I really wasn’t expecting much last night after the RAG meeting, as the forecast was iffy and I was tired. It was only Sam nagging that got me out really. I’m very glad he did.
Got the 14″ out (in for a penny…) and started off with some broken cloud and a nice view of Mars- it really is very good at the moment. Polar caps and surface shading were very prominent- and that colour- wow!
Decided to try and do an imaging run in the Dob on it- it’s harder than it looks!!! I barlowed it up to get some detail, and at 5m focal length keeping it on the screen, never mind in the middle, is harder than it looks!!! Eventually realised that the seeing wasn’t going to support anything special so we abandoned that idea and started observing instead.
Next went for the Pleiades, and at that point the penny dropped that seeing might be a bit wobbly, but the sky was very transparent. The nebulosity was evident all over the place, a gorgeous electric blue around the brighter stars. We both found that by gently wobbling the scope you could bring out the granularity right across the cluster.
Moved across to Andromeda, and just sat taking turns drinking it in- with the bright core centred the disk reached out beyond the fov of the 30mm EP. Even m110 was pretty straightforward.
Time for Sam to go to bed, so I said goodnight and then took a break to set an imaging run going.
Next up- Uranus- clear green disk. Lovely view.
M33 best ever view from home. Superb in 30mm. Core was clear with hints of the outer regions.
Ngc752 lovely rich cluster. Almost rose like. Gorgeous.
NGC 891 – Nope- even with this sky I couldn’t catch this at home.
I fancied some more galaxies so next up was Mirach and its ghost. At around 200x this was clearly visible.
NGC 7814 in the corner of Pegasus was really faint but there.
Ngc7331 above the north west arm of Pegasus was nice and obvious.
Worth going for Stephans quintet? YES! First sight at home in 30mm just a smudge, but definitely seen. Spent a long time on this one. I must have liked for this 10+ times and I’ve only seen it once before on a special night in Cumbria. It was only the faintest lightening of the sky without real shape, but the concept of seeing this galaxy cluster with my own eyes blows my mind.
Over to Cepheus for the Garnet star- like a glowing coal, with hints of nebulosity
Ngc7380- my imaging target for the night. No nebulosity seen but a nice v shaped cluster.
Caroline’s Rose. This was inspired a bit by Andy’s picture. On hazy nights I find this can be a bit meh- but tonight the hundreds of faint stars and were a wonderful sight.
Time for bed now, but went back for a last peak at Mars. Just a terrific sight. I spent a while looking for the moons without any joy- the planet was just too bright, the glow prominent even when the disk was edged out of view.
Tearing myself away from the eyepiece on a night like this was not easy!