Saturday 14 January 2012

A Messy Messier Update

So, I found darker skies, but no Dark and Stormy alas, before the waning halfish moon rose, and got the 10x50s out to try the Auriga open clusters again.

M36, M37 and M38 were all easily seen, or rather 37,36 and 38 as that is the order they kind of appear in. I could get two of them in the field of view at once, but not three. The Perseus Double cluster looked great - in binocular terms, and the Orion and Monoceros corner of the sky is a fantastic starfield. I reckon I'm deceiving myself, but I swear I can pick up nebulosity around the Pleides.

Don't know what the limiting mag of the 10x50s is under urban skies, probably about 8-9 I guess.

General sweeping reveals all manner of little knots of stars and fuzzy nebular blobs that could be anything - I have no star map to hand nor my OHs StarWalk I pad app, but I reckon I spotted two open clusters in Monoceros low over a neighbours rooftop - M50 would be one, the other, Christmas Tree cluster???

I am as bad with deep sky objects as I am with birds! But I guess, why does anything have to be anything? In some ways, it's pretty enough just being there without having to know exactly what it is!

However, Messier 1 Crab Nebula was not doable - it might be too small to show at 10x. And by then my badly out of practice eyes were beginning to tire. And my fingers were beginning to turn a fetching shade of purple!

PS - I think talking about "Messier objects" is getting folk excited who are looking for sploshing fetish stuff online! Messy Messy Messy! There you go. It puts my blog stats up and makes me think people care!

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