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mdstuart

Dark sky observing in Wales

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Lovely clear dark sky here in Angle in Pembroke. Woke up at 5 after the moon had set. Only one orange Street light outside. I walked to a dark part of the village. A bit of glow from the north from Milford Haven and to the east from the power station but other than that it was pitch black.

Amazing sky full of stars with the milky way stretching across from Perseus, right overhead and then down past M35 which was visible to the naked eye right down to the left of Sirius.

Went galaxy hunting first as usual. The Andromeda galaxy was easy to see with the naked eye. Tried M33 but could not spot it visually. It was easy to see with my 8x30 binoculars. I managed to find M81 in the binoculars with direct vision. M82 was  just possible with averted vision next to two mag 8 stars.

After that I observed some messier objects. M34 was visible to the naked eye. 

With the binoculars the Orion nebula showed its shape nicely.

I was pleased to see the crab nebula M1 with the binoculars. It required averted vision and was small, not surprising as it's mag 8.4.

As the sky was dark to the horizon I had a look at Lepus under Orion. I spotted a mag 4.7 star visually below and right of B Lep right down low at an altitude of 16 degrees. I managed to pick out the globular M79 mag 7 with the binoculars to the left of a T of mag 7/8 stars.

Pleiades was magnificent with the naked eye and even better in the small binoculars with four stars visible within the square of the asterism.

Well worth getting up early to see the sky as it should be at night before they put up those artificial moon satellites in geostationary orbit.

Mark

Edited by mdstuart
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Nice report Mark.  I cracked M33 for the first time a few days ago  - not naked eye mind you, but with the 10" Dob, very satisfying!  (Not had the Dob long, and it is proving a great buy!)

Doug.

Edited by cloudsweeper

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Great report Mark hope you are keeping well. Its great to observe the night sky with binos plus your eyes alone. If you want to study the layout of constellations and the location of bright DSOs this is way to do it.

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Good to hear you can get dark skies with the oil terminal and power station, I’ve thought about going out there as the bird watching is good too. Great report, very nice part of the country!

Peter

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Any idea of the SQM Reading? Most places in the auK suffer from lingering light pollution in some direction.

 

Peter

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Lovely stuff Mark, a very relaxing way to go observing. Pretty impressive list of naked eye objects, I’m assuming you were  over mag 6 NELM at the zenith if you caught 4.7 down so low? Nice!

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So I could only still pick out mag 5.4 ish stars overhead but the difference from home was the mag 5 limit went almost down to the horizon in most directions. At home near Bristol I would find mag 3 stars hard to the south etc.

The clear sky app said Bortle 4 20.9 mag in Angle ..at home near Bristol its Bortle 5 and mag 20.4

Mark

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