Full Moon Observing?

Here are the results of three sessions, a late morning and a couple of early evenings at the beginning and end of an 11 day holiday in Tenerife.


Oct 23rd

03:30 to 07:00.

NELM 7.

Borg 101mm f6.2 ED refractor.


A few hours snooze in the back of the car waiting for the moon to set preceded another ultra dark sky session.


First off was a new comet C/2004 Q2 Machholz. Found below Lepus, this mag 8 object is set to put on a good show in Taurus during January. The Fornax galaxy cluster was next. Not visible from the UK, I could pick up 16 galaxies in the 4”.


Orion was riding high in the south and the conditions allowed stunning views of the nebulae in and around the hunter. The Running Man, normally only seen on images was visible. M42 was unbelievable. Barnard’s Loop not a problem and I had a first time viewing of the Witchhead Nebula just west of Rigel.


The Rosette was an easy naked (filtered) eye object and marvellous with the OIII filter in the 4 degree FOV.


The wide FOV was also excellent in showing up the other Eagle or Seagull nebula IC2177. This appears as a broad arc of haze with numerous nearby open clusters and nebulae. A rash of great open clusters in Puppis finished off the morning session.


The false dawn of the Zodical light had been present for at least 45 mins prior to the true lightening of the eastern sky. The sunrise was magnificent with Venus and Jupiter quite obvious in the morning glow.


Oct 31st and Nov 1st.

19:30 – 22:00

NELM 7.

Borg 101mm f6.2 ED refractor.


The Milky Way arced brightly from the summer west to the winter east. Bright nebulae and clusters abounded near Cassiopeia. Faint local group galaxies NGC 185 and 147 were found smudged near an awesome M31. The Veil was magnificent and the North American bright in the wide FOV and OIII filter.


Found low to the south were galaxies in Piscis Austrinus and a planetary in Grus.


The Helix was easy to locate with nearby finder stars visible to the naked eye and the nebula itself obvious and bright with a dark centre.


The Silver Coin galaxy (NGC 253) is a beautiful mag 7.3 mottled spiral in Sculptor. This formed a great pairing with a granular globular NGC 288.


Other galaxies were picked up around the head of Pisces. IC 1613 another faint face-on local group offering showed up nearby. Pegasus revealed a few galaxies and in particular a very good view of NGC 7331 and 3 clumps of Stephan’s Quintet down to mag 13.3. These were high up in the zenith and the faintest objects seen so far through the 4”.


After a couple of hours of darkness I finally realised that the curve of light across the sky was not light pollution. The Zodical band expanded to reveal the Gegenschein in Aries! It was very dark and clear.


The moon rose and washed out the sky whilst lighting up the lava fields. The trip back down the volcano revealed the end of the celestial river, Achernar, deep in the south.


by Unknown ADAS member


#Galaxy #GlobularCluster #Moon #Venus #Jupiter #Nebula

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