Friday, September 30, 2011

Right Back to Square Two

My first night out for 6 months, same location (sw Sheffield) & same kit. I'd spent a couple of evenings prior doing some naked eye astronomy and I'm glad I did. I thought I'd start off on something easy like Jupiter and although the "seeing" wasn't too good I saw the two equatorial cloud bands and the four moons at both 50x and 150x.

As the night was reasonably clear, there were some wispy clouds about, I thought I'd go off-piste. Given the recent news regarding the supernova I thought I'd have a stab at the pin wheel galaxy and what do you know; I found it! It was a blur but I could just about make out the "arms".
So, on a roll, I thought I'd have a go at my old nemesis, Andromeda. After about 15 minutes I found the all too familiar blur. Of all the sights I've seen I would love to see it in more detail. At both 50x and 150x I can only make out a faint glow in the middle of a smudge.

The title of the post relates to the fact that spending some time looking at the stars, with or without a telescope, means your locational skills get better and constellations become easier to recognise.

A successful night for me but I can see a future blog regarding scope maintenance as my focusing wheels were a little sluggish. Saying that tonight has made me want to save my pennies for a Dobsonian or standard reflector.Watch this space.Al

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