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A moody supermoon emerges through the clouds.
19:21UT 3 December 2017 100% illumination
C80ED f7.5 Canon 600D processed in Lightroom

IMG_2513.jpg

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That’s a very nice image. I did glimpse it briefly a bit like that. :) 

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Nice image, I wanted a photo too, but it was still stuck in cloud land by the time I went to bed, and I didn't even see as much of it as you did :-(

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    • By Hayduke27
      I think I jinxed myself.  I was taking the abundance of clear skies that is typical here for granted, and couldn't believe the cloudy sky reports I had heard so often from so many star-lovers from across the great pond.  I am now in the midst of my own helping of it.  It has been a full month now of anything from total overcast to thin clouds covering the whole sky, but have only had maybe 4 nights that were actually clear during that time.  Of these, 3 fell during the fuller moon phases.  One night I was coming home from the pub with my girlfriend.  I glanced up and noticed the dark sky was also about as transparent as I'd ever seen it.  I couldn't believe the detail I could see.  Of course, I had to work early the next morning and just couldn't get out with the scope, and have been a little bummed about that missed opportunity ever since. 
      I have the bug really bad right now, and really need to get out and allow myself to get lost in the universe again soon.  In the meantime, I figured I would share a report of the one good night I did make it out.  The sky transparency was decent but not great.  When it's cold and humid up here we tend to get a lot of suspended ice crystals in the air, and since my interest in stargazing has increased, I've noticed the impact this had on seeing.
      Anyway, the night was January 24th.  The moon was roughly half full and descending in the west.  I snuck away on a work night, determined to hit up an exciting list of targets I had gleaned from reading the forums here.  My usual observing spot was no longer accessible due to snowy roads, and I had to improvise with a nearby spot that was slightly more affected by the town lights, but not bad overall.
      I got my telescope aligned (still using the GoTo regularly) and started with my first target, NGC 2362. This has been referred to as "the finest non-Messier object," and I had never seen it before.  I was not disappointed.  This open cluster had a great mix of bright and medium stars, and was quite mesmerizing. I definitely rated this one an A+ and would like to spend more time observing it in the future.  
      Next was h3945.  Known by a number of other designations (HR 2764 in Sky Safari), this is a beautiful double star that is sometimes referred to as the "Winter Albireo" and is a truly beautiful multi-color binary located near Sirius.  It's a fun and easy to remember star hop.  From Sirius, head south and there is a triangle of stars that are medium brightness.  From the top star (closest to Sirius, called Wezen) look east and there are two pretty obvious wide doubles stretching to the east, each spaced evenly and oriented roughly north to south.  From the most eastern of these two doubles, if you follow the line they make to the north they roughly point to this double.  It is absolutely lovely, and had become a landmark in the sky for me.  I just love this one.
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      I next looked for NGC 2403.  The article I was reading described this as a "great galaxy for smaller telescopes".  I found it and it was pretty dim, a little washed out by the moon.  I would like to revisit this one later on a darker night.
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      I next moved along to M36, M37, and M38. M36 is similar to a small Pleiades. M37 particularly caught my attention as it has been described as "a virtual cloud of stars."  This did not disappoint, and I didn't have enough time to give this object the time it deserves in the eyepiece.  Another for a good revisit.  M38 looks like the "Pi" symbol, and is another bright cluster that is well worth a visit.
      I next moved over to 119 Tau, a nice red carbon star over Orion's head that I have been keen on observing lately.  Something about carbon stars has really held my attention lately.  I think I just never appreciated the fact that stars came in multiple colors, and I have been trying to pay my dues.
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      So there it is.  I am back under a snowstorm, but the Clear Outside forecast offers hope later in the week.  I could sure use a long night out.  It's amazing how one can look forward to freezing one's butt off.  I hope I get to do so later this week.  Clear skies to you all! 
    • By PeterW
      @Stu, @GavStar and myself met up for a bit of club observing Thursday night… cloudy so good that we met down the pub. Someone (not sure who) pointed out it was clear, so we headed out to stand and chat under clouds with a chill breeze for more than 2hours waiting for the skies to comply with Sat24. Finally we spotted what looked like the edge of the clouds… the others got ready to polar align. OK observing under a near full moon is not ideal.. but it does help with setup and checking your charts! 
      So what to look for… using Gavins new  “magic eyepiece” we headed straight for the Horsehead, just visible, the flame slightly more so above. We were using a TEC160 on a goto panther mount, with 55mm plossl and the TNVC adapter to the intensifier, using  a 6nm hydrogen alpha filter to “help”. The gain control worked really well to tune the balance of brightness (and noise) vs detail. The “white phosphor” giving a very neutral and “natural” view.
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      Swapped in a longpass filter and checked on M35 which looked great, M3? and then M81/82, very clear dark lane in the latter.. Clouds finally made a return and we packed up the wrong side of 1am, feet nearly frozen solid. Seemed like many of the streetlights had turned off as well, which is interesting to note. Going to be fun to poke this setup at nebulae when the skies are a little bit more conducive to observing.
      PeterW
       
    • By markarian
      Supermoon in all its colourful glory
      C80ED f7.5 Canon 600D
      22:08 UT 3 Dec 2017 99.9%
      Processed in Lightroom
       

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