Astronomy

Observing Log for

Session Details


Northallerton

54.3299, -1.44529

10m

Notes

With changeable conditions I didn't go outside until after midnight when an extended clear patch appeared. The night was warm with a slight cooling breeze. Sky conditions were moderately transparent skies with fast moving cloud coming in from the west.

Observations

Gamma Delphini

With the moon out and clouds lurking in the area I went for an easy target to begin with. Gamma Delphini is one of my favourite double stars. Located in Delphinus this double was resolved with the 25mm eyepiece, and with the 10mm showed its golden primary against (what I see as) its green secondary star. Putting in the barlow further pushed apart the stars but the sky conditions were not good enough to merit any extended viewing of this beautiful pairing.

NGC 6819

From Delphinus I moved across to Cygnus where some starhopping took me from Sadr across to Delta and then down to this compact cluster, 6819. Close by a 6th-magnitude star the cluster wasn't easy to find at first, but eventually popped into view as a faint but crisp cluster of stars. I counted 20 or so tiny grain-like stars with the 10mm eyepiece in.

6819 is estimated to be 2.5billion years old and is on the northern edge of the galaxy's Orion Arm.

The Moon - L53

With the clouds constantly shifting my next clear target was the Moon, rising in the eastern sky and now a waxing quarter moon. After admiring the crisp image of the Moon and exploring the terminator I turned to my intended target, L53, also known as Lamont. This is an usual geological feature which selenographers believe to be a buried two-ring basin. It is located in the south-western corner of the Sea of Tranquility where it was easy to find, close to the terminator and just north of the large crater Julius Ceasar. Close to a smaller crater Lamont was visible in the barlowed 10mm as a faint ring of material with ridges running off both to the north and south. It is a former impact basin which has since been buried by volcanic activity.

I also took the opportunity to do some afocal photography of the Moon using my camera. A processed shot is shown here.

Moon

NGC 6910

I returned to Cygnus in the hope that I could now star hop down the neck of the Swan to an asterism called the Fairy Ring. I started off at Sadr and took the opportunity to check out a small open cluster, 6910 which lies just above it. This cluster does have associated nebulosity but with the Moon out and clouds about I could only make out the horse shape of the stars that form the cluster. It was nevertheless a pleasing sight with two bright stars dominating the sparse collection of stars.

With the clouds headed my way and not enough time to continue my star hop I decided to take a photo of the Cygnus area before packing up my stuff. This is the result.

Milky Way (Tail of Cygnus)