Wednesday 1 May 2013

Nasty lager, good astronomy

Skies were excellent again last night, so I set about trying to confirm the sightings I made the night before.

Largely, this is what I did. Messier 51 seemed to be in the place where I left it, and Messier 81 was spotted too. However, I got my globular clusters mixed up; what I believed to be Messier 92 in Hercules, I think must actually have been Messier 58 in Lyra. However I did scoot across and find Messier 92 halfway between Hercules' mighty legs, a similar sort of appearance to Messier 3.

La Superba is tricker, largely because it's colour seems top be nearer to pink than red, and it is at a magnitude that at my urban site, is borderline for showing colour in my 10x50s. I'm pretty sure I identified it, but simply, my observation technique, shaky hands and eyestrain make it difficult!

I tried to be super optimistic, and have a look for Messier 97, the famous "Owl Nebula" beneath the pan of Ursa Major. Fat chance from my location I suspect. The nearest thing to an owl I saw was a spooked blackbird that suddenly erupted from a tree and made some scolding chacks at me in the darkness, as I supped on a bottle of rather unpleasant cheap Czech lager that made my tongue feel odd.

Birds are an eerie sight by night. Give me my stars any day!

No comments:

Post a Comment