M56 - Globular Cluster in Lyra
This was a difficult object to find as the rich starfields of the Milky Way in this area meant that the faint fuzzy patch was almost invisible in the finderscope. I eventually had to resort to scanning the area using the 25mm Plossl in the telescope. This method proved successful and I was rewarded with another of the summers fine Globular Clusters. The starfields around it didn't help, but the cluster was easily visible as a rich concentration of stars. Unlike
M57 - The Ring Nebula
I have seen the Ring Nebula brifly before in a society telescope but never had a chance to look at it more closely. It was very easy to locate, close to the bright star Vega in the constellation
This is a planetary nebula caused by a white dwarf star which has blown off its outer layer of gas during a process that will eventually lead to it becoming a black dwarf. The central star is around mag 15 and so could not be seen
M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula
This target was made difficult to found by the encroaching clouds that had built up whilst I searched for M56. However with a little help from Turn Left... I quickly located it. In the finderscope it was a very distinct fuzzy patch of light and on turning to the telescope it immediately sprang out from the scattered background of stars. This is a much bigger planetary nebula than the Ring Nebula and the resemblance to a dumbbell or bow tie was immediately apparent. It stood up well to increased magnification but looked best at x80. Sadly my viewing was cut short by the clouds but I shall be visiting this one again - a very impressive sight.
At 23:25 BST I observed a mag -6 Iridium Flare which passed close to Arcturas in the low western sky.