Highly transparent sky , winter treasures.

Swadlincote 12/11/17 Celestron C6r Heq5pro mount.

Dark early and Auriga rising , it’s always a surprise to catch the whole Summer Triangle in November . Time to sweep up the Messier’s , even M33 showed a fuzzy cloud at x50. Even M1 looked good.Transparency was superb, but especially lower down , the seeing was hard to cope with. I suppose those indoors had stoked up the heating , hot air making it’s presence known. Tegmine didn’t split out into a triple , something I’d been waiting for. I thought something was wrong , either with the scope or the eyes. Seeing to the north was exceptionally poor. Mind you , that’s in the direction of Darbados !

A stunning M57, M27 and keeping the Oiii filter in , a lovely sweep around the Eastern Veil, NGC 6995-2. Up to the Blue Snowball, NGC 7662, a lovely sight . Back to the planetaries and NGC 6543 ,”The Cat’s Eye “nebula in Draco and the challenging blink of the “Bow Tie Nebula”, NGC 40. Catch the open cluster NGC 752 at the end of Andromeda, this is a stunning open cluster , another Caroline Herschel discovery.

A bright colourful Uranus and a dimmer Neptune followed. Waiting for Gemini, I went back to some favourite binaries , the close Zeta Aquarii, split at 1.7″ and the colourful showcase iota Trianguli at 3.8″, a yellow and red here.


Draco gives a mass of binaries.

39 Draconis (SAO 30012) is a seven star system,a lovely bright primary with a +8.1 secondary here.

16-17 Draconis shows a lovely delicate triple (SAO 30012)catch the close 3.0″ companion to the wide 90.0″ secondary.

μ Draconis ( “Arrakis”of Dune ! ) twins at 2.3″.(SAO 30239)

Psi Draconis (SAO 8891)lovely at 30″.

40-41 Draconis (SAO 8994) near twins at 18.6”.

Σ 2348 at 18h33.9m +52 21′ , beautiful.

ο Draconis (SAO 31218) an orange giant with a faint +8.3 companion.Draco is a very rich hunting ground.

Gemini and the massive M35 with the two billion year old cluster NGC 2158. Wasat was challenging ,but gave the delightful companion. The “Eskimo Nebula” NGC 2392 gave it’s very best , transparency showing details of the hood and easy central star at x200.Orion was well up , but seeing bothered the Trapezium, NGC 1981 and the “37” cluster , NGC 2169 looked magnificent .

Over to Monoceros and that huge “Hagrid’s Dragon” , NGC 2301 filling the ep at x100. Both NGC 2264 (“Christmas tree”) and NGC 2244 gave good views.

Sleep called at 1.00, waking early there was the magnificent sight of a high Leo in the south , Spica and Virgo to the east and Mars above the roof tops.

Going to be a later start next time under clear skies ! Nick

1 Response

  1. You must have thick socks Nick- it was flipping freezing last night!

    I found an hour and saw M1 and Uranus, both for the first time (Yay!) Couldn’t find Neptune, though, I think it was hiding behind my neighbours house! The number of targets you saw is very inspirational.

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