Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Queen's Hair, the Lion and the Hunting Dog

Hooray, at last I managed to get a chance to  get outside and do a little starwatching, even if it was so cold my hands today hate the guts out of me.

*looks mournfully at raw, bloodied hands*

So, first up I pointed my binoculars at Leo the Lion, ever over-optimistically wondering if I will see the Leo triplet of galaxies, which I struggled to do with my 6inch reflector let alone 10x50s. The starfields underneath the lion's body, on the borders with Hydra and Sextans, are an interestising little sweep, and the lion is always a delight, even if I always see him with his head on the East, and his tail with Regulus at the base playfully twitching up higher into the sky. This is the reverse from the more normal, noble, depiction most folk use.

In Canes Venatici I was able to see Messier 3 easily, La Superba hmmmmm, less so. I am definitely looking at it at some point, it's an easy target, but am I seeing anything like a glowing coal? No. I see one star that sometimes looks almost violet, but I'm sure my eyes are playing tricks.

And then beautiful Coma Berenices, a blown up star cluster, a super Hyades, stuffed with galaxies I can't see. It really is an attracive sight, and I wonder, just wonder, if I was dimly picking up the globular Messier 53. I will try and confirm on another clear night.

And here is Coma Berenices, from a french website. Glorious.

It was only a quick look out, but as ever, worth it, despite the cold.

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