Started observing about 1AM. The western sky wasn’t really dark. Spotted a couple of tiny planetary nebulae but at around 0130hrs, Sagittarius started to appear above my horizon. Sgr has a lot of Messier objects but I was only able to pick out some of the “upper” ones. The Swan nebula was quite impressive but I guess the prize has to go to the Sagittarius star cloud, M24, which is well, just a dense wall of stars in an adjacent spiral arm in our galaxy.
M20, the Trifid nebula was excellent and I was pleased to be able to see it, without using filters. The central dust cloud that divides the nebula into 3 is designated Barnard 85 – a dark nebula.
I tried to work through some Herschel 400 open clusters with my wide angle eyepiece (31mm Baader, x66 magnification) but thought they were all a bit underwhelming. In some, I could see tiny little balls of stars.
When I checked afterwards, it was the tiny little balls that were the open clusters! I was just too zoomed out. To address this, I found a great IPad app, DS browser (full version) that can quickly show a Deep Sky Survey image of all the Messier, Caldwell, Herschel, NGC and other lists at different magnifications. This will be invaluable in correctly identifying objects.
I do take my iPad out with me in a shoulder bag which also contains a red/green LED torch (green is better for reading), lists of targets, map books, pen, paper etc. it also makes a handy receptacle for eyepieces and general bits.
I use Redshift for iPad as my “live” map.
M17 OC and Emission nebula Sagittarius.”The Swan”*
M18 OC Sagittarius “The Black Swan”
M20 OC and Emission nebula Sagittarius. “The Trifid Nebula”*
M23 OC Sagittarius
M24 The Sagittarius Star cloud*
M25 OC Sagittarius
Herschel 400 Objects
NGC 6781 PN Aquila
NGC 6833 PN Cygnus