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Jupiter and M13


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Another shortish session tonight as the alarm will be going off at 07:15 tomorrow this morning. Scope set up at 22:30 and Jupiter in the cross hairs. As others have mentioned elsewhere, seeing tonight was not as stable as last night so the definition in the banding was not as clear. The moons were still quite sharp however.

After last nights failure to locate M5, I thought I would try elsewhere this evening. I decided M13, the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules would be a worthy target.  One thing I learned tonight- I am far better at reading Ordnance Survey maps than star charts! I spent 10 minutes or so breaking my neck trying to centre the finder on what I thought was The Keystone but, having referenced Starlight, I was way out..... Once I ceased being positionally challenged I decided to pop in the 40mm EP and start casting about. Before too long I spied a milky blob floating in the FOV so moved on the the 10mm EP and confirmed that I had located M13. A beautiful sight which, after upping the magnification utilising the X2 Barlow, I started to resolve individual stars as a dusting of light. The only blot on the session was the impact of light pollution from nearby street lighting. This find would have been almost exquisite had I been at my dark(ish) site. I stayed with M13 for 20 minutes or so before I decided that it was time to pack up. I have a diabetic cat to inject at just after 7:00 a.m. and, she draws blood if I'm not careful so, best I get to sleep to steady my hand.

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Nice one. M13 was glorious tonight for me, observing at 1am so the city lights had dimmed a little and the sky was clear and uncommonly dark. I could see individual stars across the cluster and in general it was the view I had been hoping for from my new larger scope. Also had a very long look at M57, one of my favorite DSOs. Had a go at the double double, but could barely split only one of the two pairs. My old little Mak was much better at double work than my new fast newt. Albireo is easy to find and easy to admire.

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