Observing Log for

Session Details


56.157, -3.749



After a completely cloudy day the skies cleared and it was an incredibly starry night. Cold temperatures but above freezing with the wind dying out. Occasional very light cloud.


M42 - The Orion Nebula

I visited this target several times over the course of the evening, enjoying the views in both the 30mm and 25mm eyepieces. Extensive nebulosity was visible arcing away from the trapezium area. As the night advanced and I spent more time looking it became apparent to the eye that there was depth to the nebula, particular around the trapezium.

I attempted some imaging using just my phone and managed to get some interesting views which, although not fully in focus, provided some colour and extensive nebulosity. The images were good through the 30mm eyepiece but unfortunately there was a lot of internal reflections of what I assume to be IR light from the phone. The 25mm eliminated this problem but was more difficult to hold steady on.

The Great Orion Nebula

M45 - The Pleiades

Excellent views of this cluster in the 30mm 2" eyepiece with the largest stars bright and blue. No haze of nebulosity evident.

M35 - Open Cluster

I very briefly observed M35 which appeared as a disperse open clustering of stars, mostly of moderate to faint brightness, filling the 30mm eyepiece.

M1 - The Crab Nebula

I wasn't sure whether the presence of a first quarter Moon would limit my ability to see this but in the end I picked it up straight away after a very easy star hop following the directions in Turn Left at Orion. The nebula was almost dead centre in the eyepiece when I looked, visible as a faint puff of haze, elongated like an American football. It responded to averted vision, brightening slightly, but there was nothing much more than a hint of shape and fuzzy brightness.

M37 - Open Cluster

M36 - Open Cluster

M38 - Open Cluster


First Quarter Moon