Thursday, 7 February 2008

NGC/IC binocular project

While I was out with the binoculars the other night, an idea hit me. I am currently doing a project, just for fun, to see how many of the Messier Objects I can see with my binoculars. This has been ongoing since 2005 and so far I have observed 56 Messiers with the bins. Because binoculars are a fun, easy and undervalued way of observing deep sky objects I have decided to have a go at seeing how many NGC/IC objects I can see with them and, of course, the results will be posted here and on my website.

8x42 binoculars

It will be a good project for those nights where I’m too idle to get the scope out or the conditions don’t warrant the effort required to set it up. Binoculars are the ultimate grab-and-go scope and are very under-rated as an observing tool - and I have been as guilty as anyone of underusing them in my observing.

Raindrops keep falling on my head. Apart from a couple of days (and a single night) it seems to have been wet and windy almost non-stop for the past month. This isn’t climate change, it’s La Nina (the sister phenomenon of the more famous El Nino effect) which was also responsible for the appalling weather last summer. It’s based in the Pacific but affects the weather across the planet, causing torrential rain and high winds here and droughts in India, etc. Hopefully, it’ll die down soon.