Monday, August 28, 2006

Clear skies tonight :o)

Due to my restricted viewing at my location I've decided that I need to concentrate my observing on getting to know my particular piece of the sky better. Number one on my list has to be Cassiopiae and the multitude of clusters etc around it.

Interestingly it's an immediately identifiable constellation, but, when viewed through an eyepiece of any magnification I can't make head nor tale of it, I must need to use a ultra low powered instrument methinks.

The Monocular has now been tripod mounted due to some eBay purchases of Manfrotto clamps. I got a great view of Brochis cluster (coat hanger) tonight with this low powered intrument. Also some nice sweeping views through Cygnus and Lyra.

Incidentally tonight was probably my first proper view of Lyra as a constellation, last autumn/winter it was lower in the sky and thus obscured by light pollution.

Anyway, whilst getting my eyes skyworthy I noticed what seemed to be the ISS cruising from North to South across my zenith. Yet 5 minutes later, I saw another candidate for the ISS cruising in the opposite direction! The second satellite must have gone behind some high cloud because it dimmed considerably before suddenly brightening again.

The highlight of tonight though....I watched a meteor pass overhead from NW to SE through Cygnus and it was a sight! There was a definite smoke trail and it brightened a few times although I saw no debris falling away. It seemed to last forever but probably only lasted 15 seconds or so.

Anyway, a good start to the new observing season for us lackies who can't be bothered to stay up all night through the summer.


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