Thursday, September 13, 2007

September 12, 2007 Observing Report

Transparency was great, 9 out of 10. Could see the Milky Way nicely across the sky. I am always awed by the sight. The air was cool with a slight wind, around 5-7 mph.

This time I had 2 sessions. The first was from 10:30-11:00PM. The goal was to locate Uranus and Neptune. Uranus was found easily at 24x with the 25mm plossl. Neptune eluded me tonight. It was a little lower in the sky and light pollution coupled with my unfamiliarity with the area of the sky lead to my failure. To feel better, I strolled over to M27 and M57. I never tire of these subjects and they did not fail to impress. M27 looked superb all the way to 60x, while M57 was pushed successfully to 150x. It did not breakdown at all and was quite the sight.

The last session started around 1:10AM. The following subjects were viewed:
M45: Crystal clear in the 25mm, a beautiful sight
Mars: Looked great at 150x with the BO/TMB 4mm.
The disc seemed to be about two thirds formed.
M31: Nice shape at 30x with a 20mm plossl. Great night for this galaxy.
M103: First Time. One of many clusters in the area, this one framed nicely at 60x.
NGC457: First Time. Another nice cluster in the area. I love these.
NGC889/: The Perseus Double cluster again. Can't help but going there.
M34: First Time. Very nice looking cluster especially the double star near the middle.

As I was closing up shop at 2:00AM, I noticed The Hunter starting to rise towards the northeast. It was a very nice sight to close the night with. That area of the sky has so much to offer now.

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