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First week with binoculars


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Evening all.  Thanks to you all so far for helping me working out my telescope purchase.  In the intervening period I purchased a pair of 10x50 Olympus bins and spent a week outside at least an hour every night working out what I am looking at.

I haven't kept a full log of each night in detail so I will summarise what I have seen.  It is not particularly dark where I live but I had had a chance on two nights to go rural and then to 'dark sky site' all of which has spoiled me!  Street lights go off after midnight here so I reckon that could make a big difference and will check later in the week.

Jupiter - The first and easiest target on the very first night.  I was taken back being able to see the moons in a straight line, one to the left and three to the right.  Over the week I have seen the arrangement change in distance between moons and even number of moons visible.  

Saturn - Very small but clearly yellow.  Sometimes I think I can see the rings and then I wonder if it is a blur on the lens or just not focusing.  

Something above and to the right diagonal of Jupiter - I am trying to work out what this is from Stellarium but I don't know for sure.   A possible candidate is M26.  I first saw it this evening and describe it as a definite white fuzz.  Could anyone please suggest an object and advise me how to correctly describe the direction/method to find objects to other people?

Coathanger - One of the first asterisms I came across by mistake and have used it every night as a way to find some other stuff I researched.

M27 - Managed to navigate to this every time from Sagitta.  From my garden is a faint white circle.  Rural I saw a less faint white circle.  Dark sky I saw a rather bright white circle and with some long blinking and everted vision I thought I could see faint details of the apple core shape at the top and bottom.

M31 - I first found this at the rural location semi by mistake and working off a vague memory of a route I read to find it.  Seeing this was the best feeling so far.  The idea that I was looking at an entire galaxy through only a pair of binoculars seemed quite amazing.   It was a white fuzz in the middle and with some blinking and averted vision I could see it spreading out sideways. I have found it again tonight but it mostly remains as a white fuzz blob but a rather large one.  It seems to take a bit of time in to the night before it becomes visible.

NGC6997 - I have inferred this was the object having looked around Deneb where there is quite a lot of action.   It was a smallish cluster and not particularly bright but obviously a cluster and the only thing on Stellarium in this area.

Milky Way - Whilst at the dark sky site I could very clearly follow the Milky Way and make out what I thought was dust between the stars.  

Mars - a very small but obviously red dot.

Stars - Not so easy for me at the moment to name different stars.  I know around Vega I have seen a double star one blue one more orange but this could equally have been somewhere else in the sky.  I have also seen a lot of stars in pairs often of different colours around Cygnus.





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On 21/09/2020 at 22:00, orions_boot said:

Stars - Not so easy for me at the moment to name different stars.  I know around Vega I have seen a double star one blue one more orange but this could equally have been somewhere else in the sky.  I have also seen a lot of stars in pairs often of different colours around Cygnus.

In binoculars, this was probably Delta Lyrae. The famous blue/orange double star in those parts is Albireo in Cygnus, but this is probably difficult to split in 10x50 bins


Also - if you still have clear skies, try the double-cluster in Perseus and also the "Alpha Persei Moving Group" which is a very odd name for a large open cluster of stars around Mirphak (the brightest star in Perseus)

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Managed to get out tonight briefly to a very clear open sky which suddenly became covered in an annoying thin cloud.  Not quite thick enough to block everything but thin enough to obscure most stuff and reflect a lot of background light.  So what I could see between the gaps was washed out.

I found the street lamps going off made a significant difference.  With very little dark adjustment the whole sky was lit with stars.  I did struggle a bit navigating since I am not used to sky being in this position as most of the time I have stopped observing some hours ago.

Mars - looked a lot bigger than last week.  It was a very bright and vivid red.  I would have said it was as bright as the moon might be had the moon been there.  

M45 - Not having my star atlas at first I wasn't entirely sure what I was looking at.  I could see it faintly with my eye and thought "that looks interesting".  Sticking the bins on it I was greeted with a 'wow' moment of beautiful brightly arranged stars.  I had read about M45 a bit so as soon as I looked through the bins I knew where I was at.

Betelgeuse - This was as red as Mars but not as bright.  Oddly compared to every other star I have ever looked at, this one shimmered with a green tint.  

Having written this the sky has cleared again.  I thought I would have a look for Andromeda, but if I spend any more time trying to look directly vertical I'm going to snap my neck or trap an artery, so have given up.

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Two nice reports, orions_boot, that show your growing enthusiasm and skills very well. The star fields you memorize now will come to good use later, when using a (finder)scope. A 10x50 is  a lifetime companion, complementary to any scope.

Btw., have a look at the wonderfully deep orange star TX Piscium,  in the eastern part of the Pisces "circlet ". The colour of this 5 mag star is a joy to behold in my 7x50 Fujinons.


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