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Crystal clear

Topics: 
Astronomy

I returned early from the pub, and I noticed it was a typical winter night with *finally* a crystal clear sky. Great chance to test drive my new telescope to its full potential.

  • I started with something easy : Cancer was high in the south, so I took a glance at M44 aka the Beehive and M67. Both are nice and large open star clusters which are easily spotted in the scope. I even got M67 right in sight with the 9x60 finder scope, great piece of equipment. It has saved me hours wasting time searching.
  • M48 is a great open cluster in Hydra, but after 15 minutes searching, it turned out it had already disappeared behind my neighbours house. Damn !
  • At that time Leo was high in the Southeastern sky, so I took a glimpse at M65 and M66. Now, I don't like galaxy nebula, and with these two it became clear why : no details, and it doesn't even matter it you look at those with a small or large telescope. NGC3628 was hardly visible, only a faint hint of a galaxy, indicating that the seeing wasn't too perfect either. Maybe it was getting misty...
  • Ursa Major was high in the zenith, so it was impossible to have a look at M97 and M108. I switched to Canes Venatici, and have a look at M3. And boy, what a beauty; thousands of stars, clustered together in what seemed a sticky spider sprinkled with faerie dust. This was what I bought the telescope for. Have a look at these pictures of M3. Exactly what I saw. Beyond bliss...
  • NGC5466 is a globular cluster nearby M3, so I decided to have a look at this one, but the object seemed too faint.

At 2h15, I decided to jump back inside the warm house (freezing cold outside). Some more nice weather is being predicted, so the weekend might be interesting...