It was a pretty rubbish evening earlier.
Bit surprised to step out at 11pm to find one of the clearest nights Ive seen in a long time.
Too tired to haul out a lot of kit so I just looked up and enjoyed the view with just a pair of Canon 10×30 IS binoculars for company.
It was so clear that I could spot Andromeda naked eye, which is certainly exceptional for Limavady! Jupiter (and 1 moon) was extremely bright – there was no Moon.
Thanks to the clock moving back, my favourite winter constellation, Orion is now visible again. I used the binoculars and could see 2 of the O class Trapezium stars at the heart of the Orion nebula and surprisingly, had no difficulty identifying one of my favourite open clusters, NGC 1981, just above the Sword of Orion. Ive had difficulty in the past spotting this with 20×80 binoculars, never mind 10×30!
A quick run through: Pleiades, Hyades, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Castor, Pollux, Cassiopeia, Auriga and Capella, Alpha persei moving cluster, Andromeda galaxy, Polaris and the Great Bear.
To cap the evening off, I saw 3 very impressive meteors: 2 coincidentals and 1 Orionid meteor.
Well, if the weather keeps up, I think I’ll find a lot to keep me interested in the next while!