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What did you see last night in your binoculars? (Part 3)

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#1376 Napp

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 11:24 AM

I've tracked hundreds of satellites over the years but last night I saw a satellite occult a star for the first time.  I picked up a satellite in Hercules by chance and followed it southward, where, for a split second, it occulted Rasalgethi at approximately 9:22 p.m. EDT.  The object may have been the Cosmos 1025 rocket body.  One would think that satellite occultations happen all the time but they are quite rare.

Dave, the evening of Sept 17 about 11:00PM I was observing Jupiter and its Galilean moons with my 10 inch Zhumell when I noticed a dim satellite enter the field of view.  I watched as it closed in on Callisto and just missed occulting it by the barest of margins.  It was really neat and enjoyable to watch.


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#1377 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 04:52 PM

I went to the Naylor Observatory yesterday for the third consecutive night.  The transparency was excellent and it got rather cold.  This time around I spent more time observing with my wife's Canon IS 15x50s than I did with the observatory's 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain.

 

Using the 15x50s, I viewed 1 Ceres, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Venus, Mira, Albireo, Alcor-Mizar, Epsilon Lyrae, Omicron Cygni, Collinder 65, Collinder 69, Collinder 70, Collinder 399, IC 4665, IC 4756, Kemble 1 (Kemble's Cascade), the Leaping Minnow asterism, Melotte 20, Melotte 25, M6, M7, M8, M11, M13, M16, M17, M18, M22, M23, M24, M25, M26, M27, M29, M30, M31, M33, M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M39, M41, M42 and the Sword of Orion, M45, M52, M56, M57, M71, M103, NGC 457, NGC 659, NGC 752 and the Golf Putter asterism, NGC 869, NGC 884, NGC 1528, NGC 2244, NGC 2264, NGC 6633, NGC 7000, NGC 7243, NGC 7789, Stock 2, and Stock 23.

 

Uranus was rather easy to detect but 1 Ceres required a bit of an effort.  Low-lying M30 was tough too.  I also added IC 4756, NGC 6633, and NGC 7243 to the DSOs that I've viewed through the 15x50s.  I gave NGC 7293 (the Helix Nebula) another go but was not successful.  However, once again I saw the Helix using the 17" classical Cassegrain and a narrowband nebula filter.

It was quite a night of fruitful but chilly binocular observing.


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#1378 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 04:42 AM

I spent my fourth consecutive night at the Naylor Observatory.  The transparency, while good, was probably not quite equal to that of Sunday night.  Once again it was rather cold.

 

I spent less time observing with my wife's Canon IS 15x50s this time but I still logged quite a few celestial objects. I viewed 1 Ceres, Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Saturn, TX Piscium, Albireo, Epsilon Lyrae, the Airplane asterism, Collinder 65, Collinder 69, Collinder 70, Collinder 399, IC 4665, Kemble 1 (Kemble's Cascade), the Leaping Minnow asterism, the Lucky 7 asterism, Melotte 20, Melotte 25, M11, M13, M27, M29, M30, M31, M33, M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M39, M41, M42 and the Sword of Orion, M45, M52, M56, M71, M103, NGC 659, NGC 752 and the Golf Putter asterism, NGC 869, NGC 884, NGC 1528, NGC 7000, NGC 7243, NGC 7789, Stock 2, and Stock 23.

 

The new objects for the 15x50s were Neptune, the carbon star TX Piscium in the Circlet of Pisces, and the Airplane and Lucky 7 asterisms in Cassiopeia.  There are sketches of the Airplane (which really doesn't look much like an airplane to me) and the Lucky 7 asterisms in the pdf posted at http://deepsky.waarn...s_EN_VER4.2.pdf


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#1379 Dutch Countryman

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 03:45 PM

Neptune!  Very easy to find right now.


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#1380 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 03:00 PM

Smoke from the western wildfires returned to my area yesterday.  The only celestial objects that I was able to see last night with my 12x50s were the waxing crescent Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Epsilon Lyrae, Omicron Cygni, Collinder 399, Melotte 20, M31, and M39.  The last four mentioned were marginal at best.



#1381 Pinewood

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 04:05 PM

Hello,

 

Last night, I did get my first glimpse of Mars for the season and a view of Saturn marred my haze.  Jupiter must have been obscured by clouds. Both should be well placed at 2130 EDT, past obstructing buildings and west of Manhattan's glare.  If clear, I will out again, tonight, with my 12x50.

 

Stay safe,

Arthur Pinewood


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#1382 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 07:47 PM

I was only able to see the waxing Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn this evening with my 12x50s.



#1383 Rapidray

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 04:31 PM

Over cast last night but 4:30 was great! Only used my monocular and my 10x50’s. There were so many stars around Orion’s Belt it was great...glad I was up!


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#1384 Augustus

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 06:53 PM

Moon, Jupiter and Saturn with my 11x70s


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#1385 CAAD9

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 05:32 PM

I have had a bit of a hiatus from observing this year. Not by design but due in part to weather, lock down and otherwise being busy with work and life. However, in September the wife and I took the kids on a 2 week drive through the Queensland outback as far west as Winton. I could only take binoculars as the SUV truly bulks out when travelling with little people. No chance for any dob.

 

Nevertheless I got to take the canon 10x42IS & 18x50IS and Fuji 16x70 with a tripod.  One downside was no space for a folding chair shocked.gif .  The trip coincided with new moon at Winton. Winton is home to Australia’s dinosaur research and museums and it has also recently been designated a dark sky sanctuary. So the observing was two weeks ago now as we only got back on Saturday and dialing back into work kept me from logging in here.

 

So, to the dark skies. Well, yes very dark. I have to confess the first two nights of observing were a little wasted as I was finding my feet again and lacked any observing plan. The lack of chair was solved by borrowing a garden chair from the motel we stayed at. Next was finding a suitable observing site and the first night I blundered around two different spots along the dirt road leading south out of town. I was driven from my first spot by passing cars blinding my with high beams.  In the end I spent most of the night on Scorpius and Sagittarius comparing the merits of my three binoculars. It was ok.
 

The second night I drove to the top of a Mesa where the Australian Age of Dinosaurs is located about 25km out of town. This spot was very quiet and delightful as the road is surrounded by trees which when having a gentle breeze blow make for a very peaceful experience. I was beginning to get a bit more into the swing of observing and I actually started to get back into it. Most memorable was the SMC and M31/32/110. In the Fuji 16x70 the latter 3 in particular really popped with 31 filling out the whole 4* tfov of the Fujis.  110 was also really conspicuous in the bigger aperture.

 

One major miss was I didn’t think to wait for M52 to rise. It is a long way north and only rises to 2* above the horizon at home. This was a golden opportunity to add to my messier count (103/110), as here it gets to almost 5* and, well, it’s dark! but I only thought of it later.  frown.gif 
 

LMC was rising in the south east as I stated packing up so of course I had to look at that. It was still too low for the best views.  The drive back took a long time as at night there is a lot of wildlife near the roads and a 1.5 to 2m tall kangaroo can write your car off if hit at high speed.  Also by going slowly I was able to not run a snake over the was roasting itself on the residual heat of the road surface.  
 

I expected to be more blown away by the darkness. But, I had had no observing plan and my observing rust was obvious.   I suppose it just shows how lucky I am even in the populous southeast corner of the state as I only normally have to drive 60-90 minutes to get skies that are pretty dark.  Mind you I may not feel that way next I go “dark” locally. We’ll see. The third night was the best.  Next overly long post.


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#1386 KennyJ

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 05:42 PM

I remember when we visited South Australia in 1993, I could hardly believe the vast number of what the locals called "Sleepy Lizards" -- literally thousands of deceased snakes sprewn all over the wide sandy roads -- presumably squashed by passing traffic over several years.

 

We also witnessed the wreckage of quite a large 4x4 type vehicle, following an accidental collision with a kangaroo.

 

Apparently the "Roo" survived in tact! smile.gif

 

The skies were so dark in places that it was almost frightening!

 

Kenny


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#1387 CAAD9

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 06:22 PM

My third night of observing was by far the best. I returned to my original spot only 2km out of town (Winton)  just off the dirt road that leads to Opalton and Lark Quarry. Not because it was a better observing spot (it wasn’t) but the time taken to drive there was very brief.  This time I had a bit of a plan, it was to see how many globular clusters I could see in the Southwest, basically looking towards Pisces, Ophiucus and then the central parts of the MW. I also resolved to only use the handheld IS binoculars and to have the iPad with Stellarium on red eye in my lap.  
 

Started on M5, it still took some effort to find. Then up to m10 & 12, then 107. I can see how it was missed the first time around. Then M4 and 80 in Scorpius. I tried to see N6144, but can’t be certain. Next swung over from the star Sabik to Cebalrai and caught the OC IC4665 and GC M14. The neighbouring n6366 a 10mag GC was not found. Then back to Sabik and on to M9. I found 9’s neighbour n6356 mag 8.4 but not the 9.9 n6342.  
 

Next moved across to M19 and M62 and started hunting the neighbouring GCs.  N6293 (8.2mag) is on the edge of a dark patch, then found n6316(9.0) and n6304(8.4). I doubt I saw n6355(9.6mag). Then back down to m19 again and found n6284(9.0) and n6287(9.2). Having said that I needed Stellarium to find both of those. It is amazing just how much more an amateur can see with handheld binoculars now compared to one of history’s great astronomers from 250 years ago. 
 

By this stage I was really getting into it and the sheer joy of observing and wonder of the heavens had completely returned to me.  
 

I swung over to Lupus and found n5986 (7.1). To far south for Messier.  Next went to Alpha Centauri and actually spotted the open clusters between the southern pointers (n5617&5662). Ok, so that was first. Maybe it really is dark out here.grin.gif

 

Next I spotted the sizeable  (about 40’ across) OC n5822. I couldn’t help but wonder why it was left out of the Caldwell catalogue when the neighbouring C88 at only 10’ across was included. I think the former is far more impressive a sight.  shrug.gif  
 

Other objects seen were N5927, n6362, C95, C89, C81 and IC4651.  For the last two, again I wondered why 81 made the Caldwell but ic4651 did not. According to my notes it was the more impressive sight. 
 

By this stage I had to pack up. I needed the sleep as I was primary driver on the trip.  
 

Fourth night was clouded out and after that we started heading back East through Longreach, Emerald and on to Rockhampton. And between rain and family duties observing was over.  But that was ok. 
 

That third night was magnificent and it shows that even a rubbish observing plan is better than no plan. It makes for a much better observing experience. Probably my best binoculars only observing ever.

 

CS and good health to all.

 

A


Edited by CAAD9, 30 September 2020 - 06:24 PM.

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#1388 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 09:17 PM

The sky was very clear this evening so I did a little moon-drenched binocular observing with my wife's Canon IS 15x50s from my light-polluted and horizon-limited front yard.  Despite the almost Full Moon, I was able to see Jupiter, Saturn, Alcor-Mizar, Omicron Cygni, Collinder 399, Melotte 20, M11, M13, M39, M103 (very faint), NGC 457 (marginally), NGC 869 and 884 (the Double Cluster), and, of course, the very bright Moon.  A number of lunar craters and features were visible including Aristarchus, Copernicus, Grimaldi, Plato, and Tycho, ejecta rays, and the Woman in the Moon.

I also spent some time in Delphinus looking at things mentioned in Phil Harrington's Binocular Universe for September.  The sky was too bright to see the bucking bronco asterism surrounding Theta Delphini but I did enjoy the optical double Gamma and 6 Equueli (circled in the attached screen capture from Stellarium) that Phil mentioned at the end of the article.

https://astronomy.co...b799nHql5T9_qOE

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  • Delphinus and Equuleus September 30 Stellarium.jpg

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#1389 CAAD9

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 10:19 PM

I remember when we visited South Australia in 1993, I could hardly believe the vast number of what the locals called "Sleepy Lizards" -- literally thousands of deceased snakes sprewn all over the wide sandy roads -- presumably squashed by passing traffic over several years.

 

We also witnessed the wreckage of quite a large 4x4 type vehicle, following an accidental collision with a kangaroo.

 

Apparently the "Roo" survived in tact! smile.gif

 

The skies were so dark in places that it was almost frightening!

 

Kenny

Roos impacts can certainly damage cars badly, but skippy ain’t hopping away unscathed...

 

As it turns out I did drive over a roo, I think it was a grey and thankfully not a red. Red males being the biggest of all kangaroos. What happened was that as I was going to pass a road train a roo carcass was flung out of the back of the truck’s wheels and unable to manoeuvre in that split second my passenger side wheel ran over it.  This was lucky for us (clearly not so for the poor animal) as it was horizontal to the road and it felt like a mild bump as we ran over it.  Phew.  Had we hit it upright and not the road train first, I’m not sure we would have continued the journey unscathed.  Albeit, not to be too dramatic, I think it was only moderately sized so we were probably pretty safe. But the car would have been damaged. I don’t keep a bull bar on my suv as that is a bit antisocial in a busy city like Brisbane.

 

Fun fact: the road train in question was an A-triple, which are about 130 Tonnes mass and 53m long.  
 

Having said all that, I found overall it was great driving out there. In all honesty the biggest danger out on the outback roads are city people like me.  The truckers (or truckies as we call them) are really great. 


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#1390 CAAD9

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 10:28 PM

The sky was very clear this evening so I did a little moon-drenched binocular observing with my wife's Canon IS 15x50s from my light-polluted and horizon-limited front yard.  Despite the almost Full Moon, I was able to see Jupiter, Saturn, Alcor-Mizar, Omicron Cygni, Collinder 399, Melotte 20, M11, M13, M39, M103 (very faint), NGC 457 (marginally), NGC 869 and 884 (the Double Cluster), and, of course, the very bright Moon.   A number of lunar craters and features were visible including Aristarchus, Copernicus, Grimaldi, Plato, and Tycho, ejecta rays, and the Woman in the Moon.

I also spent some time in Delphinus looking at things mentioned in Phil Harrington's Binocular Universe for September.  The sky was too bright to see the bucking bronco asterism surrounding Theta Delphini but I did enjoy the optical double Gamma and 6 Equueli (circled in the attached screen capture from Stellarium) that Phil mentioned at the end of the article.

https://astronomy.co...b799nHql5T9_qOE

I find my favourite observing of Jupiter and Saturn through binoculars is with a full moon. Having blasted my pupils with Luna first you can actually see the gap between the rings and planet with Saturn in the 18x50IS binoculars.  Really powerful tool that one.  I suspect you will use your wife’s 15x50 a lot.

 

waytogo.gif



#1391 Rapidray

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 12:35 PM

Orion as usual...but...Sirius was very clear last night and saw and bright. I don’t know if it was sleep or what but I thought I saw hints of red and other times blue light with it. 


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#1392 Corcaroli78

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 12:58 PM

Yesterday night i went out at night to place the garbage containers for collection, when i cross the garden, i was surprised by the nice view of the full Moon, and the bright orange Mars. I picked my Zeiss 10x50 to have a closer look and enjoyed the 3-D effect of the Moon floating in the sky. 

 

I pointed to Andromeda, the Double Cluster, the Pleiades, and i was able to find them in the brightness of the sky.  A non expected nice quick view!

 

Clear skies!

Carlos  


Edited by Corcaroli78, 02 October 2020 - 12:59 PM.

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#1393 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 03:37 PM

I was all set to observe the Antares rocket launch from Wallops Island with my wife's Canon IS 15x50s from a location with a good southeastern through southwestern horizon last night. I also brought my 12x50s as backups.

The weather was actually cooperating for the most part as well but the launch was scrubbed less than three minutes from lift-oft.  While waiting for the launch to take place, I observed the Full Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Alcor-Mizar, Epsilon Lyrae, Omicron Cygni, Collinder 399, M11, and M13 with the 15x50s.

 

The launch has been postponed to 9:16 p.m. EDT tonight.  At this time, the forecast for my area calls for clear skies.

https://blogs.nasa.g...orthropgrumman/

 

https://www.wsls.com...hLyME5m8u9gHnVA


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#1394 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 11:09 PM

I’m currently at the Naylor Observatory.  Earlier tonight, before moonlight became an annoying problem, I viewed Jupiter, Saturn, Albireo, Alcor-Mizar, Epsilon Lyrae, Omicron Cygni, 6 Equulei, the Heart of the Swan asterism, Collinder 399, IC 4665, Melotte 20, M8, M11, M13, M15, M22, M24, M25, M27, M29, M31, M39, M71, M103, NGC 752 and the Golf Putter asterism, NGC 869, and NGC 884 with Canon IS 15x50s.

 

I also tracked a short but very good ISS pass (I was able to discern its solar panels) and passes of four satellites but the highlight of the night was observing the initial part of the launch of an Antares rocket from Wallops Island.  The Antares appeared sooner than I had expected low in the southeast as a bright orange point of light.  I tracked the rocket for about three minutes until the first stage burn ended.

A video of the launch, which took place shortly before 35:00, can be seen at https://m.youtube.co...h?v=Ijq56dMFRdE


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#1395 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 12:09 AM

I took a break from observing Mars with the ASH 17” classical Cassegrain and took a look at Red Planet and the almost Full Moon with the 15x50s.  Once again, I was able to see a number of lunar features including a number of maria and Aristarchus, Copernicus, Grimaldi, Plato, and Tycho.

 

i also looked at Melotte 20, Melotte 25, and M45, all of which were quite presentable, despite the strong moonlight.



#1396 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 02:59 AM

Before I left for the Naylor Observatory last night, I tracked an ISS pass with Canon IS 15x50s.  Once again I was fairly certain that I was seeing the space station's solar panels.

 

After I arrived at the observatory, I tracked a bright pass of the USAF's X-37B.  At a peak magnitude of +0.5, I believe it was the brightest pass that I've seen so far of the robotic space plane.

 

https://www.space.co...pace-plane.html

 

Over the course of my time at the observatory, in addition to the telescopic observing that I did using the 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain, I looked at the waning gibbous Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Albireo, Alcor-Mizar, Epsilon Lyrae, Omicron Cygni, 6 Equulei, the Heart of the Swan asterism, Collinder 399, IC 4665, Melotte 20, Melotte 25, M7, M8, M11, M13, M17, M22, M24, M27, M29, M31, M39, M45, M71, M103, NGC 752 and the Golf Putter asterism, NGC 869, and NGC 884.  I also viewed a second, very short and low pass of the ISS with the 15x50s.


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#1397 celestronlover57

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 06:26 AM

Had a bit of a cold, but doing better last few days so the night before last I went out with the Pentax 12x50 to look at the waning gibbous moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars.  Hopefully soon I'll set up the Celestron 6E and do some more planet viewing.



#1398 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 01:33 AM

The western wildfire smoke is back and the transparency was degraded initially but seemed to increase later in the night.  Using Canon IS 15x50s, I viewed the waning gibbous Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Albireo, Alcor-Mizar, Epsilon Lyrae, Omicron Cygni, 6 Equulei, Collinder 69, Collinder 70, Collinder 399, Melotte 20, Melotte 25, M27, M31, M39, M42 and the Sword of Orion, and NGC 869 and NGC 884 (the Double Cluster) over the course of the night.

 

The ISS descended between Jupiter and Saturn from my location at 7:53 p.m. EDT on Wednesday night.  At 8:45 p.m. EDT, the Cosmos 2369 Rocket passed between the two planets as it began its ascent.  I had to use the Canon IS 15x50s to see the latter during the early part of the pass. .



#1399 Magnius

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 09:01 AM

Monday night I went out with my daughter and we viewed M2, M211, M11, M24 and M26. The binoculars made it a lot easier to see the faint items compared to looking through the telescope so she stayed engaged a lot longer than usual.

 

Last night M34, M103, and Double Cluster - The area around the double cluster is just insane. So many stars in one small section of the sky. (Oh and a meteor that flew through my FOV!)

 

I'm loving the Oberwerk 10x50s. The views in them are beautiful and it's really improving my star hopping ability with the wider FOV.



#1400 Cestus

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 10:00 AM

I enjoyed a very good view of Mars using my 15x56. Also some fine views of the Milky Way.




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