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white zone, BIG moon observing session results are surprising

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#1 havasman



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Posted 15 July 2019 - 03:35 PM

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.


surprisingly good

  • 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

predictably bad

  • 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"  lol.gif    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.

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#2 clearwaterdave



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Posted 15 July 2019 - 08:34 PM

Pretty darn nice list for full moon gazin.,good for you.,

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#3 ggalilei



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Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:31 AM

You give hope to us all!

I actually tried M4 last night myself, and I think I "got it", but it was scarcely recognizable in 18" of aperture.

#4 Keith Rivich

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:43 PM

I accepted your challenge!


With a nearly full moon rising under humid skies (83%), NELM ~3.5 and less then 30 miles from downtown Houston, I set up my 8" dob on my back deck and went after a few faint fuzzies. Seeing was very good...Saturn and Jupiter were amazing. My 12 year old daughter came out to help and, with a little guidance by yours truly, we were able to see:


M80             Faint but obvious. Couldn't quite resolve any stars.

M5               Very Obvious. Could resolve stars around the edges.

M22             Very obvious. Lots of resolved stars

M28             Not to difficult. Unresolved.

Alberio         Easy, of course

Alcor-Mizar  Ditto


Antares and companion   Daughter saw the companion as greenish!

M4   Very difficult.             I could see it but she could not.

Double-Double                 Nice easy split.

M57                                 No problem. Looked like the donut it is. 

M11                                 Faint but not to difficult.


At this point we had to stop as the golf course, on which we reside, turned its sprinklers on and with a pretty steady south wind we were getting "rained" on! I covered up and will head back out shortly when Saturn is at meridian.

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#5 39.1N84.5W


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Posted 20 July 2019 - 12:25 AM

Full moon means narrowband targets like North American nebula, Bubble, Crescent, big emission stuff. Ultrastar mono camera and a 7nm h-alpha filter. Fun times!

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#6 George N

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 01:34 PM

I've done some 'moonie observing' over the years. You can see enough to make the set-up efforts worthwhile - if conditions are otherwise very good.


One night, needing to test some work done on my Obsession 20, I hauled it out on the lawn on a full moon night. Just for the 'fun of it' I watched the full moon rise over the ridgeline to the East. I was actually sitting in the grass, and bending down to look thru the eyepiece of a 20-inch F/5!!!


After doing some planets, and a few star clusters -- I remembered double stars! So I went thru 'the list' in my NGC-Max DSC unit. It was a night of very good seeing - rare in the Northeast - and I found that a 20-inch could split every double the DSC could provide!


Finally I turned to moon viewing using my Bino-viewers and a variable polarizer filter - to avoid blindness! The moon can be fun - even the full moon. As Sir Patrick Moore said rather late in his life: "Once a moon man - Always a moon man!"  cool.gif 

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