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Good Start (Helped By Tapping), Then.....

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Lovely clear sky - got 8SE from shed, set up, aligned on Betelgeuse and Procyon at 7.25pm.

As usual, ran a test of GoTo on a familiar target, M67 King Cobra (open) Cluster in Cancer - small, dense, dozens of clear stars (and many more less so), very nice.

Target for the evening was Leo galaxies, starting with M105 (face-on elliptical) - a very pale, fuzzy patch, south of HIP 52683 and (to east) the close pair HIP 52744/6.  Transparency was getting poorer by now, but AV helped me pinpoint the galaxy, as did moving (with motors) and tapping the 'scope.

I then tried for the Leo Quartet (or some of them anyway) - got the right region, west of a parallelogram of stars, so knew exactly where to look for NGC 3190.  Tried tapping and AV again, also increasing the mag, and dropping it to x48 for more exit pupil, all to no avail.  A glance at the sky showed why: extensive cloud cover!  So an encouraging start stalled this time out.

But there's usually something on show even with lots of thin cloud about:

La Superba, Y CVn, one of the brightest carbon stars - very orange indeed!  And....

M35 in Gemini - another compact open cluster, similar in appearance to M67, also very nice, and with NGC 2158 OC immediately SW, comprising about eight stars.

Then finished after 1 hour 20 minutes - not quite what I'd planned/hoped for, but still very satisfying.



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Posted (edited)

Nice report Doug, I wonder what the record is for time spent staring through the eyepiece before noticing the cloud cover. I believe I'd be in with a shot :)

Edited by johnfosteruk
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Nice session and report, Doug. I felt like I was emulating you last night. I got a quick half hour session in before 20:30 when the clouds arrived. Then got up at 2am for another couple of hours. Got to catch those clear spells while they're there :)

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