Thursday, 10 March 2011

Observing 9th March 2011

Date: 9th March 2011
Conditions: Chilly, no wind at first but increased later on. Waxing crescent Moon was a bit of a nuisance and interfered slightly. Some drifting cloud
Seeing I
Transparency III-IV
Equipment: 12" Dob, 22mm Televue Panoptic (69x), 15mm Televue Plossl (101x)

NGC 2129, open cluster in Gemini - Totally dominated by 2 8th mag stars; the rest are much fainter (11th mag) plus some much fainter ones. At 69x it's hazy but is resolved at 101x. Bright, not scattered, quite compact. 69x, 101x

NGC 2266, open cluster in Gemini - Triangular haze with three slightly brighter stars in a line along SE side. One bright star at tip. Compressed, quite rich and partly resolved using averted vision at 101x. 69x, 101x

NGC 2304, open cluster in Gemini - Scattering of stars in semi-circle. There are 4 or 5 brighter stars with more scattered around. Fairly bright. 69x, 101x.

NGC 2355, open cluster in Gemini - Faint at 69x. Irregular. 69x shows dozens of faint stars on a misty background. At 101x the misty background has a vague S-shape. 69x, 101x.

NGC 2395, open cluster in Gemini - Irregular group of fairly bright stars plus fainter ones. Not rich. About 15 bright stars plus a couple of dozen or so fainter ones. Elongated N-S. 69x, 101x.

NGC 2420, open cluster in Gemini - Moderately faint patch. Rich, concentrated, fairly large. At 69x it's mostly unresolved mist but at 101x there are 14 or so brighter stars scattered across a background of unresolved stars. 69x, 101x.

Packed up at 2100 because the sky was getting murkier. I have now finished the H400 in Gemini, these were what was left over from last year.


Space shuttle Discovery returned to Earth for the last time yesterday. The shuttle program is nearly at an end, with only an Endeavour mission and a possible Atlantis mission, both to the ISS, left. It's a shame that, when Atlantis lands for the final time (if her mission gets approved), the shuttles will never fly in space again, instead finding themselves as museum pieces.

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