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Just a quick report on tonight's observation . Got an AZ GOTO mount on Monday and have the 130p mounted on it ... to be honest , I was worried about getting it set up right , but after a look around SGL found the information on coordinates that were needed and it works 100% .

3 new Messier and NGC targets were found tonight , well , 4 if you add NGC7000 , but it was too faint to count as a catch - it looked like a very faint cluster . 

The big catches tonight were in the Ursa Major region : Bode's Galaxy M81 and the Cigar Galaxy M82 . Both were well defined and bright , even in the 5 inch reflector and I was very happy to see them for the first time . Up to now M57 was my favourite DSO , now it's joint favourite with Bode's Galaxy .

NGC7635 Bubble Nebula was also a first and added to the list tonight . Several other targets , e.g. Pinwheel Galaxy , in Ursa Major region were attempted tonight but with no luck - maybe darker Winter skies will give better results with these .

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Nice report... this is only the beginning, you will see some amazing sights as you observe over the coming years.

 

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Well done Red Dwarfer, good that you got everything sorted ok, not always easy first time.

Some of those fainter targets do need dark skies. The easier ones tend to be the more compact objects such as globular clusters and some planetary nebulae.

Give M13 and M92 a go, plus M27 if you haven't already.

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Great report - M81 and M82 are a lovely pair.

M101 has low surface brightness, which means it is affected badly by light pollution and moonlight. If the Moon was up when you attempted it, then I'm not surprised you didn't see it. It will definitely be easier in the spring when it's high in the sky.

As well as globulars and small planetaries, bright open clusters are easy to see - M11 is a good one at this time of year.

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