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I was set up by 10pm with the Celestron 30mm Ultima Edge on the Celestron Starsense 8 inch Dob. Mars was a lovely perfect small orange disc, no bees visible yet at 10pm! Luckily the 97.8% Moon was behind me so didn't shine diretly into my eyes. (I used a dark cloth over my head throughout anyway as the sky was so bright.)

By 10.30 I noticed the first two stars had appeared. At 10.37 changed to the Hyperion 24mm to increase the contrast, by which time at least ten stars were showing.

At 10.46  at least sixteen stars were visible and there was an 8th mag star very close to the edge of Mars - looking very much like an orange m1.6 double star with its m8 companion.  It was interesting to see the distance between them growing as the time passed.

By 11.20 there were twenty plus stars, and the sky was dark enough to make the stars more prominent, the whole spectacle looking just beautiful.

At 11.30 I put in the 17.5 Morpheus which did bring out some more stars, though I couldn't fit the whole Beehive Cluster in the field of view. I changed back to the 24mm at 11.50 for a final view of the whole cluster with Mars, before I lost it behind a distant chimney at 12.05.

It had been a fine session, added to by the fact I had to wait for all the stars to gradually appear rather than them being all visible from the start of the session. A shame there's not a nice bright orange star between the Beehive and Earth - Mars made the cluster look even better than it is.

Below is the SkySafari view toward the end of the session when the view was at its best.



Edited by paulastro
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  • paulastro changed the title to JUNE 2ND - MARS AMONGST THE BEES.

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