Well another poor few weeks for observing, so I have been forced out of desperation to go out on Guy Fawkes night with a Full Moon for company. Most of the fireworks must have been let off earlier, as I didn’t see anything go off while I was out. There was a little smell of smoke in the air, but nothing that was visible lurking 20 degrees above the horizon that I could see.
Deciding that anything but open clusters would be worth observing tonight, I fired up Skytools and ran a search of clusters from the Caldwell catalogue that would be up. The list,  I think,  contained about 5 or six objects. Of those, only three were not hidden by the banks of cloud that were slowly crawling across the sky. So tonight would be a session of keyhole astronomy with a sky that was bleached out by the glare of the full Moon….Great 🙁
As is usual with a long period of non use, the first slew of the scope ended with it pointing about 120 degrees away from where it was supposed to. I don’t know why it does this from time to time. Gemini should be updated with the correct time and date from the pooters own clock, as soon as Gemini connects. I checked the time and it was accurate to within a minute, so the crap slewing really can’t be down to this. Once Synced, all slews were perfectly accurate.
 
Session Data
Date: 5/11/2014 Time: 20:43 – 22:05 UT
Seeing: I Perfectly  Stable, Transparency: V Poor, Temp: 8c, Air Pressure: 1011mb, Humidity: 86%, Wind Speed: 2mph
ngc869-884

Hyades, C41, Mel25

In the TMB 80 f/6, 26mm Plossl, 18 X, 2.8°, West is to the 6 O’Clock.
With the Moon only 38 degrees away, the sky was pretty much washed out and limiting my scope view to stars of about 8.0 mag. Placing Aldebaran to the NNE , the FOV is almost empty part from a few bright smattering of stars. The constellations stars of Tau 75, 77, 78, 80 and 81 making up the bulk of what can be seen in the FOV. The two stars Tau 77 and 78 , when comparing them together, appear to be Whitish Yellow (77) and Light Orange (78). The difference was difficult to make out, but defocusing slightly, seemed to help a little.

NGC869

In the TMB 80 f/6, 23mm Reticule, 21 X, 2.4°, West is to the 9 O’Clock.
The full Moon has now bleached the sky to a dark frosty looking Grey, which drowns out everything but the cluster, which look like two Islands in a sea of Grey.
In the Altair Astro 250mm, 14mm Delos, 145 X, 29.8′, NGC869 looks to be smaller,  but more condensed than NGC884. I didn’t notice the cooler more orange stars that are contained within the clusters boundary that show in an image I had taken some years ago ( see above) , but what really stood out was a small inverted U shape of small stars in a N/S orientation at the clusters centre.
Heading off to the NNW,  is a line of stars heading out to the edge of the FOV. To the N/E of the fifth star should be the small cluster Lund 40, which I went in seach of, but I couldn’t distinguish anything from the background starfield.

NGC884

In the TMB 80 f/6, 23mm Reticule, 21 X, 2.4°, West is to the 9 O’Clock.
The full Moon has now bleached the sky to a dark frosty looking Grey, which drowns out everything but the cluster, which look like two Islands in a sea of Grey.
In the Altair Astro 250mm, 14mm Delos, 145 X, 29.8′, NGC884 looks to be larger,  but less condensed than NGC869 and contains three principle bright light Orange stars just to the NNE of the centre of the FOV. Fainter stars are now visible, but cloud is starting to roll across the FOV in batches, making observation very frustrating.

Lund 40

In the Altair Astro 250mm, 14mm Delos, 145 X, 29.8′, West is to the 9 o’clock.
Heading off to the NNW,  is a line of stars heading out to the edge of the FOV. To the N/E of the fifth star should be the small cluster Lund 40, but I couldn’t distinguish it from the background starfield, so have marked it as ‘Not Found’.