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Mark at Beaufort

Observing near Lucksall (SGL star party site)

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My local Astronomy Society has made an arrangement with a local village committee to use their field, which has hard surface parking, as a new observing venue. The site is close to Lucksall so we have the same dark sky although there is a white glow from Hereford looking North - although not too high..

Last night I took my 12" Dob and went observing with fellow member Chris M who has a 12" Skywatcher Flextube. Chris is in fact giving a talk at the SGL star party in October on constellations - history and mythology.

The site has a 360 degree clear horizon so we started with the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. However, the main purpose was to assess the quality and darkness of the site viewing DSOs.

Chris wanted to concentrate on Sagittarius and we viewed M11, M16, M17, M21, M20 and M8. Chris used his Ethos 21mm with an Astronomik O-III whilst I had the 20mm Myraid and 2" O-III Castell. The views in both scopes of M20 and M8 was brilliant in fact I would say I had one of my best views of M8 with the amount of nebulosity on view.

We then went searching for NGC6822 ( Barnard's Galaxy) and NGC 6818 (Little Gem PN). The PN was easy to find but we both spent some time trying to see the Galaxy. In the end we both felt we had seen a faint glow and then referring to Stellarium the star field matched our observations.

We then spent some time observing NGC 6888 (Crescent Neb) and with the EPs wide field and O-III filters had a clear view of this Neb. This also was the case with all parts of the Veil. Also viewed the Dumbbell Neb (M27) and Ring Neb (M57). Finally, I tried to see the Cocoon Neb with H.Beta filter but just could not see it.

This was an incredible night and the Milky Way was shining so clearly so if you get the same sky at the SGL star party in October you should be very pleased.

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Great report!  Skies sure are dark out there and that’s an excellent result with The Lagoon. 

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Nice test drive of the skies ahead of SGLSP Mark. Fingers crossed we get lucky this year. Had some great views of the Crescent the other night, probably the first time since with the 16” at SGL10!


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Great report, with two times 12" dobs and 360° dark skies you cant go wrong. 

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