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Bumbling around in Cancer


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I went out tonight with M67 as a definite target, and started out by finding Saturn then Praesepe, and slipping soutwards until I figured I was in the ballpark, but couldn't come up with M67. Nightwatch doesn't give RA and Dec, as it's oriented to binocular and Dob observing but still a good guide. I went inside and got the RA and Dec of M44 and M67, respectively. Did a more-or-less proper polar alignment, and went back to Praesepe, and found my delination dial at 20 degrees, which is right for it. I then set my RA to 8:40 and dropped down to just under 12 degrees in Declination, and moved over 10 minutes in RA, and saw - nothing that looked like an open cluster. Now, the transparency lately has sucked, but I don't know if it could be bad enough to conceal a whole open cluster. I repeated the excercise in various ways, but didn't come up with M67.

So, I went looking for something else to look for, and decided to try M65 and 66, in Leo, near the end of the lion that is not capable of facial expression. Got that little 3.2 mag star in my sights, and went wiggling southwards of it, but I didn't come up with anything like a pair of galaxies. Thought briefly about moving to Fiji.

Went into the sickle of Leo, centred the double star in the neck, popped in my 4mm ep (225x) and split it nicely. Then I decided to try Castor again, and found that I hadn't split it with the 6mm ep, but I did with the 4mm.

Looked at Saturn awhile with the 4mm ep, then tried the 8m X-Cel, and the X-Cel with the Barlow. The Barlowed 8mm gives me a nicer view of Saturn, but for some reason it kidney-beans like crazy. The 4mm had less eye relief and a smaller FOV, but was pretty straightforward to look through.

All in all a relaxing and enjoyable waste of tiime. Enjoyed it. :lol:

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Good report WH, I also have difficulty in "seeing" the clusters, some are much wider spaced than I think. I have started to use bin's to locate areas of interest, then swing the scope onto them. Even then I am still not sure what I am looking at. As for DSO's well thats another story.

naz :lol:

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Thanks. I think I was defeated by a combintion of LP and turgidity. Seeing has been wonderful lately though, the stars don't twinkle at all, the ones that I can see. I've done very well for viewing time lately. I was out all four nights of the Easter weekend.

My 6" Newt should be arriving from Alberta in the next two weeks. That will solve all my problems. :lol:

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