Astronomy

Observing Log for

Session Details


Tillicoultry

56.1574, -3.74906

50m

Notes

Clearing skies with light haze and some patchy cloud to the west. Very mild and still. Dew forming later.

Observations

M13

The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules. An easy find along one side of the keystone and easily visible as an out of focus star in the finder scope. At low power the cluster appeared bright and compact with some graininess. Moving up to the 10mm eyepiece the cluster filled the view in a pleasing way with individual stars resolved against a more general textured background.

M92

A second globular cluster in Hercules. This one slightly more difficult to find being closer to the zenith and with few nearby bright stars. Eventually I got the right hop from the top of the keystone. Appeared as a much dimmer diffuse star in the finderscope. In low power appeared as a tight ball of light, brighter at the centre. This was accentuated when switching to higher power with the central region distinctly brighter from the outer area. Much smaller than M13 but perhaps a more pleasing overall view.

Ras Algethi - Double Star in Hercules

Easy to locate below the keystone, this is a very pleasant double star with a bright whitish-yellow primary and a very close blue-green secondary. It was just about splittable with the 10mm but I used the 4mm planetary eyepiece to get an excellent view.

Double Double in Lyra

Easily found close to bright Vega, the double-double shows as two close stars which themselves are doubles. With the 10mm eyepiece I could see all 4 stars though the split wasn't perfect.

M57 - The Ring Nebula

Another easy target to locate. The smoky ring was apparent with the 25mm eyepiece and improved with 10mm to give some dark detailing particularly to the outer edge of the ring.

Albireo

The head of Cygnus is easy to locate at this time of year and always provides an outstanding view. Easily split with low power the two components display wonderful colouring against the blue background of the twilight sky.

M27 - Dumbell Nebula

This was my final target for the night as the sky was getting distinctly bright in the east and there was still cloud around to the south and west. This is a short star hop from the main stars of the constellation Sagitta and just about visible in the finderscope. Through the eyepiece it appeared as a large and fairly diffuse bowtie shape. The brightening sky made it very ghostly in appearance.

Other Attempted Observations

I attempted to locate M5 but was struggling with haze and cloud in the area. I also attempted M56 but struggled with the required star hopping high overhead. I suspect that the cluster was washed out against the brightening sky despite conducting a fairly thorough sweep of the approximate area with low power. I meant to relocate the scope to try for M10 and M12 but the sky was too bright and so I ended up packing away at 2am.

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