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You look to the South on a crystal clear night and spot Scorpius and Sagittarius gleaming above the horizon. Probably some of the best observable night sky objects are within these fine constellations. My 4.5 inch reflector was ready to go at 12 AM on Sunday morning, I aligned the stars Altair and Dubhe in the two star alignment feature on its GoTo mount . I was thinking of either imaging Saturn and Jupiter. But I chose to observe some of the dazzling and interesting objects in Sagittarius.

I slewed my telescope to M25 first. a beautiful open cluster in the top part of Sagittarius' border. My next target was the fantastic Sagittarius Star Cloud or M24, an object I have been longing to see! All the objects had a dusty glow to them and since it was in the top part of the constellations boundary. Atmospheric haze did not affect it, after that. I decided to check out the stars that make the "Teapot" asterism in Sagittarius. I went through all that I could see from Ireland. I could see all the stars other than Kaus Australis :(.

Following my adventure in Sagittarius I decided to move my way up the Milky Way into Scutum the shield. I observed the famous Wild Duck cluster in my highest magnification and what a sight it was! But, as I was browsing Stellarium for other interesting objects in Scutum I found something cool indeed. What was it? It was the asteroid Juno! Juno was and is currently magnitude +9.9 near the Wild Duck cluster. I star hopped my way using Stellarium as a map. And I found it within a few minutes. It may not of looked the part but hey, in astronomy one of the main things you must understand. It's not about what it looks like, it's what it represents.

With that I decided it was time to go in as it was 1:30AM.

Thank you for reading! Clear skies to all


Edited by A budding astronomer
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That's a glorious part of the sky you were exploring - it should be even more stunning in a month or so with the sky getting marginally darker.  Great list of objects on view though.



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Nice report Adam, I enjoyed reading that :)

Must say personally I find M25 about as dull as it's namesake road :D but I guess we are all different. :) 

M24 on the other hand :eek:  OMG what a sight that is :thumbright:
Wonderful area of sky down there though. 

Have fun out there.

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Sounds like a very enjoyable evening. It's a part of the sky that makes up for the short nights I'd say. One can pack so many jewels into a short period one almost feels one's been out there all night...

And one creeps back in the house I'd guess without being frozen solid...

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  • 2 weeks later...

While you're out looking south, have a try for M7, the most southerly of the Messiers. It's about 4° above the horizon from Exmoor and maybe 2° in co wicklow, so definitely a challenge! If it were a "fuzzy" there'd be no chance, but an open cluster with individual stars shows up surprisingly well considering the ridiculously low elevation :)

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Great post! A cracking area of sky to observe, but one I usually have to wait my holiday for.

Must remember though, if we get a clear spell after a heavy down pour, it clears all the muck out of the atmosphere and I can see it down low between the houses from home.

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Very nicely presented.  It's always uplifting when the feeling of discovery and wonder comes through.  If the opportunity presents itself, the opposite end of the Milky Way, in Cassiopeia, has a night full of wonders as well.  Not so many nebulae, but many clusters that prod the imagination, and for Northern latitudes they can be a bit more accessible for a longer time on the calendar.  Thanks for sharing!

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On 02/07/2017 at 08:06, timwetherell said:

While you're out looking south, have a try for M7, the most southerly of the Messiers. It's about 4° above the horizon from Exmoor and maybe 2° in co wicklow, so definitely a challenge! If it were a "fuzzy" there'd be no chance, but an open cluster with individual stars shows up surprisingly well considering the ridiculously low elevation :)

I just managed to see M7 in late July from North Wales which is the same latitude as Co. Wicklow.  My experience is described in my report in the Deep Sky section and it's called "In Search of the Southern Messiers". 

Edited by DavidR100
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