Cloud dodging my way to an old friend…

One of those nights where you know from the forecast it isn’t going to be great, but you’re also suffering withdrawal and go for it with the 14″ anyway…

Started off with Mars. I’ve recently discovered that the best view of it in the dob is with a variable polarising filter. It really cuts the glare down and doesn’t seem to lose as much resolution as the aperture mask. Lovely clear surface detail and the polar cap still just visible. Kicking myself that I didn’t discover this combination back in October!!!
Next over to the Pleiades and it’s a fabulous sight- lots nebulosity and texture between the stars. Love it.

Then it clouds over….

90 minutes later Sam suggests that if he gets his PJ’s on then maybe the sky will clear- and sure enough it did ten minutes later! I can hire him out at if anyone’s interested…

Transparency isn’t so good, but stars can be seen!!! M42 has cleared the house for my first proper view this season. A brilliant sight and we spend some time drinking it in. The main nebula is bright and clear at 55x and really pops with the uhc filter in. It’s like having an old friend back. Even the Running Man is quite prominent. Swap over to the 7mm for 236x and the core is like a whole new object, lots of texture in the bright area with the fainter stuff dropped out by the higher mag. The trapezium is bright and clear with E and F stars just about there floating in and out of visibility.

Pop the 30mm back in for a trip to Alnitak, but the sky is getting murkier by the minute. I can see hints of nebulosity, but not the dark lane that means I can chalk up the flame.

In view of the conditions I decide to look at some brighter stuff. Sigma Orionis is a good sight- 4 stars easy. It looks to me like the A star has a companion. Lots of checking and double checking and a bit of a read on the internet- it does have one and was discovered in a 12″ scope. In view of the conditions I find it very unlikely that I’ve seen it, but one to go back to. Has anyone else on here snagged this one? Really good view in any case.

Next I had a look at Betelgeuse. I know it’s just a big fat red star but I love the colour and so did my son.

Moved down to Rigel. I really like it-it’s a nice split and a good example of uneven stars without being anywhere near as difficult as Sirius.
One last view on the faint stuff- over to M31/2. A nice view, but too murky to pick up 110.

Thicker cloud now so scanning the sky to find gaps…

Iota Cass- easily found and split.
Achird a nice split with some hints of colour.

A nice session- shame it clouded over, but a bit of a fix to keep me going!!!!

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