Jump to content

740427863_Terminatorchallenge.jpg.2f4cb93182b2ce715fac5aa75b0503c8.jpg

Stargazing Live


george7378
 Share

Recommended Posts

Well, the skies cleared on the night of the programme yesterday, so I did a bit of my own live stargazing. I started by looking at Jupiter, and although the seeing was quite bad early on, I managed to get a good look at the details - there was a large festoon close to the limb which cut into the NEB, and there were streaks of detail here and there in the SEB. Both polar zones looked nice, but it was a little too wobbly to spot any substantial detail in those. I also saw a transit of Io across the disc, and noted the positions of the moons. It was fun to watch the shadow of Io live and then see them talking about the exact same event minutes later on TV! On top of this, I got a really close-up view of Uranus' disc, and although there were no visible moons, 240X magnification gave a great view of the green disc.

I also came out later after the show, and had another great stargazing session looking at some DSOs, starting with the Orion Nebula. I took my first look at the object at 240X magnification, and was amazed at how much I could see! The magnification didn't seem to dim the object at all, and I could see the E and F stars of the Trapezium easier than I ever have before. The nebulosity stood out well, and the high magnifications allowed me to see a very mottled texture to the main region, with the large dark pillar's shape traceable without averted vision, looking like a lopsided tree trunk with wispy, fuzzy edges. There was also another prominent dust region opposite it on the other side of the nebula, which I haven't really noticed before. I could also push the scope along the outstretched arms of nebulosity either side, and follow them to the point where the main nebula had gone from the field of view! The views of last night were easily the best Orion Nebula sightings I had ever had - I never expected the views to be so good at high magnification. I gradually lowered it to get some nice widefield views too.

Next, I turned to the Crab Nebula, which I also viewed at varying magnifications. Starting at low magnification, I looked at it from differing perspectives to bring out the nice oval shape against the sky. I then increased the magnification, and alhough this object didn't take it quite as well as M42, Allowing my eyes to adjust to the dark showed me a very nice oval shape without averted vision, and maybe I imagined it, but I think there was also some very subtle brightness variation across the surface. I would like to get a view of this object under perfect dark skies to make sure!

Moving on to M81 and M82 yielded another suprisingly clear view. These objects are almost overhead in the spring/early summer so they were a little low down tonight, but they still showed some great details. M81 showed an oval shape with a very evident bright core and some faint surrounding nebulosity which required averted vision and patience to see. M82 was amazing, with non-averted vision revealing the classic edge-on cigar shape, and averted vision giving me an even fatter cigar, with an easily noticeable dust lane cutting into the middle. My 10" telescope seems to be very good at showing these subtle dark spots in galaxies, as I have now seen two dust lanes in Andromeda that I never could have dreamed of with my old scope!

At the end of my session, I saw a very large, bright Quadrantid skim across the sky from north-east to south-west, which covered most of the sky before burning out, which made me glad that I saw at least one, as the skies had gone all horrible and cloudy when I woke up at 03:00 for the main event. This sadly persisted and it was snowing heavily during the partial solar eclipse, which I was really looking forward to, but hey - you can't control the weather, so there's no point getting annoyed. I suppose it means that my first solar eclipse sighting could be one of glorious totality - I don't know when it's going to be, but I can't wait to see one!

I also snapped a photo of the Jupiter - Uranus conjunction as a momento of the televised event:

http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-planetary/123724-jupiter-uranus-conjunction.html

Edited by george7378
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enjoyable read. I haven't tried M42 yet with the new scope mainly because I observe from a north facing garden, but your description makes me want to take a look at it asap. Sounds great at high magnification. How bright/obvious was M1 in your sky? Comparable to which other objects? If you don't mind me asking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Enjoyable read. I haven't tried M42 yet with the new scope mainly because I observe from a north facing garden, but your description makes me want to take a look at it asap. Sounds great at high magnification. How bright/obvious was M1 in your sky? Comparable to which other objects? If you don't mind me asking.

Thanks for the comments everyone. You really will be amazed at how much a good stare at M42 will reveal - I hope you get a look soon. M1 is quite diffuse against the sky, and you need to let your eyes adapt properly to pull out the shape easily, but it is still very obviously there - I often find it by pointing in the right direction, and then quickly skimming the sky until it crosses the eyepiece - you won't miss it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.