Sugarloaf observing

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4 days 23 hours ago - 4 days 23 hours ago #107235 by flt158
flt158 replied the topic: Sugarloaf observing
Well lads and lassies.
It was one of those nights when I had great difficulty in getting to sleep when I got home!
And that was at 2.30 am!
My highlights were:
1.Observing Venus, definitely for the last time in the evening sky for 2018.
Just for the record. Its magnitude was -4.4. its distance was > 110,000,000 kms from Earth, its phase was 52 illuminated and its angular diameter was 22.5"
2. Lovely Jupiter mag:-2. Distance= < 801,000,000 kms. Angular diameter =36.8". Who can forget Io reappearing from behind Jupiter's massive shadow. So rare to see this live!
3. At so to Saturn mag +0.2. Distance= 1,395,000,000 kms. Angular diameter =17.8". Of course its Cassini Division was glorious to behold even at 112X. But how astonished I am still that I finally observed Enceladus and at the medium power of 167X. Which means there were 6 moons on view: Titan 8.5 mag, Rhea 10. Tethys 10.5, Dione 10.7, Iapetus 11.1. Enceladus had a magnitude of 12.0 precisely. I never thought I would ever see it. The moon is roughly the size of Britain. But to see it as a tiny speck at such a vast distance was nothing short of a remarkable event and totally unexpected. I thought such a feat could only occur with very large Dobsonians; and that with high magnifications. If it is clear next Friday night, I will try observing Enceladus again. The moon is tiny only 800 kms in diameter. And we all know about its water vapour plumes.

All these other wonderful objects were observed in Sagittarius.
The largest globular star cluster available in our skies M22 was observed at 112X. It is full of stars with NGC 6642 a faint globular nearby.
M24 is the famous Small Sagittarius Star Cloud easily viewed at 40X.
M8 :the hugely famous Lagoon Nebula with its star cluster NGC 6530 situated inside it; both observed at 112X.
The double star ARG 31 viewed at 40X and 112X. It is embedded in M8. And, yes, ARG does stand for Argelander, Paul.
Only by using inverted vision could I see the Trifid Nebula (M20) at 112X. The double star HN 40 is right in the centre.
M21 is a very nice open cluster north of M20. It's full of stars alright.
A faint globular cluster NGC 6544 and a faint open cluster NGC 6546 were both seen at 112X.
M25 is a beautiful open cluster quite a bit north of M22. Lots of stars here too. Observed at 112X.
NGC 6638 is a very faint globular. That's the one beside Kaus Borealis.
M28 is close by too. Observed at 112X and it is a globular.
M17 is the Swan Nebula. It is simply glorious at 112X. I do thank you, Paul, for that one.

That's it from me. Needless to say: it just is not possible to view any of these from my backyard.
So I thank you all for coming. Let's do it all again soon.
It was lovely to share the entire evening with Paul, Michael, Ben + Toby, Mike, Regina and Ray.
Thank you, Regina, for the white chocolate.

And maybe we will do it all again soon. Maybe next Friday night!

Clear skies from Aubrey.
Last Edit: 4 days 23 hours ago by flt158.
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, lunartic

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