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Cold, blowy but surprisingly clear


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Gusty wind and surprise clear skies see me out using my Tak FC100 this evening. Popping in and out of the house to keep warm but some nice views in between the gusts:

Rigel

Sigma Orionis (inc the dimmer 4th star)

Theta Orionis (the Trapezium plus the E & F stars)

Eta Orionis

Alnitak

32 Orionis (clear split)

53 Orionis (touching pair)

M42 + M43

M78

Diversion to Ursa Major / Draco due to cloud in the Orion area:

Mizar

M81 + M82

Cat's Eye Nebula - NGC 6543

Back to Gemini:

M35 and NGC 2158

The Eskimo Nebula, NGC 2392 with central star

All going great until a more substantial amount of this came across from the NE :clouds1:

So time for a warm drink I think :icon_biggrin:

Forecast for tomorrow night is hopeful so all is not lost if tonight does not last much longer.

 

 

 

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Gusty wind and surprise clear skies see me out using my Tak FC100 this evening. Popping in and out of the house to keep warm but some nice views in between the gusts: Rigel Sigma Orionis (in

Indeed it does Jeremy I was clouded out for a while and it looked permanent so I bought the Tak in. 45 mins later I had another largish clear patch so I popped the Tak out on the mount again and

Clouds all around now so I'm packing in - again ! I did manage to catch the galaxy NGC 2903 up at the "head" end of the Lion as his hind quarters became smothered in clouds. That was showing good

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Very nice report, thanks. A lot of nice targets you managed in your viewing! It has been all cloudy in Wiltshire so keeping warm for tomorrow ♨️

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Nice session John - I'm very jealous.

No jetstream tonight, but cloud here prevents me giving it a try.
image.png.b06b43f3568e6cc1dadf4e356192bb14.png

Forecast tomorrow is very clear / almost no cloud - but the jetstream may spoil the seeing a bit.
image.png.979161c1f8207087efe1170bc8caaddd.png

Still going to give it a good go though - can't turn down rare clear skies.

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1 hour ago, JeremyS said:

This sort of unexpected session is really where the Tak FC 100 excels, John 👍

Indeed it does Jeremy :smiley:

I was clouded out for a while and it looked permanent so I bought the Tak in. 45 mins later I had another largish clear patch so I popped the Tak out on the mount again and managed a nice clean split of the 3 components of Beta Monocerotis at 225x straight out of the house. Not sure many scopes could manage that :icon_scratch:

Picked up The Crab Nebula (M1) at low power as Taurus dropped towards the roofline of our house.

Sirius was a bit too "sparkly" tonight for the 100mm to tease out the Pup star. The close pair in the Tegmine trio was very nearly split though.

Algeiba (Gamma Leonis) was the lovely pair of pale golden orbs as usual.

More cloud drifting about again now. I was hoping to have a go at some Leo galaxies with the little frac but that might not be on.

Pity about the cloud because otherwise the seeing and transparency are quite good. I can see the double cluster in Perseus with the naked eye which is usually a good sign.

That wind is chilling though. -3 is probably -5 or -6 taking that into account. Brrrrr !

 

Edited by John
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Clouds all around now so I'm packing in - again !

I did manage to catch the galaxy NGC 2903 up at the "head" end of the Lion as his hind quarters became smothered in clouds. That was showing good contrast even in the small refractor so I suspect the Leo Triplet might have been possible, had the clouds kept away.

Nice to end tonights session on a positive, 30 million light years away, note :smiley:

Lets see what tomorrow evening brings !

Edited by John
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8 hours ago, John said:

Gusty wind and surprise clear skies see me out using my Tak FC100 this evening. Popping in and out of the house to keep warm but some nice views in between the gusts:

Rigel

Sigma Orionis (inc the dimmer 4th star)

Theta Orionis (the Trapezium plus the E & F stars)

Eta Orionis

Alnitak

32 Orionis (clear split)

53 Orionis (touching pair)

M42 + M43

M78

Diversion to Ursa Major / Draco due to cloud in the Orion area:

Mizar

M81 + M82

Cat's Eye Nebula - NGC 6543

Back to Gemini:

M35 and NGC 2158

The Eskimo Nebula, NGC 2392 with central star

All going great until a more substantial amount of this came across from the NE :clouds1:

So time for a warm drink I think :icon_biggrin:

Forecast for tomorrow night is hopeful so all is not lost if tonight does not last much longer.

 

 

 

Did you mean 52 Orionis Jon ? 53 is Saiph at the bottom of Orion ... 

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You had a lovely session John, despite the clouds!

My clouds were coming with very short gaps (<20 mins) between each wave, so it was: choose a target, point, look quickly and then back in the house waiting for another gap. I still managed a decent haul: saw Pi Arietis as suggested by @John

This triple star is  at moment near Mars with quite dim secondary and tertiaries (10mag), my 180 Mak showed it nicely at x250. I looked at Mars briefly, but no sight of the UAE orbiter :) 

Then Alnitak, Sigma Orionis, Algieba in brief sessions. Theta Aurigae was a nice catch, the seeing was very good at the zenith.

Looked at Sirius but it was dancing too much lower down. 

There was progressively more and more cloud so I packed up around 10pm.

Today the forecast looks very good, fingers crossed!

 

 

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Good report, glad you got out, I am hoping for clear skies tomorrow though it looks similarly cold here :) I love the snow but honestly if it could do its cloudy snow bits during the day when I am at work and give me crisp, clear nights for observing I would love it more. 

Edited by wibblefish
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3 hours ago, Voyager 3 said:

Did you mean 52 Orionis Jon ? 53 is Saiph at the bottom of Orion ... 

Well spotted - yes I meant 52 Orionis. I usually do 32 and then 52 to see how far I can push the seeing conditions. 52 has a separation which is a wee bit tighter than the theoretical limit for a 100mm scope whereas 32 is doable in reasonable seeing, as it was last night.

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1 hour ago, cloudsweeper said:

Encouraging report John!  It was clear here too, but I bottled it 'cos of the cold.  Hope to be back action again quite soon though!  😉

Doug.

The forecast here for tonight is not looking quite so good now. We will see later whether it's worth setting up or not.

 

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Meant to be -6  tonight just north of London , but clear ... so looking forward to at least seeing something in our night sky . At this time of year i don't tend to plan to see any targets in particular but am just grateful to be able to view those distant points of light . Spring is coming soon ( honestly , it is ) so hopefully we can look forward to less cold weather and setting up our gear in the early evening after work , in the light ! 

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Great session John.

The hourly forecast here shows clear through until 5 am and -6 deg so I intend to put the 5" on the pier and have a crack at Sirius  at some stage. I think I will put the Dob out as well.

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Forecast is still quite clear here for tonight but I think there is a chance that the jetstream might come more into play and mess with the seeing.

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2 minutes ago, John said:

Forecast is still quite clear here for tonight but I think there is a chance that the jetstream might come more into play and mess with the seeing.

On the positive side, the air at ground level seems to be relatively dry and quite possibly there will be no, or very little, dew.  My weather station is currently claiming 60% RH @ 1.3C with a dew point of below -5C.

James

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Great to hear someone is actually able to get a session in, enjoy those fleeting sessions! I myself have been itching to take my new (to me) TSA-102 out to stretch its legs but,

the weather is horrid. Between clouds and -25 nighttime temps it is deflating, BTW I may adopt the word "blowy" in place of windy from now on, love it.

Edited by Sunshine
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I think I might have to pass on tonight even if it's the best night in the last ten years.

The farmer who owns the fields to the north-east of our house has spent the afternoon spreading chicken manure on them.  The wind is blowing the fumes towards us and it is seriously ripe.  I went out to the greenhouse just now and I think I've grown half an inch just from inhaling the smell.

Hopefully he'll be back in the next couple of days to plough it in.

James

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1 hour ago, JamesF said:

The farmer who owns the fields to the north-east of our house has spent the afternoon spreading chicken manure on them.  The wind is blowing the fumes towards us and it is seriously ripe.  I went out to the greenhouse just now and I think I've grown half an inch just from inhaling the smell.

Chicken manure - I remember the smell. Use to live in Norwich and this was quite frequent west of the City.

I don't blame you!

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Tonight is not so blowy but a bit colder.

Transparency is not that good tonight but the seeing is steady.

Sirius B was showing relatively easily at 198x and up so I've been having a go at Proxima B which is even harder - the B star is just 4.5 arc seconds away from the Proxima A and the brightness difference is massive again - 10,000x difference !

Didn't get a sniff of it even at 600x but I'm not surprised really 😉

Nice views of various other brightish stuff but I have the feeling that it's not a great night for dim galaxies :rolleyes2:

The views of Sirius and and the Pup star were some of the best I've had though :grin:

 

Edited by John
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I've just packed up for the night. I have fizzing fingers and toes as they start to warm up; and a huge smile on my face - I've missed this so much.

There were no clouds and no wind and views to the west were pretty good when sticking to brightish stuff.  

Leicester City won their FA cup match and I got a nice few hours at the eyepiece - all in all a pretty good night.

:thumbright:

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19 hours ago, John said:

Well spotted - yes I meant 52 Orionis. I usually do 32 and then 52 to see how far I can push the seeing conditions. 52 has a separation which is a wee bit tighter than the theoretical limit for a 100mm scope whereas 32 is doable in reasonable seeing, as it was last night.

LOL , I only knew that 52 Orionis was a double star and referred sky safari to get some details about that 53 and found that 53 is none other than Saiph 😉

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I tried a few doubles in Orion, but the seeing here was barely average, at least to the W. Transparency was pretty good though, so I spent some time on M1 before the -5 degrees got to me. The elongated shape with a hump in the middle was fairly obvious at x70 (180 Mak) but more detail eluded me last night because of the relatively light sky. When it's higher in the sky I often see a bit more detail. The joy though of having a clear night........

Chris

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It was pretty good seeing  wasn't it Chris, though for me, the transparency was not great. I also did most of the doubles in Orion and saw the E&F stars very solidly with my Dob, but I could not split Sirius and I spent a good part of the 3 hour session trying. Still, as you say, just good to be out with a scope.

Edited by Saganite
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