Nick Cox

Faint fuzzies and the comet.

Swadlincote 17/12/18 C6r on Eq6 pro.

Up at 4 , lovely dark sky , no neighbouring lights . Firstly , find that elusive comet 46/P. Just over the roof and very bright with a green tinge.UMa overhead leading down to Arcturus and a full Bootes. Spotted the “ghost of Jupiter ” bright planetary nebula and the “Spindle galaxy” in Sextans , a long bright NGC 3115.

Up to Leo and a surprise to catch all three galaxies of the triplet at x90. Then some views of the Canes Venatici galaxies. M94 being the brightest easiest catch between Cor Caroli  and Chara.

Down to a very bright M3 before returning to the galaxies. I had always very much enjoyed their shapes from darker skies . Views here are mainly by averted vision, any sort of light pollution will make big aperture ineffective. From dark sky sites for instance , NGC 4449 is really resolvable.

Finished on the gorgeous crescent of Venus . Some decent skies around ! Clear skies ! Nick.

Our small Moon !

It looks so huge  in the sky, yet a small fingernail at arm’s length covers it. It’s also the same size as the Sun in the sky.

I found this rather clear map and an indication of the 6 Apollo landing sites . There’s also an indication of it’s surprising size , with the rest if the cast thrown in ! Nick.

Current planetary nebulae.

Swadlincote 29/10/18 C6r reduced to 120mm.13mm Nagler.

Very well worth finding , mostly brightly coloured blue to blue green.

These are very obvious in the field of view , being non stellar. You can take the brightest up to x200. Indeed the “Esquimaux Nebula” in Gemini will show its hood and central white dwarf star. I had M27 filling the field at x200. Its surprising to see the different sizes and brightness of these most beautiful nebulae .

I recall a night when Andy arrived and we hit many on this list and my details of more obscure planetaries. They blink either with direct or averted vision. Some respond very well to UHC filters.

Personally I like the names and what has happened to give us a view of these temporary features, Nick.

Pegasus stars !

Swadlincote 28/10/18 C6r reduced to 120mm aperture.

Lovely clear forecast , set out the chair , looked at at a huge rainbow and heavy rain. Set up the mount at 5.30, hurrah for dark evenings.

Some chill , but superb seeing before the Moon climbed up. I reduced the aperture to 120mm to get more contrast , certainly worked. Pegasus gave some  stunning binaries.

I had a look at Bu1.  The triple in NGC 281 (“Packman nebula” in Cassiopeia). Very pleased not only to get some tight splits , but some faint companions, clear skies ! Nick.

“Book of the Moon”.

written with so much enthusiasm as only Dr. Maggie can inpart. Bang up to date , 2018. Includes the finding of hydroxyl ( mineral water !) .

It’s very clearly detailed with everything you’ve always thought of asking . Ideal for a Christmas present and deserves a place on every stargazers book shelf. I’m probably the last person to be mad about the Moon ( devil’s light bulb ) , but this book shows it a new light ,

old Nick.