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Friday night observing report (Co. Wicklow)

  • johnflannery
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  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2004
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Friday night observing report (Co. Wicklow) was created by johnflannery

hi all,

I went out to the Cloon Wood observing site with Gordon Nason and Michael Murphy last night and we had superb observing 'til 3am. Very, very cold but bar a 10 minute cloudy spell it remained clear throughout.

my main target for the night was the Virgo Cluster in the 22x100mm binoculars. Of the charts of the region I brought on the night, the best one by far was is that in Eric Karkoschka's "The Observer's Sky Atlas" . . . the edition I have is second-hand and has also been well-used by me in the field since acquiring the pocket-sized book.

the key to identifying the galaxies was patience . . . slowly star-hopping to each object and cross-checking back to the chart before the next hop to identify a star pattern that would enable me ensure I was still on track. Unfortunately I banged against the tripod and knocked the binoculars way off the area of sky so missed out on M59 and M60 (Ophiuchus was up at that stage so explored around there instead).

all the Virgo galaxies were quite obvious in the binoculars and appeared as round patches of greyish light. Not huge but bigger than I thought they would look like . . . I felt that the descriptions I had read before about their appearence in binoculars undersold their aspect to the visual observer (granted, the 22x100mm are not an average pair of binoculars).

in all, a total of 53 Messier objects bagged in 5.5 hours of observing. Also, the galaxy NGC 3115 and a number of non-M objects. Jupiter and Saturn quite nice too (forgot about 4 Vesta in Gemini and 9 Metis in Leo). A lovely sight also was the crescent Moon setting behind trees and see the unlit portion only still visible purely by Earthshine even though the illuminated part was gone from view.

lots of other interesting objects in both Gordon and Michael's scopes too. A very, very productive night.

John
John Flannery ( aurorawatcher - at * gmail - dot * com ... remove hyphens/asterisks/spaces for email)
The chicken's motive for crossing the road would not be questioned in an ideal world
16 years 10 months ago #24827

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Replied by Kerry Stargazer on topic Re: Friday night observing report (Co. Wicklow)

Hi John.

Nice to know that we weren’t the only one out last night as well.
Chairman of Kerry Astronomy Club.
My Kung-Fu 's the best (Melvin Frohike X-Files)
16 years 10 months ago #24828

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Replied by ftodonoghue on topic Re: Friday night observing report (Co. Wicklow)

Nice to see you are getting lots of practice in for the marathon....Was out til 1am last nite with "Kerry stargazer" and "mjs" and spent a lot of time in and around leo and ursa major looking at the main galaxies there, also took in a few planetaries, a lot of open clusters and the first look at M13 of the year.

When I was driving to observing site i drove through really heavy snow which was not good. Got to site at 9pm. It was overcast and sleeting but it cleared up after 10pm and was crystal clear for the rest of night.
Cheers
Trevor
16 years 10 months ago #24829

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Replied by Keith g on topic Re:

Great Report John, I was out after 1.30am last night, unbelievably clear, but freezing cold walking home from the pub !

Keith..
If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
16 years 10 months ago #24833

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Replied by martinastro on topic Re: Friday night observing report (Co. Wicklow)

Excellent report John.

I to was out late last night.
Martin Mc Kenna

coruscations attending the whole length of the luminosity, giving to the phenomena the aspect of a wrathful messenger, and not that of a tranquil body pursuing a harmless course..comet of 1680
16 years 10 months ago #24836

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  • johnflannery
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Replied by johnflannery on topic Re: Friday night observing report (Co. Wicklow)

many thanks for the comments folks about the report. Nice to see so many out observing . . . have done a bit of stargazing too myself at times zig-zagging home from the pub Keith :D Did you get the Strathspey binoculars btw?

Nice to see you are getting lots of practice in for the marathon....Was out til 1am last nite with "Kerry stargazer" and "mjs" and spent a lot of time in and around leo and ursa major looking at the main galaxies there, also took in a few planetaries, a lot of open clusters and the first look at M13 of the year.


must swap notes Trevor when we get to Turkey (or beforehand) as to what observing we can plan out there. Anyone interested in the Messier Marathon? Nice to see M13 back along with Cygnus, etc.

I to was out late last night.


was Mark holding the Messier Marathon for EAAS this weekend Martin? Hope that went well. I was tempted stay 'til Scorpius and Sagittarius cleared the skyline but tiredness was setting in . . . along with the feet finally freezing :)

going for the comet in the morning hopefully if clear . . .

atb,

John
John Flannery ( aurorawatcher - at * gmail - dot * com ... remove hyphens/asterisks/spaces for email)
The chicken's motive for crossing the road would not be questioned in an ideal world
16 years 10 months ago #24852

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Replied by martinastro on topic Re: Friday night observing report (Co. Wicklow)

Hi John

Yes we had it on fri night. It was a beautiful location and we are having another on the 24th i believe.
Martin Mc Kenna

coruscations attending the whole length of the luminosity, giving to the phenomena the aspect of a wrathful messenger, and not that of a tranquil body pursuing a harmless course..comet of 1680
16 years 10 months ago #24862

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I went out to the Cloon Wood observing site with Gordon Nason and Michael Murphy last night and we had superb observing 'til 3am. Very, very cold but bar a 10 minute cloudy spell it remained clear throughout.
John


This was a great session. We each had our own programmes but shared views at times. I logged well over 50 objects too, predominantly galaxies, so as John says, a most productive night!

I've been a bit lax the past couple of years in writing up logs, so this year I decided to remedy the matter and take detailed observing notes. I'm currently writing these up and I'll post tomorrow.
Gordon

SDAS

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It seems that I was born
to chart the evening sky

Mark Knopfler - Sailing to Philadelphia
16 years 10 months ago #24910

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