So after a month and a half the sky finally cleared and I was able to see the stars, it’s amazing how much the night sky changes in that time, I’m having to learn a whole new bunch of star names and their positions in the sky. The clear weather meant I finally had a chance to try out my new telescope purchases which I will speak about later on.
I decided to set my telescope up around about 9pm as it was getting dark to allow for the hour cool down time, then went back inside I used Stellarium to plan my viewing session, several Messier objects to knock off my list.
First up is the new purchases, a new power cable that replaced the standard one that came with my telescope, the new one was 10x better, no longer have to worry about a loose fitting undoing all my work getting the telescope assigned, it even survived being dragged 6 foot by my overly playful kitten, it was superb not having to worry about which way my telescope would be slewing to the next object and when it inevitably got wrapped round the telescope I just moved the power tank to unwrap it. The second purchase was a red dot finder to replace the 9×50 finder scope that comes with the flextube, it stays aligned much better than the 9×50 and I find it slightly less back breaking to use so I would recommend it as a cheap upgrade for anyone with a flextube. For more information of the upgrades then please go here http://www.alistairbeasley.com/?p=42 .
So onto my viewing session, my list for the night;
Castor, M95, M96, M97 M87, M81, M82 and M101.
First up I went for the Messier objects, it quickly became apparent however that all but the brightest are washed out by the light pollution from my garden, so I all but abandoned the list and decided to try out the sky tour on the goto of my telescope, here is what it came up with;
Castor is in the constellation of Gemini, as seen in the image below it’s the second brightest star in the constellation and to the right of Pollux. As the title of this post suggest what appears to be a single star to the naked eye is in fact a double consisting of two bright white stars and well worth a look. The best view of this for me was through the 10mm eyepiece.
As above Algieba is a single point of light when looking at it with the naked eye but quickly reveals itself to be a binary star system when looking through a telescope, found in the constellation of Leo. Best view was through a 10mm eyepiece.
Next up on the list is the Beehive Cluster (M44) is an open cluster of stars in the constellation Cancer, I was unable to count the number of stars and struggled to get it all in the view of my 25mm eyepiece.
Hercules Globular Cluster
Last but not least was the Hercules Globular Cluster (M13), often described as one of the most amazing sights in the northern hemisphere it’s hard to disagree, at higher powers individual stars were visible, a breathtaking sight and must be near the top of the list for anyone with a telescope.
Perhaps unsurprisingly it’s found in the constellation Hercules as shown below.