The tropical storm to our east gave us thick, calm strato-cumulus clouds, cooler temps and a northerly breeze all day but it cleared @ sunset and when I wandered out for a look @ 10pm the sky was extremely transparent for summertime in Texas. So I set the XT10i tube in its bag in the garage and unzipped it to let it warm while I got the gear together. I'd made a list of mostly globular and a few open clusters last week in case I got a shot so I was ready.
Moon in Sagittarius.
Observations were surprisingly good, predictably bad and sometimes outright hilarious.
- M5 - notes: "BIG surprise - central density w/stars over, scattered outer stars including loop from W to S" This 1st object of the night set the tone. Faint stars were ABSENT. But the central core was overlaid with distinct individual bright stars and outer bright stars remained. 4.7/3.7
- M13 - notes: "stars all over core via avert, @100 stars via avert, Beautiful" Taking out the faint stars removed most haze around the big core but the ring NE, parallel rows SW, a line NW and other brighter features remained. 3.7
- M92 - notes: "very fine haze around core [which was] covered w/stars, loop N, big loop E to S, extended chains" really pretty 3.7
- M11 - notes: "excellent!" A favorite of mine, M11 held up in bad conditions and remained beautiful. Averted vision was helpful here as in all the rest of the good observations. 10, 4.7
- M6 - notes: "nice, brightest star = yellow" Butterfly shape held together and the big bright stars were pretty. 10, 4.7
- IC4665 - notes: "V nice, @ 25 stars incl white/blue unequal dbl * near center" Another favorite in poor conditions held up well. 13
- M25 - notes: "nice, @ 35 brt stars, 6 faint *'s in bowl shape in center" Couldn't find that shape in pics but wiping out all the faint stars changes these objects a lot. 10
- M23 - notes: "also nice, more (@ 60) fainter *'s than M25" 10
- not seen = M107, M9, M19, M14, M80, M4 (! and I tried real hard) so I didn't even try M62 10, 4.7, 3.7
- M7 and NGC6231 looked like the large yaupons growing across the alley, too low and in the trees
- M21 was @ 10 bright stars 4.7
- M12, M10, M28 All showed only as dim faint haze via avert and/or by shaking the tube. 4.7
- M22 - notes: "w/moon @ 5 deg W, core washed out, @ 75 *'s seen, elongated E-W eye shaped" This from the finest GC in the N sky! 4.7
- M20, observation of the night - notes: "M20 in center of Telrad, moon ON left edge of outer ring! very nice quad star w/o nebulosity" Still, it IS a very nice quad star. 4.7
Alberio was gorgeous as always and best with the 10mm. Jupiter was very fine with 1 moon hiding behind. Saturn has been beautiful lately and this was no exception with great detail and a whole range of color in both rings and disc. 10, 4.7, 3.7
The moon? Yeah, I looked before quitting the session. But what can I say... Light pollution by any other name is still LP. Old Luna did contribute interesting limits to many of the observations though.
XT10i, APM HDC 13, Ethos 10, 4.7 & 3.7, P2, Nexus DSC (The Ethos SX continue to impress me A LOT, both of 'em.)
Sometimes an open mind is a good accessory to a session.
Edited by havasman, 15 July 2019 - 03:44 PM.