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John

An hour using both eyes

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John    17,139

Had clearish skies this evening following a mostly cloudy day. The outlook did not look settled though so rather than putting a scope out I decided, rather unusually for me, to have a binocular session. My astro binoculars are a pair of Japanese made Opticron 11x70's. They are quite light so I dispensed with a mount for them and went "hand held" for the duration. How daring ! :icon_biggrin:

Despite some local light pollution issues (neighbours kitchen lights on and off all evening :rolleyes2:) the sky was actually quite dark in places so I was able to pick off quite a few DSO's while moving around the garden avoiding the illuminations. My guides for the night have been Stellarium and the Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas.

The most numerous targets for this session were open clusters which make fine and accessible deep sky targets for binoculars. My "hits" tonight were:

Messiers 11 (the Wild Duck), 25, 103 45 ( the Pleiades) and M34. NGC's 654, 663, 659, 957, 744, 1027, 7789, 7790, 7788 and 884 + 869 (the Sword Handle double cluster). Also Melotte 15 which is the cluster of young stars in the Heart Nebula (nebula not visible) and the famous asterism The Coathanger or Brocchi's Cluster AKA Cr 399.

I also spied some of the notable globular clusters:

Messiers 13, 92, 15, 2 and the quite challenging for binoculars M71.

Just the one planetary nebula - the straightforward Messier 27 (the Dumbbell Nebula) and to round off the DSO's, 3 familliar galactic targets in Messiers 31, 81 and 82. I used the "other" star hopping route to find the latter pair (see pic below) and it worked well with the binoculars - easier and more accurate than using Phad and Dubhe as pointers so I'll be using it again in future :thumbright:

Managed to find Neptune still well placed in Aquarius just before the clouds thickened up.

If it clears again I'll pop out for some more but if not I feel I've done some good observing with a very convenient and surprisingly potent observing instrument. 26 DSO's plus the most distant planet in a bit over 60 minutes :icon_biggrin:

Here is the route I used to find M81 and M82 this evening and also a piccy of the tools that I used tonight.

 

 

M82-SN-tight_edited-1.jpg

11x70s.JPG

Edited by John
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Lockie    3,711

Impressive list of objects you've ticked off there John, glad you're enjoying the bins :)

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RobertI    926

That’s quite a haul John, a very productive session. It’s amazing how much you can see with bins, your arms don’t half ache after a while though don’t they? :cheesy:

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John    17,139

Arms have recovered a bit and the sky has cleared again so another 20 mins or so with the bins has bagged me Uranus, Messier 33 (quite large even at 11x) and then (no bins needed) a lovely bright meteor streaked across the sky through Taurus bisecting the Pleiades and the Hyades - an early Taurid perhaps ? :icon_biggrin:

Thanks for the comments and reading my report folks :icon_biggrin:

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BeerMe    273

This is how I envisage my observing reports to be in 10+ years.  For now, I'll mostly waffle....:-)

Great report John, as always! 

Edited by BeerMe
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Scooot    2,371

Nice read John. I've been out with my 8x42's following a downpour this evening as well.  I couldn't recognise anywhere near as many dso's as you but there were a couple of overlaps. 

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Davey-T    9,068

Had a fruitless search for Asteroid 2012 TC4, too low behind neighbours trees, managed to spot Neptune then had a look for comet Asassn but the Moon popped up and put paid to that plan so given up now :)

Dave

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Hayduke27    51

The Pocket Sky Atlas is a great accessory!  I have had mine since early September and have been loving it!  Great report, I hope to make it out to my dark site tonight, work be damned :homework:

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Hayduke27    51

I just realized I have never seen M81 or M82.  I am adding them to my list for this evening, and I'm going to try your star hop.  :headbang:

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Bruce Leeroy    57
1 hour ago, John said:

a lovely bright meteor streaked across the sky through Taurus bisecting the Pleiades and the Hyades - an early Taurid perhaps ? :icon_biggrin:

I saw that...starting due east heading westerly passing through the Pleiades, it seemed give off a green colour.:hello2:I was lucky as the sky must be 60-70% covered in fast moving cloud.

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alan potts    3,606

Nice report John, I often have a 15 minutes with my 70x10.5, very much the same though maybe yours are better quality, gets the old arms though even though I am fairly strong.

Alan

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nightfisher    6,459

John, great session, i have to admit that while i am not a fan of binocs, i would never part with my cheap Bresser 10x50`s they are handy for quick ten min grab and go and still say my best ever view of M31 was with these

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MarsG76    1,444

Nice report on a great number of objects... no matter what it's a plus that you had some time under the stars when it was a mostly cloudy day.

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John    17,139
4 hours ago, nightfisher said:

John, great session, i have to admit that while i am not a fan of binocs, i would never part with my cheap Bresser 10x50`s they are handy for quick ten min grab and go and still say my best ever view of M31 was with these

I'm not a regular binocular user either Jules, at least at night. Last night they fitted my skies and my mood just right though :icon_biggrin:

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Special K    971

Nice chair John, and a nice report too! One must get comfortable when using bins  that's for sure. I've got a reclining deck chair with arms that work well to stabilize if I scootch down a bit to view overhead.  

I use those stars to guide into M81/82 too and is more straightforward in bins than with an EQ mount. 

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scarp15    2,028

Enjoyable read John, accounting for many classic binocular targets.  

Edited by scarp15
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Piero    2,729

Very nice list of targets! M71 is rather challenging under normal sky with this aperture. I remember spotting it (and M56) took me a while with the TV60.

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Alfian    1,012

Thats a great haul John - in an hour! That "instant gratification" quality (if you excuse that expression) with binos  is hard to beat even the arms do start to feel heavy.

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