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My first time away from home! 21/01/10


Ben478
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This evening for the first time I took my new Skywatcher 200P telescope out to the countryside for some dark sky viewing. I went with a friend from work who is into astronomy but doesn't own a scope, although he drives and I don't so it's a clever arrangement!! hehe!

Between the patchy cloud we first viewed the Moon and then the Pleiades which are magnificent. I only own a barlow lens and two eyepieces at the moment, a 10mm and 25mm, and I quickly realised a lower magnification is required to see all the stars within the same view. I think I need to buy a 30mm or 40mm eyepiece to view all sisters together. :)

We spent a bit of time on the Orion Nebula even using the 10mm eyepiece with the barlow which provided a good view and then when the cloud was passing over Orion we spotted a bright object in the east. I guessed it might be Mars but I thought it was too early in the evening to see it (around 7pm to 7:30). Upon fixing the scope on the object indeed it was Mars, although I was surprised at how small the disc appeared even at high magnification. I was expecting to see more but still good though.

Another break in the clouds allowed us to view Capella as it was fairly prominent and also Betelgeuse. We were both amazed at the colour! So beautiful! We finished off the evening with Sirius which just seemed to sparkle in the sky, again, just glorious!

:D

Edited by Ben478
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Thanks Paolo! I must admit, before owning a scope stars were low on my list for objects to observe (as individual stars not clusters/'groups of' etc.) but since finding these three the variation has amazed me. Thanks for the guide, there seems to be some interesting colour combinations listed. :)

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Capella is one of my favourite stars, as I used to be able to see it almost all year round when I lived in Wales...just grazing through the tree line in the North during the summer. I spent some time observing it last autumn and drew the star field around it that I saw in the EP. Good stuff :)

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