looking at the Sabre for my ED100 and hovering over the buy button.
What is the FL of your rather fine telescope?

No problem Alan,

It is 740mm.  The ED100 would be great on a Sabre II & CG-5.  Just make sure of good balance and conscientious use of clutches / lock-out when loading & offloading the OTA whilst mounted.  The worse thing is to take off a heavy EP or diagonal and the OTA nose-dives the primary onto the tripod leg.  

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Great report James, we go to Mullion for a week or so every September, it's a multi purpose and Present Mrs Foster approved location because I get dark skies right outside where we stay and she gets what she wants out of it too. I've got this years target list well under way already and your report has me itching to get there again :)


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Nice report. I've appreciated Cornish skies for some years now, particularly in the area south of Hartland Point.  Cornwall has some of the darkest skies in southern England.  I might be wrong in thinking this but I see little evidence that Cornwall's authorities are particularly aware of the little gem they have in Cornwall's dark skies.  It would be good if Cornwall's pockets of dark sky could be given some kind of official protection. 

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My congratulations to the people who have worked on this application! It is great to see the rapidly expanding number of areas who have set up successfully collaborations with local councils and other groups to identify and protect the night sky.  The near universal roll out of more efficient (and better shielded) street lights is great news for those of us stuck under cruddy skies who are keen to identify places to visit/go on holiday to experience better skies.. 

My favourite way to observe is lying on my back looking up. The Gamma Cygni region is great as is Cepheus, never had many good opportunities to properly observe he Sagittarius region... need to go further south. Got to start looking for dark nebulae next time I am able to get to good skies.



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