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Taking what you can get...


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Work has been pretty hectic lately, and with the weather as it is there have been limited opportunities to observe. Tonight, I was not expecting the clear skies that treated me as I stepped out to put the bunnies to bed, and the crescent Moon looked lovely low in the West.

Thinking that I would miss the chance, I then remembered my Unitron AltAz mount and the trusty Telementor. This was all pretty quick to setup, although I had to mess around a little to reach focus with the Leica Zoom, finally screwing it directly to the prism via the T2 thread to shorten the light path enough.

Away we went, Moon looking nice at various magnifications (x47 to x 94 with this combo). The seeing wasn’t great but the Earth shine was clear and the mag 4.4 star Nu Piscium was near the Southern limb. I wondered whether it might get occulted but a quick check said no, just a close-ish pass.

M42 showed some decent levels of nebulosity given the small aperture (a dizzying 63mm), while all four stars were visible in the Trapeziun although the fourth was trickier that I might have expected.

Rigel’s tiny secondary was a challenge, just there with averted vision when the seeing steadied. The fourth component of Sigma Orionis was a similar story, more not there than there, but just about spotted.

I did better with Polaris, showing a beautiful tiny pin point secondary at max power.

Algieba and Castor both split cleanly, very nice bullseye stars. I finished up with NGC457, the ET Cluster and finally Mizar and Alcor which was beautiful in this little scope.

So, a very quick session, barely worth writing about but even that keeps my Astro mojo up. I would not have bothered putting another, larger scope out tonight, so the Telementor fitted the bill.

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26 minutes ago, Stu said:

So, a very quick session, barely worth writing about but even that keeps my Astro mojo up. I would not have bothered putting another, larger scope out tonight, so the Telementor fitted the bill.

It is great you managed some viewing tonight. I thought I might get break in the clouds but NO! I personally think it is worth writing since it gives us some material for thought and the hope of viewing soon even quick like yours.

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Nice little sesh Stu. We had some clear skies as well for 3 hrs or so, you’ve gotta grab what’s available. I took the opportunity before the moon is back full on, to try and grab some obscure planetary nebulae......it was tough going!!

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Nice report Stu, with the weather we've had lately any chance to see some stars has to be grabbed..👍

I had much the same tonight, kept popping out to see what was stars were visible and by 9.30pm it was clear enough to take the chance. It was also milder than for weeks so no need to tog up with silly amounts of layers!

I did get the FS128 out and kept it very simple..Orion was looking great right over our house, so hit the usual suspects as you did. The E&F  in the Trap were both easy, the sky was very transparent after rain, but ithe seeing steadied down a bit too and stars were nice points.

I also got lovely views of the Pleiades (with traces of nebulosity around Merope) and stunning views of the Double Cluster in Perseus.

So glad to be outside again under the stars..and good to see you getting some respite from busyness too Stu! - I really can recommend retirement!😂

Oh, and I had my first jab today..😊

Dave

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With the lack of decent sessions recently, I live vicariously through others reports.  So please everyone - keep them coming!

 

I actually had a good night, tonight, and will put up my report soon

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Another nice session with the same combo tonight. More lunar which was great, I worked my way through almost all of the features identified on this map from Moon Phase Photo Maps, copyright acknowledged to Astrovisuals and details in the second image; I highly recommend it! The ones I missed were because the phase had not quite matched the map and they were lost in the shadow past the terminator.

The Ariadaeus rille was nicely illuminated, as were the wrinkle ridges in Mare Serenitatis. I managed to identify the Apollo 11 and 16 landing sites from the map too.

I took a crafty M42 which is better than a 63mm scope deserves to achieve, particularly on a non-driven mount, otherwise I would have managed a longer exposure; these were 1 second or less.

One addition tonight was Beta Mon, beautiful triple and easily split at x94. Really nice.

I hope plenty of you are having decent sessions under this unexpected clear sky!

 

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Lovely report and photos, Stu. Really captures that sense of fun and enjoyment without getting too serious. Had an enjoyable session with the dob this evening. Quite relaxed with great transparency. M51 was probably the best I’ve seen it from home. Definite hints of spiral arms. SQM reading around 19.7. Even got M101 which was once my nemesis. Would have been a great night for a dark site trip. 

Edited by Littleguy80
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