Thursday 22 November 2012

Moores Winter Marathon

After horrendous rain that had ruined all of our damn days here, evening brought on a clear weather front (which I got a nice picture of) advancing overhead at sunset and clearing the skies.

Of course I didn't take advantage of this until I got home after a couple of nice pints of Reverend James at The Prince Rupert and had then obtained a small tipple of something or other to keep the cold out.

Tonights main objectives were a couple of objects on Moores Winter Marathon list, and I figured I was in with a good chance as it was cold and clearenough to see Lepus, the hare leaping around his apppointed spot below Orion's feet.

First up, after some shuffling about to get a good sight line amogst the trees was Messier 41 in Canis Major. A bit of help from my wonky Google Sky Maps - it has never worked that well on my phone - I tracked it down as a small but faint patch of nebulosity south of Sirius. I'm never going to have a good view from my garden due to streetlights alas, but it was there.

Shifting back to Sirius, I headed North East as guided by wonky sky maps, and found Messier 50 as a larger and brighter, but still unresolved in my 10x50s, nebulous patch. Neither terribly exciting, but I'm glad I've seen them. Staying in the area, I took in the much more prominent Messier 35 in Gemini, before noticing a dim haze hovering above the rooftop.

Messier 44, The Beehive, is back in business and very good it looked too!

The final thing that caught my eye, was a very orangey red looking star lurking in a vey dim patch of the sky between the Great Bear's paws, and Gemini. Very red 4th mag star. REsearch indicates this could be alpha lyncis. Some sources have this as spectral class K, it's way too red for that surely!

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