Home Forums RAC Main Forum General Discussion Observing tonight? Re: Observing tonight?

Dean Johnson

    Hello astronomy fans. I got out tonight for 3 and a half hours. I had to catch NGC's 2567, 2613 and 2627 in Puppis and Pyxis because if I didn't get them this dark sky period, I would stand a good chance of not getting them for several months from now.  2567 is an open cluster in Puppis and it was a little challenging because of the starhop to get to it. It also had the most southerly declination. 2613 is a VERY faint galaxy and anyone going after it should practice Red's advice on using averted vision for it. (I didn't have an eyepiece that could have cracked the magnification up to 2500X, dammit!) 2627 is not too difficult as it lies near Zeta Pyxis, but it too is a dim, scattered cluster.

    I also have GOOD news and BAD news! I caught Comet Cardinal near M36 in Auriga tonight. I do have to make sure the "fuzzy star" I saw is it, but I'm 95% sure it is. Comet Yi-SWAN was covered by the only boxelder tree that is on the border of the Flatin Farm CORNFIELD. Yep. Ed and my favorite nephew Matthew plowed it up and I only have the strip by the fence on the south side and Dean's Boxelder Bistro and Bar on the north. It will probably be two years before it gets rotated back into hay. But thanks for the "head's up", Jeff! I'm going to try for Comet Yi-SWAN again tomorrow night without having to be pressured by southerly declined targets.

    I finished my night by doing a Saturn observation (only two moons, but what a clear view of the Cassini's Division at this tight an angle to the rings!), and the star field of Dwarf Planet Ceres. I am certain I can pin it down tomorrow night and am very sure I know which was it was tonight. But it took a lot of doing. If any of you gets into tracking asteroids, don't let too many nights go by.

    I also treated myself to the Leo Triplet, the star clusters of Auriga and globular cluster M5 along with Italian opera, Hyden's quiet sonata to the Queen and other selections from NPR. It was indeed a glorious night for astronomy. 8)