Another hour long drive out to a semi rural site for some darker skies. Due to waxing moon i tried to nap in the evening then left home around 11pm. Luckily the local farmer didn't park his bovines on the lookout grounds like he did on Wednesday night, so I didn't need to divert to alt site A. Yes - I have contingency sites around my preferred observing spots. This time I didn't bother with any telescopes, just brought zero-g, 18x50is and 10x42is.
The Milky Way was high from the Eastern horizon to the West and for the most part I concentrated on the star rich MW.
First time view objects included: IC2488, Ngc2925 & 2866 near the False Cross and Ngc1647 and 1746 in Taurus. These are all open clusters.
Also noticed in a whole population of small open clusters to the left (north I think) of ngc 2546. These include 2567, 2571 etc. the thing is that this is a particularly rich star field and while I could tell where the small OCs where as I panned the binos, I found it impossible to identify which was precisely which.
I also noticed for the the first time that under sufficiently dark skies ngc 2546, m46 & m47 are naked eye objects.
I saw a heck of a lot of detail some of which I recognised and some not. I could have spent more time with the sky map trying to figure out what is what but decided to balance the wonder of looking with the incessant curiosity to know what I'm looking at.
I find the two binoculars to be complementary - the wider fov of 10x42 and greater detail of the 18x work very well together. I'm also really glad I didn't bother with any telescopes because the temptation to keep going deeper was removed.
Next time though it will Dob night.
Clear Dark Skies to you all.