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A nice view of the California Nebula


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Last night I had a zoom meeting and about 10.30pm I went outside to witness one of the best transparent skies in a long while.

Too late to set up the scopes so decide to have a session with the Helios Apollo 15x70 binos.

Started by observing M51 and then over to M101 by which time I knew that the sky was very good for observing.

Took in these objects - M13, M92, M11, M16, M17, M2, M15, M33, M32, NGC7789.

All these objects were observed with the binos and no filters. I now added the TeleVue Nebustar II and the Lumicon UHC and took in these delights.

The North American Neb (hugely bright), both parts of the Veil, M27, M57 (small but easily identified), NGC 7293  (Helix - very easy), M39 and viewed the Dark Cigar (B 168) and tried to see the Cocoon Neb (no go), NGC 281 (Pac Man Neb).

Finally, and not expecting too much, I viewed the California Neb. Well there was a definite glow and the outline compared well with the star maps of the area. I would say this was about the best view I have had of this Neb. I nearly went indoors to pick up the Hb filter but my eyes were really dark adapted after well over 1.5 hours.

So a brilliant unexpected observing night - I love these Apollo binos :smile:

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