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Observations 22 September 2023

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9 months 3 weeks ago #112046 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Observations 22 September 2023 was created by Until_then-Goodnight!
Hello everybody,

I hope you are keeping well.

As some of you know Michael and I met at the Sugarloaf last Friday to observe the night sky. However, we ended up in Tooperstown as the wind was a tad too strong at the Sugarloaf.

Not only were we protected from the wind in Trooperstown, but we also had a darker sky down there. For example, The Double-Cluster in Perseus, and the Andromeda Galaxy were visible to the naked eye! Through the eyepiece the Double-Cluster looked magnificant - really magnificant - like best view yet!

At 39X my FOV, which was 1.79°, was full of stars. While M31 stood out, my best observation of M32 and M110 was recorded. With the darker skies, excellent transparency, and good seeing, the conditions were ideal for a wonderful night under the stars and planets.

And speaking of planets, I was delighted to see Io reappear from Jupiter's globe at 22:30 UT. It took all of 10 minutes to see a black gap between both objects, and Michael very kindly kept time for me as I had no watch. The reappearance was observed at 139X. I also used this magnification to observe Saturn, and five of its Moons: Titan, Rhea, Dione, Thethys, and Enceladus. 

Lastly, I'm delighted to say I can add two new objects to my list of Messier objects: M15 and M33 (well maybe). 

M15 was straightforward...a simple star hop from Enif and there it was!

What struck me about this Globular Cluster was its circular shape. Unlike M13 with its  'arms' of stars coming from its core, M15 was more like a 'ball' of light with its bright and concentrated core. There were also a few colourful orange type stars seen in and around M15 - very nice indeed!

I had planned to sketch it, but when I reached for my sketching pad I realised that I had left at the Sugarloaf : (

In terms of M33, I'm not sure whether I did see it. I was certainly in the right part of the sky, and I did see some fuzziness in the eypiece, but no spiral arms. I would have expected that I would have seen a more definite structure to M33 from Trooperstown, so it may have just been dew. At this point it was close to 1am and the tube of my 10-inch Dob was soaked.

We decided to call it a night, but before we packed up we both saw a wonderful meteor fly through the sky. It had a long tail and was very bright.

Taken together, it was a super night down in Trooperstown - good call Michael!

And clear skies to all,

Darren. 
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9 months 3 weeks ago #112047 by michael_murphy
Replied by michael_murphy on topic Observations 22 September 2023
Hi Darren,

Great report. Here is the best image from my camera and star tracker.

Michael.

[img
M31 and friends by Michael Murphy , on Flickr

and an annotated version

[img
M31 and Friends - annotated by Michael Murphy , on Flickr
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9 months 3 weeks ago #112048 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations 22 September 2023
Hi Michael,

Very many thanks for sharing your brilliant image with us. The wide FOV really captures the night sky, and the annotated image is very helpful.

Clear skies, and thanks again.

Darren.
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9 months 3 weeks ago #112049 by Paul-Byrne
Replied by Paul-Byrne on topic Observations 22 September 2023
Hi Darren

M33 is a tricky beast, I always found that using the lowest magnification you have works best as the galaxy is so spread out.
It's sounds like a good night, we should go down to Trooperstown more often.

Nice images, Michael. You certainly caught the near neighbours.

Paul
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9 months 3 weeks ago #112052 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations 22 September 2023
Hi Paul,

Thanks for the advice, and I'll bear that in mind next time I give go.

Yep Trooperstown is a great spot, although driving home from there I find a bit ropey as I can be very tired after midnight. That being said winter is approaching so we could get there early.

Clear skies,

Darren.

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9 months 3 weeks ago #112057 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Observations 22 September 2023
Fascinating report from you, Darren.
I thank you for it.
Amazing you were capable of seeing the Double Cluster in Perseus and M 31 with your own eyes.

I personally am amazed that M 33 is more difficult to see telescopically than M 110. And you were using your 10" Dobsonian. What hope have I to see it with my William Optics refractor.

Good catch on Io reappearing, Darren. I've seen that happen many times over the years.

Clear skies from Aubrey.
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