Between a cheap power pack, the infamous Skywatcher bendy bolts and the fact it’s so late before it gets dark, I’m very much visual only at the moment. Last nights efforts:
Part 1- 10-11pm before properly dark:
– Jupiter- very wobbly with poor seeing and still too low in the sky. Only 2/3 bands really visible and the moons distinctly fuzzy.
– Epsilon Lyrae – the Double double. Still low in the sky but reasonably easy to split all four stars.
– M13 & M92– Spent quite a long time on this trying different magnifications. The sweet spot seemed to be about 300x, able to resolve stars down to the core, but without too much fuzziness.
– Ceres – Just a point of light, but a nice hopping challenge from Leo. I’ve put a hands free phone holder onto the end of my scope which means I’ve got Sky Safari right next to the finder and eyepiece. The scope is heavy enough that it doesn’t unbalance it too much and it really helps being able to jump back and forth between map and the actual view.
Part 2 – 11-11:30 pm dark enough for faint fuzzies…
– Leo Triplet 1 – M65 and M66 were bright enough to see the cores and shape quite clearly. NGC 3628 much more of a challenge and only with averted vision and knowing exactly where to look.
– Leo Triplet 2 – M96, M95, M105 – all 3 were faint but visible, but not the 2 companions to M105
– Sombrero – the failure of the night- seemed to be just behind a tree!
– The Needle Galaxy- wanted to check this out following Rogers picture last week. Tried very hard to see the dark lane, but couldn’t conclusively do so, although the shape and central bulge were both clearly visible.
– Melotte 111 – this was an accidental find in the finder when looking for the needle- very pretty!
Part 3 – 11:30pm-midnight… the bit where I tried to gather the will power to pack up despite the beautiful improving skies and kept telling myself one last object before bed…
– M57 Ring nebula – wonderfully clear, could see shading. Couldn’t quite see the central star, despite a long observation
– NGC6826 – Blinking Planetary Nebula
– Back to M13- even better against the darker sky.
– Jupiter- now much higher and steadier; 6/7 bands clearly visible, moons now nice and crisp.
Finally to bed. Felt like a long one at work today! Trying to convince myself that it’s not another clear night tonight…