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By Double Kick Drum
Sky clarity was not great with a VLM at zenith of magnitude 4.9 but a quick peek at Jupiter indicated seeing was better than usual. All four moons were on display (two on each side) with a nearby star, BD +20 744 completing a near perfect line of six .
Jupiter looked most impressive to the North of the Hyades. A more scaled down version of this was the nearby NGC 1647, with the asteroid 4 - Vesta in the same 25mm eyepiece field of view. 25 or more individual stars were visible but no hazy background which didn't surprise me given the lack of transparency in the sky.
I then moved across to the similar cluster NGC 1746 which had almost as many identifiable stars.
To the South of Taurus, two more open clusters were visible but much less impressive. NGC 1807 and the inferior NGC 1817 appeared in the same 25mm eyepiece field of view and appeared as chains of 15 and 7 stars respectively with little hint of any nebulosity.
A cloud bank was closing in from the Northwest but I still had time to find the very condensed open cluster NGC 1857 in Auriga.
All of this crammed into just over an hour.
Let's hope for more and longer opportunities soon.
Happy New Year!
Observing Session: Tuesday, 1st January 2013, 17:50 hrs to 19:00 hrs GMT
VLM at Zenith: 4.9
New - Revisited - Failed