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8" versus the sky.


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I don't know what's happened to our sky recently , it's  pretty grim. Good to superb seeing , but the contrast has been just bad. No moon , no security or neighbouring lights.So I loaded up the 8" OO f6 to catch some faint targets. The sqm gave 19.08 at the zenith being a darkish grey.

Certainly very tring when you can't get into double figures in the eastern sky , counting the stars by eye . Never mind , off to Skye in a few weeks.

Started with the bright core and surrounds to M94. Thought this was a decent start, down to Coma Berenices and just glimpses of NGC 4631 (" the whale"),M64 ("black eye"),M85,M100,M88, M98,M99, the pair of M84 and M86,M87. M65 was just about there. Something better with M3 and later with M13.

Returned to some binaries and some delightful results starting with 24 and 35 Comae Berenices. 35 Comae B gave a lovely triple , AB being 1.2" apart. With smaller apertures this gives yellow and blue. Sissy Haas gives 47 binary details , a very rich area to explore. Kept to high targets as I'd set up down by the house. 84 Virginis gave a lovely faint companion and Σ1757 a delicate split.

Spent a lot of time here , but whatever the view , no galaxies showed up. After midnight the sky got brighter and that was it ! 

Clear skies ,Nick.IMG_6808.thumb.JPG.9121b4aa6486af39e5e95e44c6bb3ae0.JPG



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I'm across the river from you ?  and would have to agree that the sky has been pretty poor lately.  As per my previous post,  we are supposed to be Bortle 5 here but I am not sure how accurate that is,  comparing it to our dark sky location up North - Bortle 4, which is markedly different in sky quality. 

I did get out for a bit last night, wasn't forecast clear skies so good job I'm always 'skywatching', lol.  One thing I have come to realise is that I should probably make a list of things I would like to look at prior to setting up, make better use of what little chances we do get at the moment. 


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Nick I was discussing a brief session on another thread and mentioned tge amount of moisture in our atmosphere at present. It affected the views really badly.

The whale for instance, where it normally looks like a sparkling river running through it's centre was dull and mushy. The Leo triplet was far from pin sharp as it normally is.  

I could still pick the whale out in the finder but compared to other sessions it was difficult. Maybe just where I was but I couldn't see the hockey stick in there. 

Not many more chances to get out before I wrap the scope up for summer but I hope for some calmer drier weather to move in again. 

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18 hours ago, Skywatcher130 said:

One thing I have come to realise is that I should probably make a list of things I would like to look at prior to setting up,

I've recently started this, when I get the chance of cloud free skies, it makes a huge difference instead of just going for the obvious.

Sorry for the hijack @cotterless45

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