Thursday 17 July 2014

Astronomy is Still a Pimmsy Business

I haven't blogged much about matters astronomical lately, which makes me sad. The trouble is that there hasn't been much in the way of clear or moonless skies when I've been off shift, with plenty of frustrating nights where it looked like it would be clear early on, only for clouds and haze to roll in when I'm ready to head out with my binoculars.

But, when I do get out, I like to be all posh and civilised about it, and take out a glass of Pimms and lemonade along with my 10x50s. Witness the last couple of evenings, where a last quarter moon was deemed no obstacle to some observation sessions.

They weren't thorough deep sky object hunts, more a slow sweep along the milky way just happy to take in the multitude of stars, clustered into sparkling little knots here, so thick they looked like a dippable bowl of sherbet there.

I embarrassed myself by forgetting how to find the Vulpecula Coathanger.

Elsewhere Messier 31 and Messier 13 were easily visible despite the moon, the galaxy and the globular. Messier 39 in Cygnus also easily seen, but tracking the milky way into Lacerta to spot the open clusters there was more tricky.

Perseus is rising at 2am, and so the Mirfak cluster, with its fascinating little 7-8th mag orange interloper amidst the hot blue-white stars, and the double cluster were observed.

Finally, took in yet another look at Kemble's Cascade, the waterfall of stars in Camelopardalis, but it is still a little low this time of year.

I emptied the glass, took in a naked eye sweep of the heavens in the sultry summer air, and then headed to bed.

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