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What are your Springtime / Summertime astro targets?

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So I have a cloud free night tomorrow - I can’t believe it’s the first one since Jan…

Anyway, by now have I missed Orion? Would it be better to wait until next year? I’m conscious that it will be quite low now and more exposed to light pollution (I’ve got street lamps nearby). Probably for the best - getting slightly obsessed with Orion.

I know we’re not quite in milky way season so what else is good this time of year? Pleiades I think are also too low right now. 

I could maybe stretch to get a 5 x barlow extender so that Bode / Cigar galaxy are an option…this wouldn’t be an option for tomorrow though. EDIT seems Barlows are not great / do not work with RedCat 51s - https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/813443-william-optics-redcat-51-with-barlow-2-or-4-x/#:~:text=To bring the Redcat 51,it to come to focus.

What other targets do you go for in Spring / Summer?

I’m using a modded Canon 600D and a Redcat51 (no guiding) for context and am based in East Anglia.


Edited by pie_in_the_sky
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For Orion in March you need to be observing as soon as it’s dark before it sinks too low. Grab Jupiter too, even before it’s fully dark, as soon as it’s visible at dusk.

At any season of the year there’s so many targets to choose from. Highlights could be M44 Beehive in Cancer it’s a good second best to the Pleiades and M67 although much dimmer is definitively worth a look. In Gemini highlights are the Eskimo nebula although a bit disappointing if you’re familiar with other folks stunning images. Castor can be quite stunning, best viewed (in my opinion) in a refractor. Whilst you’re viewing Gemini definitely don’t miss M35.

So many targets, too few clear nights….

Enjoy, Ed.

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Thanks for the info. Unfortunately with the redcat Jupiter is a large dot, with the moons as smaller dots. Quite interesting but doesn't have the impact of a nebular at this focal length.

Might give Orion one last blast of the season before taking a look at those other recommendations. Cheers.

Out of interest, how do you decide how long to wait post-sunset to start observing? Do you just eye-ball it or is there a rule / process that you follow? Makes sense to get set up at dusk to maximise time.

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Since I usually observe pre-dawn, my springtime targets are evening summer targets - Hercules, Lyra, Cygnus, Saggita, Aquila.  Scorpius isn't quite at culmination yet, but the claws and Antares are well-placed.  Then you can slide "left" to Ophiuchus.

I usually observe Orion in the late summer / early fall which is nice because the weather is still decent.  

The problem is that dawn comes on mighty early as we get closer to summer.



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