/ Observations

Wed, 11th Oct 2017 - Uranus

Not the best seeing. The scope had been out for a couple of hours and was well collimated but a defocussed Polaris was very wobbly at 8mm. Quite a bright sky. I'm not sure why the sky was bright, it was astronomically dark at that point the moon was not yet risen. The neighbour had a bathroom light on but I really don't think that makes much difference as long as I'm careful. I used the eye-patch had a hood over while observing. The sky just seemed bright. I suspect this is due to thin cloud being lit but a soon to rise moon and not light pollution. High humidity - by the time I went out the observe everything was already wet.

Excited to try out my new fingerless mittens! IMG_2664

Transparency: 4, Seeing: 2
Scope: 1200/254 f4.7 Dobsonian
Moon: 21 days. Waning Gibbous. Not yet risen.
Weather: Partly Cloudy. 11˚

21:50. M74 - Spiral Galaxy in Pisces.

25mm
Easy to find buy jumping slightly east of ΞΆ Psc. I'd read about M74 but couldn't remember what it was meant to look like and at 48x I kind of thought it might have been edge on but further viewing showed a disk smudge. It may have been my imagination but I thought I saw spiral arms. This is not beyond the realm of possibility as at +9.14 mag it's within the reach of the scope but possibly not on a less that perfect night.

Optics started to fog at this point. The Telrad was already soaking wet but it always is. I have a homemade dew shield but keep forgetting to stick it on. It's only used for the most rudimentary pointing now and now I'm comfortable with the finderscope I'm not sure I really need it.

22:40. Uranus

25mm, 8mm, 8mm+2x
Still in Pisces I was able to find Uranus by pointing the finder directly at 𝝄 Psc. The planet was visible in the west quadrant of the finder. At 48x Uranus is a bright blue dot. Switching to 8mm resolves it as a small blue disk and with the Barlow...I lost it entirely. 150x in this sky was tough. Stars were hard to focus. I don't know what I was thinking going to 300x!

Comment from my notes: "kind of boring". It's a nice colour but left me a bit cold. It was the first time seeing it though so that's something. If there's some better seeing I'd love to have a crack at seeing Oberon. That would be something. Mag +13.9 though. πŸ˜•

Clouds rolled in now and I knew from the forecast that was it for the night. However the following morning at 6am it was a real treat to let the dog out to do a poo. Orion riding high and the half moon lighting up misty streaks of cloud. Gorgeous.