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Ceph and Cass

A nice summer session at long last!


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My last night out with the telescope was a good few months ago... (actually, just checking it was mid-April!!!) having been plagued with a bad virus that took 6 weeks to recover from with a large project and doing my Masters assignment at the same time and then hitting straight into zero astro-dark in June, my astro-shennigans had been well and truly scuppered.  So a lovely clear night on a Friday seemed a good opportunity to see what the sky had to offer.

It was a touch milky in areas with some very light high cloud about and we still only have astro-twilight level of darkness starting at around 11:20 which is when I set up with the 4" refractor on the Alt/Az mount...

The Moon was just coming up, but before it could spoil what darkness was was aI got round to some DSO observations...

After I'd aligned my finder on Acturus, I veered a touch to the side to find M3 nearby - A nice bright glob to start the night.

M13 really showed very nicely with the 10mm Delos showing some good detail and resolution of the cluster.

At 12ish the ISS passed almost directly over us... I quickly got my Wife who loves seeing this and she came out just before it dissappeared...  It was to come over again at 1:31am so made note and thought it would be fun to attempt to track it with the scope.

my main target for the evening was the Veil nebula in Cygnus...  It's been many years since I last observed this, although the conditions were far from ideal, but it was worth a go...  The Western Veil was only very subtle and a took a while for my eyes to really pick anything out, however going over to the Eastern Veil, this was much more apparent with a touch of detail of it with "hook" at the bottom.  I went from the 17.3mm Delos to a 32mm Baader Plossl and also a cheap 25mm Plossl with the Astronomik OIII and also switched for the Baader OIII which had a narrower bandwith pass...  I felt the Astronomik was more suitable for this aperture and couldn't see much difference from 25mm to 32mm Plossls, the brightness was definitely increased over the 17.3mm.  The Western Veil always remaining almost out of sight.

After the Veil, I took a look at M11 - The Wild Duck Cluster.  Always has been a favourite of mine and this was resolved well with the 5mm Pentax XW although with no doubt would be much better with the Moon out of play as some of the lower magnitude stars look like they had been washed out by the sky brightness that was ever more apparent.   While in the area, moved down to the nearby globular cluster NGC 6712 however I could not see this despite definitely being in the right area.  I haven't logged this one as previously observed either, so I've noted it to come back to on a better / darker evening.

A look now over to M31 and this was nicely shown along with M32 then shooting over to the Double Cluster which is a wonderful sight, whatever the Moonlight level.

The Moon now rising, along with Saturn just about rising sufficiently above a tree to be seen, however it was now 1:30 and time to see the ISS again, so my Wife came out again and we watched through the scope taking it in turns...  It's fast!!!  What a great sight though once you do get it, although very bright!  She was really happy to have seen it like this and close up.

Then, Saturn - Also a long time since I'd last seen this and my Wife also stayed out to view this as she loves viewing the planets (as long as it's not freezing cold outside...).  Despite still quite low down the air was reasonably stable and I was easily able to use the 7mm Pentax with a 2.2(ish)x Barlow for approx. 3.2mm and 225x magnification.   The rings were wonderful and sharp with 3 of its Moons easily visible.  I thought I could just about make out subtle difference in the planet surface.  I packed up around 2:15am, very happy with the session and it just now starting to get a little chilly.  Jupiter was still just too low down covered by a neighbour's large bush.  I plan to make a an early morning session to view this soon (perhaps tonight!).

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Great report and nice to be out in the warm night. Veil is my favourite eye candy in the summer. I saw it a few weeks ago and it was great.

Did you pick much detail on ISS? I seem to only image it and never looked through the eyepiece.

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On 16/07/2022 at 17:29, Kon said:

Great report and nice to be out in the warm night. Veil is my favourite eye candy in the summer. I saw it a few weeks ago and it was great.

Did you pick much detail on ISS? I seem to only image it and never looked through the eyepiece.

It's moving too fast to really see any real detail unfortunately, though it was a decent size in the EP - the sheer brightness doesn't help of course.

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Lovely report Dave👍.

Thanks for sharing, it helps keep up enthusiasm when actual observing isn't possible or easy for many of us at this time of year..

Dave

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Great report and nice to see some shared observing of the ISS.
ISS tracked with Alt Az is great fun in a small scope, but being able to track and see much detail, well there is the challenge.
You stayed up later than I might on a week day, good on you.

Summer observing can be great fun, especially nice to be lightly dressed of course.

Thank you for sharing, nudged me to make the time for a later one, if only the cloud would oblige.

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Great report I too have not been out since April, having just broke my little toe I dont think I will be out for a couple more weeks until that settles down. It is really good to read other peoples reports when you cannot get out yourself.

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On 25/07/2022 at 10:57, wookie1965 said:

Great report I too have not been out since April, having just broke my little toe I dont think I will be out for a couple more weeks until that settles down. It is really good to read other peoples reports when you cannot get out yourself.

Ouch!  Hope you recover quickly.   I'd been out of action for a couple of weeks this year as well after killing my back moving the 12" dob base out of the conservatory while some work needed to be done... :p  Sucks not to be able to observe on a clear night through self-inflicted injury!

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