2 hours of cloudless viewing from 12MN to 2AM.
Learnt a lot about the capabilities of my scope tonight.
I think it performs much better with lighter eyepieces when slewing between objects.
This was the first time I’ve been out under the Summer stars ever! It wasn’t entirely dark even at 2AM – This meant it was difficult to see faint galaxies well but Open Clusters, and Planetary Nebulae were fine. Globular clusters were a bit duller than normal.
New objects seen (* = favourite):
M27 PN * Dumbbell Planetary Nebula
Caldwell 10 OC
Caldwell 12 GLX
Caldwell 13 OC * Phi Cas Open Cluster
Caldwell 16 OC
Caldwell 17 GLX
Caldwell 18 GLX
Caldwell 22 PN * Blue Snowball Planetary Nebula
Caldwell 23 GLX
Caldwell 28 OC
Caldwell 37 OC
H2_751 (NGC 5857) GLX
H2_752 (NGC 5859) GLX
H7_045 (NGC 0436) OC
H7_049 (NGC 0637) OC
H7_046 (NGC 0654) OC
H7_056 (NGC 7790) OC
H8_079 (NGC 0129) OC
H8_064 (NGC 0381) OC
H8_065 (NGC 0659) OC
H8_066 (NGC 1027) OC
H8_007 (NGC 6940) OC*
NGC 0225 OC
NGC 0189 OC
Collinder 399 “The Coathanger”
Awful weather, but got out between showers to see if Ophiuchus had risen much above neighbours roof. Could see M10 (new) and M12 globular clusters but others still too low.
Most of Cassiopeia is now in view for me so saw M52 and M103 (open clusters) again.
With the clouds closing in again, there wasn’t much time to see any Caldwells, Herschels or NGCs.
Posted from WordPress for Android
The constellation of Ophiuchus is not well known.
It lies across the ecliptic and is best seen in UK in the Summer.
The name means “Snake bearer” and has been linked with the greek physician/god of medicine Asclepius who bore a snake-entwined staff – the Caduceus (both Poison and Medicine). Older records suggest a link with a Babylonian man/snake god.
Up here in Limavady at 55 North , Ophiuchus is still lying pretty much on my horizon but last night, I did catch the upper part of the constellation and saw Messier 12 – a globular cluster.
The snake carried by the good doctor is the constellation Serpens – the head bit – Serpens Caput is also just about above the horizon and contains another globular cluster Messier 5 which was observed.
I also worked at trying to see the Cassini division in Saturn’s rings. I tried my Vixen NLV 5mm (x400 eyepiece) but focusing was difficult maybe due to atmospheric turbulence or just the difficulty in focusing a SCT scope under high magnification. My 9mm (x222) Meade 5000 HD60 eyepiece gave a much steadier image with the division spotted. A light blue (Wratten 80A) filter helped considerably and even brought out a little banding in Saturn itself.
Just messing about with eyepieces, I looked at M57, the Ring nebula with an 18mm (x111) Meade 5000 HD60 and appreciated a large view of the smoke ring-like planetary nebula.
A pretty double pair – Cygni 61 was also observed, this time with a Vixen NPL 30mm.
Most of Cassiopeia and Andromeda still lie too far North for me to see from my garden but I might try shifting my scope to the patio at the bottom of the garden and looking North (gap between two houses) next time.
A clear night at last.
More of the summer constellations are now visible including Cygnus – The Swan.
I used Arcturus and then Deneb in Cygnus to align then viewed the following new objects:
Messier 29 Open cluster Cygnus
Messier 39 Open cluster Cygnus
Messier 56 Globular cluster Lyra
Caldwell 15 Planetary nebula Cygnus – The blinking nebula
– Your central vision sees the central white dwarf and your peripheral vision sees the glowing gas cloud.
Caldwell 19 Cocoon Nebula Cygnus
Caldwell 20 North American nebula Cygnus
Caldwell 27 Crescent nebula Cygnus
Caldwell 33 Veil nebula Cygnus – Supernova remnant.
Even summery Cassiopeia was in view – I caught Messier 52 – a pretty open cluster.
I spent some time looking at the M57 ring nebula again as well as M13 and also Saturn under lowish power which was nice and clear but didnt use a high enough powered eyepiece to see the Cassini division.
Also seemed to be a lot of meteors last night – mostly seen through the eyepiece which is always a bit weird. Probably the end of the Lyrids which have their peak 22-26th April.