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Quick report and perhaps my greatest achievement


sorrimen
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Hi all

Went out very spontaneously last night when I saw that it was clear rather than the forecasted cloud. Not to mention a jet stream right overhead. Getting outside, it was fantastically transparent with fog all around. 

Starting off, I thought I’d go for some clusters in Cassiopeia inspired by @RobertI . Despite clouds over some of the sky, it was perhaps the most transparent conditions I’ve experienced to date! Just stars upon stars, even with my skies being satellite bortle 7. NGC 654, 659, 663, 436, 457, 225, 189, 129, 7789, M103 and a brief but unsuccessful attempt on IC10. 

Stand out for me was definitely C10. Just breathtaking, and wished I had @PeterW’s 12.5mm morpheus as a cluster killer. Another highlight was ET. It was my first observation of it, but having seen it on Robert’s post it was a familiar sight which made it a very enjoyable stop!

Stopped by the double cluster and a couple of other targets, but then moved to what is potentially my biggest achievement yet. From my generally poor bortle 7 skies, in light polluted London with an 8” scope… M33!!! It was about as diffuse as you can get but my young eyes could just about make something out, and the photo proves it! Safe to say I was overjoyed as I’d always figured this wasn’t a possible target. Right at zenith in wonderfully transparent skies, so I don’t imagine I’ll be seeing it again for a long time but stoked nonetheless.

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(Can perhaps see some ‘structure’ of sorts in the second, though with the blurred stars there’s a chance it’s just a camera artefact)

Finished up on Jupiter and Mars, where I discovered seeing was equally phenomenal despite the jet stream. Most favourable views at 300x, though I do prefer pushing to small exit pupils anyway. Bands upon bands everywhere, just a shame it was the ‘boring’ side!

Thanks for reading!

Ross

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(This amount of stars is phenomenal compared to normal)

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Certainly looks like a spiral there!

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Did wonder if you were out when I popped my head out, looked quite stable and dark. You have seen the ET before, think I did it up from the Rec? What eyepiece were you using for the clusters, lower power might give even more stars. 

M33, now we’re really talking… I’ve only managed that from very dark skies once; never risked it round here, just goes to show what good transparency can do, pity you didn’t  pop the nebula filter in and try for the veil or pacman 

I can’t understand how you can get such deep and steady shots through the eyepiece, never works for me!

 

Amazing result!

Peter

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20 minutes ago, PeterW said:

Did wonder if you were out when I popped my head out, looked quite stable and dark. You have seen the ET before, think I did it up from the Rec? What eyepiece were you using for the clusters, lower power might give even more stars. 

M33, now we’re really talking… I’ve only managed that from very dark skies once; never risked it round here, just goes to show what good transparency can do, pity you didn’t  pop the nebula filter in and try for the veil or pacman 

I can’t understand how you can get such deep and steady shots through the eyepiece, never works for me!

 

Amazing result!

Peter

You know what, maybe we did get it. Can’t remember the shape striking me so couldn’t say for sure. 25mm mainly. Good point; 12mm helped on the ‘faint glow’ type clusters where stars are just on the edge of resolving, but most of them were best at low power.

Was amazed in all honesty. Can’t believe I didn’t think of going for the veil! Think by that point it had sunk down anyway, but should have really gone nebula hunting as well.

Those shots are without the phone holder too, not to show off 😉

Ross

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