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Excellent Seeing

4 weeks 1 day ago #110129 by lunartic
Excellent Seeing was created by lunartic
Hi all

My last post lamented the poor seeing when I was last out, last night could not have been more of a contrast.  We were out walking yesterday afternoon down at the coast by Dun Laoghaire, looking towards Howth, I saw the air was very clear, it was possible to see beyond into Meath.  I was hopeful this clear weather would continue, and it did. 
I was observing with my 20x90 binoculars and I set up the screen I had built to block out the streetlight to the east.  
Between 10.00 and 11.30, when the clouds rolled in and the rain came, luckily I managed to get everything indoors in time, I managed to observe M48, M44, M67, M63, M94, M51, NGC 5195, I think, M63, M3, M53, NGC 5053, M104, M58, M87, M106, split Cor Caroli and 27 Hydrae.
I checked the weather again at 12.30 and there was still a lot of cloud.
I will admit, that spring is my least favourite time of the year to observe, it is galaxy time, and I am no fan of galaxies, I prefer open clusters and the Milky Way.  Still, for such a short session, I managed to grab quite a few objects of various types, the clarity of the sky was a real asset, even Corvus and Crater, a pair of constellations lying around the -20° mark, were clear and obvious.
I find that I am turning to binoculars more and more, I find them convenient, and two eyes are better than one.  The comfort of using two eyes means there is less eye strain and the ability to take in a large part of the sky at once makes tracking objects easier.  True, I will not get the detail of a scope, M51 appeared as an elongated fuzzy patch with no possibility of seeing any structure and many objects are beyond the capabilities of my binoculars.  With the rapid onset of poor weather, being able to break everything down and have them under cover in a minute or so, means the difference between safe equipment and potential damage.
What a difference a week makes.

Paul

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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4 weeks 1 day ago #110131 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Excellent Seeing
What a sensational report from you, Paul!

You most certainly observed so many galaxies, open and globular star clusters here.
(I had to look up M48) 
And even 2 true doubles too. 

When will we get such excellent sky conditions again?

Very best regards from Aubrey. 
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4 weeks 1 day ago #110136 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Excellent Seeing
Hi Paul, 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading what you managed to get through last night. No less than 13 messier objects, and a whole load of other wonders too - fair play!

M3 is a lovely globular cluster and it is one I revisit often this time of the year. I've never looked at it through binoculars though. However, you've certainly provided a number of good reasons to use a pair. I was also delighted to hear that the screen worked to minimise the stray light from the street lamps. 

Clear skies to you,

Darren.

 
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