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Northern Targets From South


Epick Crom
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Hi my fellow stargazers! After 3 consecutive cloudy nights, AWS was starting to set in (Astronomy Withdrawal Symptoms). Luckily I got a 1hr window of clear skies before those despised clouds came back last night. I decided to turn my 10" dob on only northern targets to see what my northern cousins are viewing, having read about many here on SGL. I have had my dob for four months, there is so much to see that I had not even had a chance to see the following northern objects :

M37 in Auriga: wonderful sight! Stars filled up my eyepiece.

M38 in Auriga: nice shape to this open cluster, although a bit low in my sky.

M1 Crab nebula Taurus: Finally found it! Despite moonlight it appeared as a small hazy patch. I think it was still too low on my previous attempts, so happy to have nabbed it!

Castor in Gemini: Wow! First time splitting this gorgeous double, a highlight of the night for sure!

Algol in Perseus. Was surprised I could locate this far northern variable star from Perth, Western Australia.Its always great to catch a glimpse of these famous northern objects I've only ever read about!

Finally had to give in and observe the waxing gibbous moon. Wonderful sight, I saw craters, ridges and mountain ranges. Astronomy is awesome. Thanks for reading and clear skies to you all 😀

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58 minutes ago, Sunshine said:

Exciting report! always great to hear when others are having a blast, nothing but clouds for weeks on end here.

I'm sorry to hear that Sunshine. Hope you get some clear skies soon 👍

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Nice report. M37 is my favourite open cluster.

Can you see NGC1664 from there (it's in the same vicinity)? It's called the Kite cluster, but I think it looks like a stingray.

image.png.e47e2aa35a502d26df81d2fd294154ae.png

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11 hours ago, Epick Crom said:

M37 in Auriga: wonderful sight! Stars filled up my eyepiece.

M38 in Auriga: nice shape to this open cluster, although a bit low in my sky.

M1 Crab nebula Taurus: Finally found it! Despite moonlight it appeared as a small hazy patch. I think it was still too low on my previous attempts, so happy to have nabbed it!

Castor in Gemini: Wow! First time splitting this gorgeous double, a highlight of the night for sure!

Algol in Perseus. Was surprised I could locate this far northern variable star from Perth, Western Australia.Its always great to catch a glimpse of these famous northern objects I've only ever read about!

Finally had to give in and observe the waxing gibbous moon. Wonderful sight, I saw craters, ridges and mountain ranges. Astronomy is awesome. Thanks for reading and clear skies to you all 😀

Nice one! I finally see some names I recognise, haha ;) 

M1 in the moonlight is a real challenge, well done. It can be tricky or underwhelming even on dark nights with my 12". 

Auriga is an all-around interesting constellation. There is IC405 The Flaming Star nebula in Auriga. You'll see an asterism at the bottom (would that be the top for you?) that I call the Auriga Ladder, it's official asterism name is the flying minnow.

Just next to the ladder is IC405. You'll need an OIII filter, but if you are out in whoop whoop (my kind of place!) on a clear moonless night you should be able to bag it pretty easily. It's fairly large.

I haven't done much star splitting, but with the moon up, I'll try it tonight if it's clear enough.

PS have a look at Virtual Moon Atlas, you can flip the moon to match the upside down view from a dob and it shows the terminator accurately so you can identify individual features and it gives crater diameters! I got down to around 4km last night at 300x, very unusual to be able to use that much mag here, but you should be able to do that much more frequently with your dob in WA.

Cheers :thumbsup:

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10 hours ago, Pixies said:

Nice report. M37 is my favourite open cluster.

Can you see NGC1664 from there (it's in the same vicinity)? It's called the Kite cluster, but I think it looks like a stingray.

image.png.e47e2aa35a502d26df81d2fd294154ae.png

Hi Pixies. That looks like a nice target. Thanks for the pic, Sky Safari tells me it is visible from my lattitude, I will search for it on the next clear night! Thanks

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6 hours ago, Ships and Stars said:

Nice one! I finally see some names I recognise, haha ;) 

M1 in the moonlight is a real challenge, well done. It can be tricky or underwhelming even on dark nights with my 12". 

Auriga is an all-around interesting constellation. There is IC405 The Flaming Star nebula in Auriga. You'll see an asterism at the bottom (would that be the top for you?) that I call the Auriga Ladder, it's official asterism name is the flying minnow.

Just next to the ladder is IC405. You'll need an OIII filter, but if you are out in whoop whoop (my kind of place!) on a clear moonless night you should be able to bag it pretty easily. It's fairly large.

I haven't done much star splitting, but with the moon up, I'll try it tonight if it's clear enough.

PS have a look at Virtual Moon Atlas, you can flip the moon to match the upside down view from a dob and it shows the terminator accurately so you can identify individual features and it gives crater diameters! I got down to around 4km last night at 300x, very unusual to be able to use that much mag here, but you should be able to do that much more frequently with your dob in WA.

Cheers :thumbsup:

Thanks mate👍 I'm just starting to discover Auriga as I've been observing the southern constellations while waiting for northern ones to get high enough in my sky. Capella does not get too high above the horizon here but looks breathtaking glimmering low in the north! I will search for the objects you suggested in Auriga first chance I get! Even though this constellation is low I can see it's got rich starfields. I will be downloading the virtual moon Atlas. Thanks for the link, I'm starting to get facinated by the moon, actually I'm getting facinated with all astronomical objects since I've got my 10" dob. It is literally opening a new universe for me after 3 years with 20x80 binoculars. I'm so addicted to observing everything in the night sky now! Thanks mate and clear skies 😊

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Great to hear you finally bagged M1. Well done on the rest of the norther targets. I can't reciprocate. My southern sky is my brightest. Antares and Fomalhaut are as exciting as it gets for me. 

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Hi Paul! Ahh yes Fomalhaut and Antares. Are you observing from UK? Here my northern limit is about the southern half of Perseus, the double cluster"rises" from here but it's literally on the horizon so unviewable for me. I will report on my observations of Antares and Scorpius in a few months when it becomes visible. There is a faint red/ yellow star besides Fomalhaut that I always find charming when observing that area. Cheers and clear skies 👍

Screenshot_2021-01-25-09-04-19-73.png

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Very nice report and it seems you had a very successful night.

On 24/01/2021 at 06:16, Epick Crom said:

Astronomy is awesome.

Indeed!

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