Thursday, August 24, 2006

Well, nice clear night but not perfect seeing conditions...

Nice view of my favourite , Albireo.

Generally scanned the area around Cygnus with the Meade, lots of background stars in this area. If I lived in a dark sky area I'm sure this would be breathtaking to the naked eye. But for me, just tantalising glimpses of the Milky Way.

As I turned the scope around to the NE I saw a meteor flash by Cassiopeia, so I decided to look for some of the clusters to be found there.

Amazingly as I looked through the scope I saw a satellite moving quickly across the sky and decided to follow it through the scope. As I followed it I chanced upon the double cluster of NGC869 & 884.

I suppose my attraction to astronomy has always been a sense of a spooky feeling and the hairs on my neck moving when I realise just how far away things are, these clusters are 7,000 light years away. Of course that means that these stars might not actually exist now, because we are actually staring into the past. We see these stars as they looked 7,000 years ago, that's quite a long time in human history (if not most of it).

Anyway, not a bad night's viewing for my first of the "season".


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