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Southern views.

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Kicked off early , then it clouded over. Set up again a few hours later went through to a chilly midnight. Our Italian neighbour must have had escapees , his 10,000 watt security light was on and off . Certainly lights up the sky.

Very surprised at getting a super bright view of "Hubble's variable Nebula" NGC 2261. Stayed in Monoceros to get lovely clear views of 15 Mon at the base of the Christmad tree NGC 2264. It's the bright star, look a little closer and there's a faint companion. Beta Mon gave a right bright clear view of this most lovely triples.

Managed a great view of Sigma Orionis , the fishhook and the group of iota Orionis. Even a smudge of NGC 2419 showed up in Lynx.

Not a night here for galaxies, went for some great open clusters, M 48,M46 and M67. Gave them a bit of magnification to boost contrast to get some dimmer stars. They do look fine in a wide field away from lights.IMG_6708.thumb.JPG.e5c7591cdaf8677f302db1f6c40152c9.JPG

Quite surprised at how high up Hydra is. I tried for the lovely view of Σ1348 and Σ1355 ιn the same fov. Caught the former split easily. Just about make out the head of Hydra when the light went out.

Lynx gave some great binaries including the triples 12 and 19 Lynchis. Not a bad session and great to be out at New moon, under 

Clear skies ! Nick.



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Hi Cotterless

I've been observing for many a year but until recently I hadn't tried much sketching to record my sessions. Your sketches have caught my eye.  Could I ask you to describe your method and materials. Its looks like you have a ring bound note book there. 

I managed to track down Hubble's Nebulae last night from a heavily light polluted sky. It took a while to find so I figured if I sketched what I saw the next attempt would be much easier.  Is black background with white dots handier seen at the eyepiece?

Many Thanks




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Hi Ciaran, any black card does . You'll get 4 on an A4 sheet. Recently I found some A5 spiral bound note pads , much more convenient. A4 card I'd great to start out with and not expensive.I prefer black paper , it hides a multitude of mistakes , any errors can be blacked out and darkened in photo shop. 



Chinagraph pencil, nice and soft . Draw the circles ( I use a glass ) .  Chinagraph Pencil good for nebulae , galaxies etc.

 Hybrid gel Pentel pen, fine .7mm. Great for writing and stars as dots. Different pressures give you different brightnesses. Use chains and shapes of stars to get several down at a time.



Take your time , start with something easy . I use a dim red head lamp. At the ep. You soon get used to looking at drawing and the target. It's very relaxing.Put your target in the middle then work outwards in each direction. Note name , scope , date etc.

You'll end up with a personal record which a others like to see. You can add cardinal points by noting the field drift (west). For even number of mirrors , north is anti-clockwise from west ( Newts) . For an odd number (frac with diagonal) , north is clockwise. This'll help compare your picture with others. 

You'll definately see more detail as your eye is relaxed and intent on picking out detail. Hope this helps , give it a go !


Edited by cotterless45
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Im sure I have them somewhere but my south has very limited viewing with the street light. Cloudy and rain here want try the mount out now its back.

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Excellent report, Nick. I saw 15 Mon with it’s companion for the first time last week. It was great to see something new within the Christmas Tree cluster. 

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