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Clean mirror, clear skies.....


RobertI
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Having recently cleaned the mirror on my Heritage 130P, I had been waiting for a chance to try it out and last night's crystal skies was my opportunity. I also got out the Sky-Prodigy mount - although I love the simplicity of manual mounts, the Sky-Prodigy is such a great match for the H130P - it's a match made in heaven really. Setting up the mount, it auto-aligned first time and even after a two hour break for tea, it was still happily tracking and aligned. Another good reason to go for the Sky-Prodigy is that if you haven't prepared an observing list, just use the Sky Tour feature. So, with the sounds of children trick or treating in the distance, I had a very nice session including some doubles:

  • 65 Piscium - A lovely double of two equally bright white stars separated by 4"
  • ?? Arietis (can't read my handwriting on the notes!) - Another 4" double, this time with one bright and one much dimmer, just visible at 65x
  • Psi Piscium - Two identical white stars, 30" apart
  • Zeta Aquariids - Another site of identical twins, this time 2" apart and more challenging. 
  • Theta Aurigae - A double of mags 2.6 and 7.1 separated by 4" and just visible at 130x.

...and some clusters in Auriga....

  • M36 - Sparsely populated but unmistakable
  • M37 - Beautiful rich cluster, best viewed with the 8mm at 80x, gives the impression of having dark lanes
  • M38 - Midway between the above two cluster in terms of star density
  • NGC1907 - Visible as a small faint cluster in the same FOV as M38, the Sky-Prodigy's "Identify" feature told me what it was, a really beautiful rich little cluster benefitting from high power.

...and a few old favourites.....

  • Pleiades - I'm never sure if I can see any nebulosity or whether it's just my ageing eyes!
  • M1 (Crab Neb) - Not much detail to see, tried a few filters, OIII, UHC and UHCE - the UHC was best but didn't reveal any more detail.
  • M42 - First view of season, very low over rooftops but the Trapezium clearly visible. 

I decided to finish just as the clouds rolled in. :) 
 

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Edited by RobertI
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