Sunday 11 November 2012

Kemble's Cascade

Last night managed to have favourable sharp skies and Mr Moon taking his waning crescent self out of the picture for a while. Also however, I had work today - what a thrill! what a joy! and thus couldn't spend much time taking in the delights of the sky in a leisurely fashion.

No, last night I had a target, and I meant business.

So, I warmed up, professionally, like a trained astronomical assassin, by taking in Messier 35 - which never quite resolves in my 10x50s, Messier 42, and a trip through the star rich fields of Monoceros, still a little low at midnight. The two open clusters I pick up here are The Rosette NGC 2244 and North of this the Christmas Tree, I think of NGC2264.

Messier 50, it turned out, was behind a roof.

Job done, eyes warmed up. Looking straight up, I used to the two end stars of Cassiopeia, and swooped across to the zenith. There I was hoping to find Kemble's Cascade...

...and so I did. I think. Twice. I think! I found two curved lines of stars, both slightly longer than the field of view in my 10x50s. I figured the northernmost one for the Cascade, as there seemed to be a fuzzy nebulous patch indicating cluster NGC1502 at one end, only it wasn't at one end like it's supposed to be!

Sky at Night winter marathon spot, although further confirmation is needed under darker skies - yeah like I can manage that in my yard! It may be the actual cascade is shorter than I thought, and the further stars are not part of the already unofficial grouping - rather charmingly I believe it was coined by an astronomer monk a few years ago!

Next time, I'll have rum. To improve my eyes, of course.

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