Moon is up and rising in the East 77% Illumination. Conditions are quite awful. High and not so thin cloud is abundant but, there are patches through which I can observe – I think it’s called ‘Keyhole Astronomy’. Still trying to observe last few Sagittarius objects but the cloud patches weren’t playing ball for anything below 30 degrees above the horizon and other Messier objects still to be ticked off at higher declinations, were galaxies which were completely unobservable. It’s been a while since I observed objects from my Caroline Herschel list, so I founds gaps where these were and bagged a few here.
Time: 22:38 – 00:33 UT
Temp: 13.1c, Air Pressure: 1004Mb, Humidity: 99%, Dew point: 13.0c, Wind Speed: 2.0 MPH . Seeing: II Mostly Stable, Transparency: Poor.
West is to 1 o’clock. Altair Astro 250mm, UWA 18mm, 113 X, 43.6′ I see bull’s head face on which then turns into a rams head with those sweeping horns.
Changing to the Altair Astro 250mm, Delos 14mm, 145 X, 29.8′ the cluster looks like a scorpion occupying 50% of the FOV. Claws to the 12 o’clock with the body and tail heading towards the 6 o’clock and then sweeping towards the 8 o’clock as you travel along the tail.
For some reason, the main and more obvious part of the cluster is placed at RA 20:03:55 Dec 44:09:30, which is about 10 arc secs to the north of the listed coordinates for this object. Looking at all the observing guides and the images shown with them, also centre this offset object at this position. Whatever stars shown at the listed coordinates, certainly don’t stand out next to it’s more obvious neighbour.
(Click onto the image above to see what I mean. The red dotted circle is the given coordinates, and the white dotted circle, the obvious position of the cluster)
Altair Astro 250mm, UWA 18mm, 113 X, 43.6′ West is to 1 oclcok. Bright 8.8 mag star at the 9:30.
In the Altair Astro 250mm, Delos 14mm, 145 X, 29.8′ the cluster looks like an inverted T aligned 1 to 7 o’clock with the top part of the ‘T’ being formed by 5 stars and the upright of the ‘T’ formed by 3 stars.
Whole cluster is made up of about 15 stars.
Altair Astro 250mm, UWA 18mm, 113 X, 43.6′ West is to the 2;30 o’clock. There are two bright stars of 7.8 and 8.6 mag at the 2 o’clock, about a quarter of the FOV.
The only shape I can make out is a ‘V” . The right hand side is made up of 5 stars and the left hand side, 6 stars. There is a concentration of fainter starts at the nose of the V and about a 2/3rd the way back from there, are a line of stars joining the two sides of the V. With further observation, it’s now starting to look like a Peter Powel stunt kite ( for those of you who are old enough to remember those will know exactly what I mean), with that line of stars forming the cross brace.
Cloud is passing over from time to time almost obscuring all but the brightest stars.
Changing to the Altair Astro 250mm, Delos 14mm, 145 X, 29.8’ the V is now asymmetric, with the same 5 stars forming the R/H side, but the L/H side is made up of 7 stars and appears to be twice the length of the R/H side. I think I can make out nebulosity on the core area around the point of the V up to the fifth bright star along each side. However this is very tenuous and maybe just lingering cloud. Looking at the photos, that huge bank of nebulosity doesn’t show up in the eyepiece.
Shedloads of Moon and cloud all over the place now 🙁
In the Altair Astro 250mm, Plossl 40mm, 51 X, 50.8′ this is big and fills about 3/4 of the FOV. West is to 9 o’clock.
General alignment is running in a 2 to 8 o’clock direction. Made up of about 15 to 20 bright stars, which fan out as you head towards the 2 o’clock. From the 1 o’clock all the way anticlockwise to the 6 o’clock there is a sparcity of background stars.
The Cluster seems to be a lot larger than the Chart says. The general thrust of stars heading towards the 2 o’clock heads about another half the FOV of the 40mm before it peters out. Switching to the Altair Astro 250mm, UWA 18mm, 113 X, 43.6′ the main body of the cluster fills the whole FOV. Starting at at the edge of the FOV at the 8 o’clock, there is a series of 3 arcs of stars fanning towards the 2 o’clock.
A satellite flies through the FOV at the right hand side, running from 2 to 7 o’clock.
The spaces between these arcs are devoid of any stars that I can see, but then conditions are awful.
Really surprised that I couldn’t see this cluster at all. Conditions hadn’t deteriorated much from the other sessions, although the Moon is getting higher and brighter now.
In the Altair Astro 250mm, Plossl 40mm, 51 X, 50.8′ West is to the 9 oclock and I can see three stars forming an ‘L’ towards the S/E. Images show the cluster to be obvious, but I saw zippo!