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End-of-year session

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Was out this morning, unplanned, with the 5.1" Skywatcher Heritage Flextube, under decent 5.7 mag (UMi) skies. Started with M 35 and the adjacent fuzzy 2185, always a nice contrast. Slightly to the west,  oc IC 2157 was quite conspicuous. Over to the Eskimo nebula 2392, that showed the brighter central region and the fainter outer shell at mag 150x, even without filter. Following a reminder, sticking in the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas, I spotted for the first time the Peanut Nebula  NGC 2371/2 in Gem, a 11.2 mag double-lobed planetary, three degrees SW of Castor, easy to find with the 26 mmf ES. SkySafari's description "similar to M 76" was accurate. A slightly rectangular, NW-SO orientated patch, for short moments showing a central constriction; easy to hold with direct vision at about 150x (Seben Zoom, Baader 2.25x barlow). I went over to the beautiful "Winter Albireo" Iota Cancri, a 31" distant double, with  colour contrast ( deep-yellow primary, -blue-white secondary star;  probably misnamed in SkySafari's description part as Kappa Cancri??). I finished with the UFO galaxy 2683 in Lynx. This 9.1 mag edge-on galaxy has a surface brightness of 12.9 and showed it's almost 10 arc min, 4:1 spindle, NW-SO orientated, easily with direct vision. The brighter central core region could be made out, but no more details. I finished after 11/2 hours at -3°, the observation No. 73, quite pleased, and so to bed.

Best Wishes to You all for 2020, and

Clear Skies!


P.S.: SkySafari's Kappa Cancri seems - while correctly located and labeled - to be misnamed as Lambda Cancri in the description....

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