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Sketches

A night of southern discoveries


Ags
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I travelled to Gran Canaria for my favorite planet, Mars, but it has let me down this year with its dust storm. After looking at Jupiter and Saturn from my hotel balcony with my Skymax 102 I noticed that Scorpio was fully visible tonight - unlike previous nights where Sahara dust has obscured the views and amplified light pollution. I hadn't researched Scorpio in advance, and the constellation is hopeless from my Dutch city home base. So I decided to simply work through the bright stars in Scorpio and see what I could see. Now I'm in and googling my discoveries.

I'll update this post with details but will save incrementally as long posts tend to go missing on my mobile phone!

In summary, I "discovered":

- Acrab, a nice bright and easy double star; it's the northern star of the 3 head stars of the scorpion

- μ1 and μ2 Sco, a wide equal false double (the stars are actually separated by over 20 light years). Find it by walking along the bright stars from Antares toward the sting - it is the third one in the line.

- NGC6231 / Caldwell 76 - a small cluster of bright blue stars, possibly some fuzziness about them. Find it by walking 2 more stars toward the tail from μ. South of the cluster is a pleasing group of three equally bright stars in an equilateral triangle, each separated by about .2 degrees.

- Not in Scorpio, but I spotted a fuzzy spot near Saturn in my finder scope, which turned out to be NGC6530. Closer examination with the main scope showed a distinct fuzzy patch near the cluster, clearly the brightest bit of the Lagoon Nebula!!!

Edited by Ags
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I was doing all the above observing at 138x with a 9.4mm Speer WALER. I revisited some of the targets with my ES 24/68. Much more nebulosity was evident in the Rosette - I could see several dim clouds surrounding the central cluster. I could not see any nebulosity in C76 at lower magnification however.

At 1.30am Mars was high enough for my final try of this holiday, and thankfully this time I could make out some very dim and indistinct markings in the southern hemisphere, and some limb brightening at the poles.

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I didn't think deep sky would be possible from my hotel. I do have a high up room far from the infernal lights around the pool, but I was very surprised by the excellent and instantly recognizable view of the Lagoon. I've never seen it before, and it is only my second emission nebula after Orion (planetaries excluded).

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Nice report and sights from further south.

Scorpio is always difficult from middle england and further south must be great to see such as M4 in all it's glory and the gems of Sagittarius.

Often thought of La Palma but would like a nice scope to use over there if I were to go. 

 

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Thanks. I downloaded a trial version of StarTools today to help process my holiday snaps. This is 36 x 5 seconds @ 50mm f1.8 from my hotel balcony (Saturn wandering through the Milky Way):

 

saturn-milky-way.png

Edited by Ags
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  • 5 weeks later...
On 19/07/2018 at 06:08, mapstar said:

Nice report and sights from further south.

Scorpio is always difficult from middle england and further south must be great to see such as M4 in all it's glory and the gems of Sagittarius.

Often thought of La Palma but would like a nice scope to use over there if I were to go. 

 

@mapstar Should you ever go and need a scope have a look at these guys: http://athos.org  I rented a small scope off them for the trip I've just got back from, if I hadn't left it till the last minute to organise I could have gone for a bigger scope :) 

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13 hours ago, James said:

@mapstar Should you ever go and need a scope have a look at these guys: http://athos.org  I rented a small scope off them for the trip I've just got back from, if I hadn't left it till the last minute to organise I could have gone for a bigger scope :) 

Cheers for the info James, I will do if I get out that way

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