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Elan Valley

The Elan Valley complex of reservoirs can be found ~ 40 kms east of Aberystwyth and 4 mls SW of Rhayader.

Wednesday 8 September

NELM 6.5

Borg 101ED f6.2 refractor

31 and 13 mm TeleVue Nagler eyepieces

OIII and UHC filters.

This is the darkest location that I have experienced in the UK. By a road in a N-S valley the Milky Way blazed overhead from horizon to horizon. M8 in Sagittarius was clearly visible naked eye low to the south. There was no visible light pollution. This helped by an eastern aspect partly obscured by a long ridge of hills. M13 was an ‘easy’ naked eye object as was M33 later.

Using the 31mm eyepiece to give x20 magnification I cruised the stunning star fields and nebulae (bright and dark) from Sagittarius to Perseus.

A special recommendation goes to the area around the Double Cluster. These 2 combine with Stock 2 to give a magnificent view. Applying an OIII filter also brought out the very large but not bright nebulae of ICs 1848, 1805, 1795 and NGC 896. Numerous stars embedded in great swirls of diffuse nebulosity.

I could also revel in a first view of the M31 area through the Borg. A novel experience was watching M33 rising above a sharply delineated hill top. So near and so far!

Another couple of faint ticks were NGC 7320 the brightest component of Stephan’s Quintet at mag 12.5 in Pegasus and IC 1295 a mag. 12.7 planetary adjacent to the globular NGC 6712 in Scutum.

After some sleep in the back of the car it took a couple of hours to drive home.

by Unknown ADAS member

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