More than 4 hours of the best transparent conditions Llyn Brenig (North Wales) has to offer. NELM 6.5+! The Milky Way was clearly visible from horizon to horizon. The North American nebula was an easy naked eye object with the true shape apparent. The Scutum star cloud was so bright and I could see down past M24 to the Lagoon Nebula steaming out of the teapot at less than 10 degrees elevation. More stars were visible in the square of Pegasus than I could imagine and finally M33 was clearly visible as a hazy patch.
I was torn between using the good conditions to go for the faint obscure objects or wallowing in the showpieces displayed in all their glory.
I started off with Barnard’s Galaxy at 20 degrees elevation. Previously seen as a vague smudge it came alive with shape, hints of graininess and easily visible HII regions. Contrast was so good that unfiltered views were the most pleasing. Hubble V and X only, I wish I’d plotted a few more to look at! I used a 13mm Nagler with and w/o OIII and UHC filters.
Using the 31 mm Nagler I cruised the immense star fields around M 39 and NGC 7209, an awe inspiring view! B168 formed a dark black snaking rift leading to the Cocoon. Visible straight off it flared into a ‘huge’ mottled nebula with averted vision. Again the unfiltered view was most pleasing.
After a few globulars and planetaries I had to return to the showpieces for a look in the excellent conditions. I wonder if one can say too much about the splendours of the Veil. Nebulosity with detail strewn all over the FOV! The Pelican so bright I thought I was looking at the North American but, that was just like some of the H alpha photographs we see.
A swish around the Coathanger found a very nice bright cluster NGC 6802 (previously just another NGC). Sh2-82 was easily visible, unfiltered with a larger patch by the southern of 2 stars. The other object nearby M 57, IC 1296 a mag. 15 galaxy was also picked up. M27 at x300 was breathtaking! No filter and so much detail!
Some galaxies in Aquarius and Abell 70 followed. Then a request came in. Dave wanted to check the area around the Bubble nebula prior to setting up for imaging. I was stunned to see about 270 degrees of the Bubble and seemagine the remainder. The 13mm Nagler and OIII gave a view as good a many of the photographs.
I couldn’t resist revelling in the biggies. M31 was better than most images, it extended over 3 degrees, detail, dark lanes, associations and companions. And finally, M33 with 3 or more arms, knots and nebulae. Wow!
This was a session that added inches to the aperture of the 18. What an instrument!
PS I also picked up a few more difficult planetaries but they were just not that exciting tonight.
by Unknown ADAS member