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Garden bino session - 3rd October 2021


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I should really have set a scope up tonight as the skies ended up looking lovely, but with an early start I couldn’t be doing with the thought of packing down later on. So, the old Swift 10x50s made an appearance and I sat out in a reclining chair to see what I could see.

First up Jupiter. Quite a clear view of all four Galilean moons, three one side and one in the other. Saturn just about showed an oval shape to it, as you would expect.

On to more suitable binocular targets. M31 looked much larger than I’m used to from my old London skies. No obvious sign of either M32 or M110, neither could I find M33 whilst in that part of the sky.

Kemble’s Cascade was up next, fitting very nicely into the field of view in the 10x50s, with NGC1502 looking nice.

I tried for NGC457 and found the two eyes quite easily, one quite a lot brighter than the other. With averted vision I started to get something of the body, not sure I’ve done that in binos before.

The Double Cluster is another obvious bino target, and was well worth the visit. I love the run of stars up to Stock 2 as well.

Moving round to Cygnus and Vulpecula, the Coathanger looked very, well, coathangerish, beautiful cluster. It then took me a little while to pin down M27, not something I often look at in binoculars and surprisingly small as I’m used to the scope view.

Panning up Cygnus was a joy, taking in the star fields but, I confess, not identifying any of the numerous objects up there. Then I came to Deneb, and thought I would give the NAN a go. Without filters I’m still fairly confident I picked it up and identified the ‘gulf’ region, although it wasn’t that obvious. The nebulosity was clear though.

I then thought I would try my hand at the Veil. Looking at 52 Cygnus there was nothing visible even with averted vision, but careful panning eventually allowed me to pick up a very subtle arc that was the Eastern Veil. Pretty chuffed with that. I tried again later on after I had had my tea but I had lost my dark adaptation and the transparency had dropped a little so it didn’t show. That was enough to convince me I HAD seen it earlier.

M13 and M92 were pretty straightforward, M13 the more obvious but both clear.

I think that’s about it, nice little session, and amazing what you can see with some darker skies.

EDIT I should add that the Milky Way was showing clearly from Cassiopeia through Cygnus and down into Aquila. Not dramatic or detailed, but there!

EDIT again! How could I forget the Nova in Cass. I found the rhombus of stars including 4 Cass very easily, and M52 was quite obvious too; bear in mind that it wasn’t visible in a scope from home! I would put it at somewhere over mag 8, possibly 8.3 ish.

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I was just reading this and thinking OK I need to go outside with my own bins and do a similar session, and literally as soon as I thought that, rain started drilling on my windows.

That’s what the weather has been like these last few days. Alternating blue sky / heavy rain every 45 minutes during the day, the same at night. I just went out to look at the obvious Milky Way, and now 10 minutes later it’s pouring. No chance of preparing a scope session.


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Somewhere around I’ve got a pair of 7x35 binos with about a 10 degree field of view. @PeterW made me a set of filter holders for them so I could put my Lumicon OIII and UHC filters on to see what more I could see. Next time….. if I can find the binos and holders…..

I was pleasantly surprised by how good the old Swift 10x50s were though, nicely sharp and quite well corrected in the outer parts of the field.

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