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A nice tour around Cancer with the 102ED


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I set up the 102ED on the AZ4 before dinner, and had a squint at Jupiter. The GRS was visible, but not immediately due to poor seeing (as always!). I invited my 8 year old to have a look at Jupiter through the binoviewer. Amazingly he immediately said, "I can see a spot at the bottom", and when he described it, it was in exactly the right place below one of the EQ belts. Young eyes I guess!


I went out again later for the main event - a pre-planned tour around Cancer. Despite the dew-band for the objective failing (broken I think - the cable got hot but the band didn't) and me dropping my new Morpheus eyepiece onto concrete (minimal damage thankfully, thanks to a niftily placed foot), it was an ok session.

  • M44 - the showpiece, large and spectacular at low power.
  • M67 - an open cluster with around twenty stars forming some interesting swirls and loops
  • Tegmine - A triple with the closest pair being 1.1" apart, this was a real challenge in the non-ideal conditions (and manual AZ4 mount). At my maximum mag of 320x, most of the time it was just resolved (peanut shaped) but some of the time it was clearly split (gap in between). 
  • Struve 1245 - a nice multiple system, easily split
  • X Cancri - a lovely, bright, deep orange carbon star. Using the zoom was interesting on this one, the colour seemed better at some magnitudes than others - I think part of this is getting enough "white" stars in the FOV to  really highlight the red colour. 
  • Iota Cancri - the "winter Alberio", lived up to it's name with a yellow primary and seemingly blue secondary, truly spectacular.
  • NGC2775/2749 - a couple of bright galaxies, unfortunately the objective was well and truly dewed by this point, so I shall have to leave these beauties for another time. 

Surprising how much this faint constellation has to offer. :) 

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Great report & glad you saved that Morpheus! 
Some of my favourite objects in there and a couple of new ones to try for thank you (those galaxies sound worth a shot.)  I love looking at M67 one of the most ancient clusters out there I believe, and full of orangey stars. 

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