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Finally, M13 reveals all (or at least something)


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Tonight was definitely a highlight of my brief (5 months) stargazing experience. To date I’d been decidedly underwhelmed by the view of globular clusters through my small (4.5”) reflector. Still, I thought I’d have another crack at M13 after the moon went down since it was near the zenith. I wasn’t disappointed.

Initially, all I could see was the usual circular hazy patch at powers up to x75. However, after a while spent looking at it (or rather trying to almost look at it) I began to see one or two individual stars around the edges. I upped the power to x150 (rarely a good idea since it involves barlowing a 6 mm ep) and after struggling to get a decent focus I could suddenly see mottled patches throughout the cluster and something like 20-30 resolved stars (hard to count the exact number in averted vision!). A definite result!

I also spent a while looking at IC1396 in Cepheus. Initially, it’s a bit disappointing at low powers (given its high magnitude). In my scope at x25 it’s a fairly loose collection of about 30-40 stars with little variation in brightness. However, as I increased the power, something like 100-150 additional stars popped into view, many in small loops and chains and with several doubles (and at least one triple I think). Of course, at higher powers you can’t see the whole cluster in one go (it's about 90' across). It must be spectacular in a larger scope that can pick out the fainter stars at lower powers and also show the nebulosity. Still, that will have to wait a few months!

Overall, an excellent night! :D

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Sounds like a good night was had! Sadly it went quite misty here, so I had to pack up quite early!

Tonight weather permitting (looking good so far) the scope is going in the back of the car I'm going to have a ride up the Clee Hill...Should be dark enough up there :D


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Nice report Andrew M13 is certainly a fav of the Dso's and IC1396 was visable at the recent Star Party with the naked eye :shock: :D worth trying to see all of the Barnard stars in that..


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Thanks James.

Can you tell me what you mean by Barnards stars. I've heard of Barnard's star, and you prompted me to have a look at the web site for Barnard's Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way (a big thanks for that - some excellent images).

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