This new moon period seems to me to be the last opportunity to have a good DSO observing session before the nights become too light. And as the forecast was suggesting clear all night, I decided to have a bit of a bumper session on Saturday night at a relatively dark sqm 21 site. My plan was to start with a few galaxies then move onto Cygnus which would start appearing after midnight. I thought I may even get a shot at the lovely nebula in Sagittarius despite being a bit low. I also wanted to target some smaller objects I haven’t seen with night vision before, so I needed to get a bit of aperture and therefore decided to use my Celestron c11 sct with a 0.75x focal readucer and 55mm plossl afocally.
It actually turned out to be one of the best observing sessions I’ve ever had.
I’ve observed a lot of galaxies recently. I think my favourites are the whirlpool and the needle. So I started with these...(due to space constraints I’m going to show phone images taken with my huawei P20 Pro in subsequent posts in this thread, which represent close representations to the actual live views through the NV monocular eyepiece)
It was clear immediately that transparency was rather good since the eyepiece views of these two objects were the best I’ve seen. I then went for the black eye galaxy which showed the central eye well.
By now Cygnus was beginning to appear in the east. I switched to a narrow Ha filter and went smallish nebulae hunting.
First up, another favourite of mine, the Crescent. I hadn’t seen this at a darkish site before and it was very impressive...Next up other small nebulae in Cygnus that I haven’t seen very often before. So I hit the Tulip, cocoon, bubble, wizard and the cave nebulae. With extra image scale and aperture, I thought it would then be fun to go for some familiar objects to see what extra detail I could get compared with a smaller scope - quite a bit as it turned out..
So i will also show some alternative higher magnification views of the Veil, the North American nebula and the elephants trunk.
It’s been a looooong time since I’ve looked at the Dumbbell - too long, it was lovely on Saturday.
I now noticed the Milky Way was arching nicely overhead and had a nice scan with the NV monoculars at 1x. This was fantastic with the good transparency and it also showed me that the Sagittarius nebulae were visible to the south just high enough to see through two houses...
So I switched back to the C11 and wrapped up on the lagoon, triffid, eagle (with pillars of creation clearly visible) and swan.
A really fun session on lots on varied and impressive objects, big and smallish!
Edited by Gavster, 06 May 2019 - 02:05 AM.