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East Lincs Astronomy Club observing session


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Last night was our club monthly meeting.

As the forecast looked favourable I let other members know that I would be making my way up to the dark site in the Lincolnshire Wolds to set up in daylight. I arrived about 7.30pm to be greeted by other keen members wishing to take advantage of the clear skies.

As dusk approached there was a lovely sliver of a thin Moon, it looked lovely set against the twilight sky.

Sirius was twinkling a lot so seeing at this point was not great but acceptable.

Once the scope was set up and collimated I did a quick star test to check collimation. All seemed good so just waiting now for the skies to darken.

I have recently purchased an EQ platform from David Lukehurst, and it has taken my observing to a whole new level, no more nudging the scope as the platform tracks beautifully and allows for more comfortable high magnification viewing.

First up was M3 globular cluster, lovely sight full of resolvable stars even though it was not fully dark.

As the darkness increased we moved on to some more objects, they included but were not limited to the following:

M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy, to my eyes, clear structure and spiral arms visible.

NGC 4656/57, Hockey Stick Galaxy, fainter than expected but faintly showing structure as its name.

NGC 4631, The Whale Galaxy, large, diffuse and appearing mottled to my eyes.

M64, The Black Eye Galaxy, dark lane visible with direct vision but more prominent with averted vision as was the outer halo.

M94, Crocs Eye Galaxy, surprisingly bright, no structure to my eyes, almost like a bright eliptical galaxy.

M13 Globular Cluster, despite being low, WOW, really is a showpiece in a large scope!

M53 Globular cluster, fainter but stars resolvable, probably would have been more impressed if I had not just observed M13 before.

NGC 2392, Eskimo nebula, very nicely resolved structure showing between the inner and outer shells.

And of course M42 The Great Orion Nebula, Low but still impressive.

Numerous other objects were observed but the above are the hi-lights of the night for me.

A very pleasant evening with club members new and old.

May be an image of 5 people, sky and tree


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