Sunday 8 September 2013

A Little Touch of Astronomy in the Night

I got home very late last night, and although the night was cold, I headed out with my 10x50s to have a look and see what was around. Skies were clear, but the cold air signalled the dive of the Summer Triangle below the weatern horizon, indeed Aquila is getting very low by 3am.

But the autumn skies bring news sights. Messier 15, the Pegasus Glbular cluster, is an easy to find object that looks decent in binoculars, if not having the impressiveness of Messier 13, 3, or 5.

Moving west, the Mirfak cluster was a piece of abstract jewellery upon a black cushion, with the fascinating Mag 7 orange-red interloper. Messier 34 in Perseus and the double cluster also showed well, but lower down still a read indicator of colder months ahead was showing between an awkward angle of two rooftops. Messier 35 in Gemini was visible, and making me wish I had a little more aperture, darker skies, and a tripod. Because in, say, a pair of 20x80s, it would look staggering.

Auriga's Messier triplets, 36,37, and 38, also put in an appearance. But for me, the memory of the night was just an ordinary star, the vividly orange Deneb Kaitos in Cetus. At magnitude 2.0, it really dominates a fairly blank patch of sky low below the Square of Pegasus.

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