Sunday, 3 January 2010

Binocular observing session 3rd January 2010

Another nice clear night, 2010 is off to a decent start, may it continue, but again I decided to use the binoculars for a short session instead of the scope.

Cold -3C, very hard frost already on ground adding to that left over from previous night
No wind
Moon not yet risen at start of session (87% full, rises at 2005GMT)
Seeing II-III, transparency II
NELM 6.0 to 6.3
Instrument: 8x42 binoculars (handheld)

Markarian 6, open cluster in Cassiopeia. Six or seven bright stars in a line, surrounded by fainter ones. 1910 GMT

Melotte 15, open cluster in Cassiopeia. Just to the north west of Mark. 6, this is smaller and fainter. Not resolved. Star in foreground. 1915 GMT

Stock 23 (Pazmino's Cluster), open cluster in Camelopardalis. Small clump of stars. At least three are visible with direct vision but hazy look hints at quite a few more. 1925 GMT

NGC 1342, open cluster in Perseus. Another look at this, without moon in the sky. Much better view. Large triangular patch with at least 4 stars resolved and many more unresolved. 1930 GMT.

NGC 253, galaxy in Sculptor. A large, faint, elongated glow south of Deneb Kaitos. The observation of the evening, given the low altitude and murk at that level. 1935 GMT.

NGC 1807, open cluster in Taurus. easy to find, at the top tip of Orion's bow. Oval, dominated by line of 4 bright stars plus fainter ones in background. 1945 GMT.

NGC 1817, open cluster in Taurus. Right next to 1807. Same size, but rounder and not as bright. No bright stars. 1947 GMT.

NGC 1907, open cluster in Auriga. Dominated by its bright neighbour the huge cluster M38, this is a small, round patch immediately next to, and south west of, M38. No stars resolved with direct vision but it looks speckly with averted vision. 1951 GMT.

At 1953 GMT there was a nice fireball which went through south Monoceros and burned out just south of Orion's feet. It was bright orange/yellow and broke up.

NGC 2232, open cluster in Monoceros. Large, sparse-looking cluster. One bright star and five or six others. Slightly interfered with by Moon, which is about to rise. 2000 GMT.

NGC 2244, open cluster in Monoceros. Large, bright open cluster elongated north-south, with nine or ten bright stars visible with direct vision and more with averted vision. Nebula not visible, due to rising Moon. 2005 GMT.

NGC 2251, open cluster in Monoceros. Small, fairly round knot of stars. Patch looks granular but I can't see any individuals in that lot. 2012 GMT.

NGC 2264, open cluster in Monoceros. Much larger than 2251, twice its size. Counted 11 stars, hard to do with the handheld binoculars. 2015 GMT.

NGC 2281, open cluster in Auriga. Elongated hazy patch. Line of four stars surrounded by haze (fainter ones). 2020 GMT.

NGC 2301, open cluster in Monoceros. Faint fuzzy patch. Not well seen as quite low and moonlight washing it out. 2025 GMT.

NGC 2343, open cluster in Monoceros. Not seen. Too low and too much crap in atmosphere to allow me to see it, not to mention the moonlight. Will have to do this one again another night when it's higher and there's no Moon.

NGC 2403, galaxy in Camelopardalis. Faint elongated glow. 2037 GMT.

Packed in at 2040 GMT. I now have only ten more objects left to do on the AL Deep Sky Binocular list. I should get this finished in the spring.

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