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A new toy, a new double, and two galaxies


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2nd April 2022, observing with an 8-inch Dob

I put the scope out early to cool, but by the time it got dark, there was a lot of cloud around.  I wanted to try my brand new BST Starguider so I pointed to a hole over to the west, and nosed around Aldebaran and its neighbours. By this point, a hole had opened up towards Orion, so I went over to Sigma Ori to see what the Starguider would make of it. And very pleased I was! The 15mm is a nice step up in magnification from my 23mm "finder" eyepiece (a super cheap Svbony aspheric, which I really like), and the multiple star system showed up very well, with pinpoint stars. 
The sky had now cleared up substantially, and I fancied a look at a rich field, so I swung over to Auriga, and blundered straight onto the Starfish cluster! (At least, it was a cluster in Auriga that looked a bit like a starfish, so I think my identification is secure) Another great view with the Starguider, which I was now feeling comfortable using, with the eye guard screwed right out.
I'd had a mind to try a colourful double from @wookie1965 's report the other day, so off to the east to see 2 CVn, a new object for me, and well worth a look, matching the description in that post. While i was in the neighbourhood (and thinking of coloured stars) I had a look at Y CVn, the famous carbon star. I noticed that there was a white star of similar brightness just above it (HD 110500 according to Sky Safari) , and I could just about get both in the field of the 23mm, which let me contrast the colours nicely.
The sky transparency seemed better than in recent nights, so I made an attempt on nearby M51, but once again no joy. 
The Plough was more or less vertical, meaning M81/82 would be a fair bit higher up than M51, so I took one more shot at galaxy spotting, and this time got lucky, spotting the elongated shape of M82, and then M81 with its brighter core. I was a very happy chap! I moved on to M3, but was feeling rather cold and tired, so it was a case of "when the fun stops, stop" , and I packed up and went inside, very pleased with the night's results.

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