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Viewing in Connemara

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9 years 9 months ago - 9 years 9 months ago #101995 by stevie
Viewing in Connemara was created by stevie
The wife and I were down in Connemara during the week, for a few days holiday, staying in a house near Cleggan, a few miles north of Clifden.

Although it was cloudy most of the time, at least it was very mild, and there was no rain until Thursday night. This is one very dark area, the only lights to be seen were from nearby houses and a rather irritating green flashing light across the bay, which I presume was some sort of navigational light for ships. Inside the house, I literally couldn't see my hand in front of my face when the lights were out

The only night I managed to get any observing done was Wednesday, but it was well worth it. The Milky Way was vivid, and things like the double cluster and M31 were easily visible with the naked eye.

I had the Nexstar 6se with me because, unfortunately, I cannot get the wife, the dog and the dob into the car all at the same time. The Nexstar is hopeless on galaxies, so I mainly concentrated on the outer planets, a few planetary nebulae and globular and open star clusters, although I did manage to see the galaxy NGC7331 high overhead in Pegasus.

Among the more interesting PN's were NGC6826 in Cygnus and NGC7662 (the blue snowball) in Andromeda. I had my usual attempt at the Helix, but it was pretty disappointing.

Uranus and Neptune were both seen, with Uranus showing a tiny green disc. Oddly, Jupiter was showing on the handset as being visible, but there was no sign of it in the sky, and when I tried to slew to it, the handset said it was outside the slew limit.

The globular's seen include M13, M92, M15 and M2, and all were fine sights. I also saw the rarely viewed M30 in Capricorn

Among the open star clusters seen were M39, M34, NGC1528 and NGC1545 in Perseus, several of the Cassiopeia clusters, including NGC663, and a couple in Taurus, including NGC1647.

The highlight of the night was seeing the North American nebula in my 10x50 binos. I lay down on the ground to see this, and slipped a UHC filter between my eye and the binos to try and enhance the view. Although it wasn't eye-poppingly clear, it was definitely there, and I was well pleased with the view.

Big disappointment of the night, apart from the Helix, was the Veil nebula. I could barely see it, even with the UHC.

I finished off with the obligatory view of M42, the first view this season, and it was superb as always.

I would thoroughly recommend this part of the world for a few days holiday, breathtaking scenery, lovely clean beaches and the scones at Kylemore Abbey nearly made the trip worthwhile on their own. Every other building in Clifden is either a pub or a restaurant, and I got the best Irish stew I have ever tasted in a place called Olivers in Cleggan village. We'll definitely be back again some time.
Last edit: 9 years 9 months ago by stevie.
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, lunartic_old, johnomahony, mamiya645, jonathan, R Newman, flt158

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