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Cygnus and city skies


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A very enjoyable hour I've had sampling the delights of good seeing between 00:30 and 01:30 BST, despite the bright summer sky and the urban light pollution.

Opting to leave the telescopes packed up, I grabbed the Opticron T WP 10x50 binoculars and settled down in a garden chair. After a scan around and realising the seeing was excellent it was time to get 'serious' and sample objects that really pop still under Bortle 8 skies, open clusters.

Starting with Cr399 Coathanger in the south east and then a short hop to the east to constellation Lyra and little gem Stephenson 1.  After which moving along to the north a touch and probably my favourite summer constellation, Cygnus.

Cygnus is amazing under rural skies but it can hold the city binocular observer's attention for quite a while, being packed with clusters. Finding the central star mag 2.2 Sadr then moving the binoculars right a little revealed NG6883, Bi 2, NGC 6871, Bas 6, IC 4996 and M29. Not all of these clusters pop out at you straight away, but the longer you look, the more you see. Finally to finish off , a hop to Deneb and open cluster M39.

Nothing too taxing but nonetheless, considering the city skies, the accomplishment is managing to even observe these wonders...

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Nice one Peter only a few miles up the road and I had clouds looked like they were rolling in from Warrington/Runcorn way 12.30am I had full cloud. 

I had planned on a few of those objects on my list I had already started with M13 and M92. 

There are a few there I am going to write down thank you for posting. 

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No probs. Thanks. That night was one of the clearest I've experienced. Reminiscent of a couple of lockdown nights last year. It's a shame the sky wasn't darker and for longer. I even convinced myself I could see a slither of Milky Way arching between Cassieopia and Cygnus...

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Nice one Peter. I did similarly the other night with a widefield eyepiece, not actually identifying anything, just taking in the views.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mr Spock said:

Sometimes the best thing you can do is just look up. You can spend hours doing it!

So true. There's pleasure to be had in not setting up gear, planning targets or making notes and just sweeping the sky. Besides the Messiers, Ste 1 and Cr399 the clusters observed were identified after the session.

I'm camping solo in North Wales during an August weekend hoping for a treat. Fingers crossed for clear nights!

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/06/2021 at 21:35, Philip R said:

Cygnus is my favourite summer constellation… especially with binoculars and with or without a sun lounger.

Yeah, you can just get lost scanning that part of the sky :bino2: 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, bish said:

I live in a bortle 8 area and still have a scan around with the bins sometimes. Just relax and enjoy it as it can get frustrating with so much light and air pollution.

Same here. Bortle 7/8 SQM 18.84... Those rare but very welcome fantastically clear nights counter the lp somewhat. There's plenty to see from the urban jungle.

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