Thursday, September 29, 2011

First night at a new site

I have recently moved house with bigger gardens and luckily has dark skies. Last night was not only my first foray outdoors with the scope here, but also the first since I fitted my RA motor drive (to counteract the Earth's rotation once the scope is polar aligned).
Well, what a treat I had - some of the things I saw I've been wanting to see since I was 10 years old! The Milky Way was clearly visible - much more than I have previously seen.
All of the objects were viewed with my 4" mak with 25mm eyepiece, which gives me 52x. I really like this eyepiece for the wide field it gives me even with the 1300mm focal length of the scope.
* Andromeda Galaxy (M31)
* Ring Nebula (M57) in Lyra. This is a Planetary Nebula
* Alcor and Mizar in the Big Dipper and also Mizar's double
* The double cluster in Perseus - two open clusters, NGC869 and NGC884. NGC869 has a lovely haze of light behind the stars. NGC884 contains supergiants, some of which are 50,000 times brighter than our Sun!

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable night.

MJ

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