Observation Report 8 September 2012

Another moonlit night washing the less bright objects out, but clear enough to step out with the 10″ dob again…

First up was M39 in Cygnus. I found this one tricky to locate, but eventually got to it starting from ρ Cygni. From there I hopped to g Cygni and noting a straight line of stars ending at that star, moved in the opposite direction. I found M39 to be a small open cluster surrounded by other stars making it hard to pick out. I think it would be possible to overlook it in the surrounding star field very easily.

Next over to the ever popular M31/M32/M110 group in Andromeda. Easy to find and impressively bright despite the moonlight I found I could make out more of the extended area of the galaxy. M32 still appeared some distance from the core of M31 though, so clearly I couldn’t see as much as I know to be there. M32 was still clear and not hard to find even if it was still just a small grey smudge in the prevailing conditions. M110 on the opposite side of the main galaxy was on the other hand much more tricky to find and only just discernable as a faint grey blob.

I moved over to Cassiopeia next for M52 which I found to be quite well-defined though faint. It was very easy to find and filled the field of view of my 9mm BGO nicely with the stars being easy to resolve.

Also in Cassiopeia I found M103, an open cluster which sadly wasn’t too impressive with the Moon now being quite bright in the sky. Another to return to when the viewing conditions are more favourable.

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