M13 - The Great Hercules Globular Cluster
My first port of call was the Great Globular Cluster in
M57 - The Ring Nebula
Another target susceptible to moonlight,
NGC 6826 - The Blinking Nebula
I will try this target again when the moon has once again disappeared, as although I found the right patch of sky, it was very difficult with such a diffusion of moonlight to definitely say I could see this nebula. It is a planetary nebula surrounding a mag 10 star which I believe I found, however when looked at directly the nebula vanishes, leaving only the star. The nebula returns only when you look away (i.e. through averted vision) and this was the bit I was struggling with. Although the star did appear to change slightly it was very difficult to confirm.
M71 - Globular Cluster in Sagitta
Located along the shaft of the constellation
Gamma Delphini - A Double Star
Double Stars are often improved by the presence of moonlight, as the diffused light improves colour contrast and allows our eyes to perceive the colours better. This was certainly the case with Gamma Delphini (the nose star of Delphinus the Dolphin) which sat last night very close to the almost full moon, yet looked spectacular. The primary star appeared golden yellow, whilst the companion secondary first seemed to be a light, lime green, but as I looked at it longer darkened to a more bluey-green. A beautiful pairing which I shall definitely be returning to in the future.
M11 - The Wild Ducks (Open Cluster)
Located in a densely populated (but awkwardly southern) area of the sky, again I thought I would take a look at this target so that I woud be prepared for a moonless night. Even under these conditions, the cluster was easy to locate and yielded a certain amount of detail. The cluster has a fairly bright star at its head, with two trails (or wings) stretching back westwards. Last night these appeared to be only fuzzy patches with only a couple of brighter stars in each wedge viewable. This will definitely be revisited once the moon has disappeared as it is supposed to be one of the most attractive of the open clusters.
An asterism of stars in
Rising now at about 11pm in the east,
The double-double is a star in