Astronomy

Observing Log for

Session Details


Tillicoultry

56.1574, -3.74906

50m

Notes

A pleasant summer evening. Initially very clear though patchy cloud appeared from 23:30 BST. Attempted to locate globular clusters M10 and M12 but star hopping was difficult and clouds rolled into this area.

Observations

Albireo

It was still twilight when I started observing so double stars were the best choice. Albireo in Cygnus is one of the very best. The blue-gold colouring was excellent with very good seeing making this a very easy target.

Ras Algethi

Ras Algethi, a double star in Hercules, is a slightly more challenging target with much less separation between the two stars. Easily located, at x40 there was no discernible separation. However, increasing to x100 brought a slight split which was improved by using the x2 Barlow. The seeing wasn't perfect but these made a very nice pair with the colour difference easily seen, especially when knocked slightly out of focus.

M5 - Globular Cluster in Serpens

This bright (mag 5) globular cluster is in a fairly featureless part of the sky but was easy to locate even with the lingering glow of sunset in the west. The cluster is compact and bright in the 25mm eyepiece with less discernible granularity than, for example, M13.

Saturn

I caught a short view of Saturn as it moved between two trees to the south of my observing location. Very poor seeing conditions low in the southern sky. Cassini division not visible but Titan obvious.

M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy

With the Moon now rising in the east and cloudy patches building I was running out of easy targets. After some frustrating attempts to find Messier targets in the southwest I turned the scope on M31. The core was bright but much of the rest of the disk was washed out. Interestingly M110 was more obvious than the previous night.

M57 - The Ring Nebula

The Ring Nebula was my final target for the night, with cloud now covering much of the sky. A gap revealed Lyra so I pointed the scope and soon picked up sight of the Ring Nebula. Always an interesting target the ghostly ring hung in the blackness of space. Averted vision brought out some hint of structure towards the centre through the star was not visible.