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ianpadley

Hello SGL: Cumbrian Solstice

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Hi SGL,

Also new to this forum, thought I'd make a post and share a little of my last nights solstice experience.

I'm yet another returning observer in this case some 30 years after my inital flush of excitement. My wife thought I needed a more sedate pastime than the usual range of biking and hiking, so I was given a very nice Orion US 130mm newt for Xmas. Little did she realise the latent obcession this would kindle. The newt was swiftly followed by a WO Megrez 72 Apo, selected in part due to some threads I read here in SGL.

Having a lot of fun including a great solstice night this June 21. On holiday at home for a week, so decied to pull an all-nighter. Those of you who regulary drive north will recall the small limestone fell, Farelton Knott, by M6 J36. I thought this would make a great observing spot, fee of pesky street lights which plauge our small village. Best of all, I can walk to the top from our house, and I did just this last night. The Meg went in a small sack, I took a few EP's red and normal flashlight, some charts from SAN magazine (much lighter than Norton :rolleyes:) and warm coat, coffee, fold up stool and bananas.

Been a while since I hiked uphill with a heavy sack and it showed! But it was a great sunset with venus shining bright to keep me company. Heres a shot with venus over the Kent Estuary and the Conistone fells behind.

Soon set up on the top, but disappointed to see some hazy cloud drift in. Nevertheless, i set to work about midnight, exploring the area around Lyra and Cynus and the faintly discernable milky way beyond. Of course at 53 and something degrees north, it never really gets dark in June, indeed it was great to watch the Northern twilight zone progess around the horizon as the night wore on. To west, Venus continued to sparkle and the moon began to cast a huge shimmering reflection on Morecambe bay.

I was also busy up above, not too many fuzzies but some great doubles and open clusters; Alberio, double:double and M29 for starters. The little Meg was just great with an 18mm ED 60 degree eyepiece, but needs a bit more hitting power at the high end; to be fair its not really designed for this work, just opportunistic. Anyhow, got one of the two doubles in epsilon lyrae just split with a 4mm EP but only just.

Soon the moon dropped and the cloud cleared, and I got a few more fuzzies; M13 always great of course. But my real reason to be up here has proven elusive so far due to cloud, twilight and moon light. But wiht the moon gone, I swung back on Capella low in the North and finally got my quarry: comet C/2009 R1 Mc Naught. Just a small faint ball, no tail in my set up but certainly not a star. Just a few minutes later, the night was rounded off with a spectacular Jupiter rising in the east; all 4 galiean moons clearly visible.

All in all a splendid night and back home in bed just after 3; much easier walking down again of course!

Happy nights

Ian

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Hi from me too - what a great bit of reporting and a lovely walk by the sounds of it. Shame I ccant do the same with my 8" EQ mounted scope really :rolleyes:

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Hi Ian,

A warm welcome to the forum :rolleyes:

Sounds like you had a cracking night, lets hope you get plenty more like it.

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Welcome to SGL!!

That's the darned finest introduction that I have ever read. :rolleyes:

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Nice commentary. It was great for viewing in Newcastle last night too, but unfortunately I had work- I've been sleepy all day!

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Hi Ian, welcome to the forum.

Looks like you and Meg will have some fun together!

Great Report.

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Well thanks everyone! What a welcome. I notice my internal spell check was set to off (I am on holiday !) and I promise Venus IS somewhere on the photo.

Happy viewing and I promise more to come from Cumbria when something good to say.

Ian

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hi Ian!

I wanna see the Mc Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaught!

(great report!)

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Stunning intro Ian so welcome to the Lounge.

JohnH.

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Hi Ian,

Welcome to the forum. Your love of the outdoors is a great asset in astronomy the weather can be bloomin freezing :rolleyes: Enjoy !.

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Hi Ian,

A very warm welcome to SGL, hope you enjoy the forum.

John.

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Hi Ian,

Welcome to the forum from me too.

Clear skies

James

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Hi and welcome, and wishing you many more great observing nights. I recently hooked up with some other local observers for the first time and had the best night ever, so have a look in events threads and see if you can find one near you.

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Welcome to SGL Ian,

Your report is exactly why I am about to buy my first scope - there is so much beauty out there that can only be dreamed about. I personally can't wait to see Saturn.

The bad news for everyone is that if I order tomorrow, that guarantees about 6 months of cloud cover. Sorry folks, but I'll take the blame now :D

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