Southern clusters , what a £30 scope can do.

12/2/18 Swadlincote Helios 102 f10 refractor, 11mm Nagler, 23mm Panoptic and  frost.

Clear night with curious seeing , lot of twinkling stars in some areas. Have. Good around before kickoff , even high up there were signs of turbulence.Tried iota Cassiopeiae as a tester , it just glued itself together. Others up there split fine , including the delicate B and C to Psi Cassiopeiae, a real treat. A delicate dusting showed Carolines Rose is quite accessible in small aperture.

On the other hand Tegmine split and iota Cancri showed beautiful colour . Even caught the other “winter Albireo” , h3945 in Canis Major .

Monoceros gave the magnificent beta and the more delicate and challenging 15 Mon, bright star at the base of the “Christmas tree “(NGC 2264).

Really surprised to get down low in the south to Puppis. Picked up a spectacularly bright M47 , worth finding and an adjacent faint M46.

M50 in Monoceros looked like a dog with a long neck ! Also caught M48’in Hydra and a very low M93.

Some real challenges for a 4″ refractor,

53 UMa (Alula australis) caught at x182. Now opened to 2”, lovely bright near twin pair.
65 UMa at x150, just a delightful triple, really pleased to pick this up.
Sigma 2 UMa at x150. Lovely delicate visual double .
57 UMa at x180, just a glimpse of the very delicate companion.

UMa shows a multitude of wonderful binaries.

Had a shot at some trending carbon stars, “Hinds crimson” being a good start .

BL Orionis was orange and bright.As was W Orionis. Brightest orange was UU Aurigae. Both X Cancri and S Cephei were bright.

Sight of the night was M47 , lovely views and not bad from a hardly used , old school rescued ebay £30 Helios 102 f10, under
Clear skies ! Nick.

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