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Old 12-12-2010, 06:22 PM
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A night with the binoculars.

After a month of constant rain, I couldn’t believe my luck - the day my new 10x60 binos arrived, the clouds parted. Both 7x50 & 10x60 binos were used, but my report is based upon my observations through the 10x60’s.. Some of the session was done with my daughter and her boyfriend.

First up, the gorgeous Pleides cluster (M45) in Taurus. At 440 ly away, these stars are babies at only 100 million years old. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why my daughters boyfriend could only see two stars (naked eye) I thought they were quite obvious naked eye. No matter how many times we got him to look (and apparently he has no problem with his eye sight).. A gorgeous sprinkling of diamonds in the sky is how best I like to describe this gem. I particularly love this cluster when it sits around 25 deg low in the sky and the turbulence of the atmospheres makes the whole cluster dance.

The Hyades Cluster (Mel25). In Taurus. This cluster sits nestled alongside the orange giant star Alderbran. Taurus is one of my favourite constellations- I love the shape and the gorgeous bright orange Alderbran sitting on it as if were a dazzling Topaz gem.. I can’t get over how huge this cluster is. It only just fits within the field of view of 10x60’s. A very large and loose scattering of stars.

On to Canis Major exploring around Sirius, and come across a small fuzzy patch. Don't know what this is so I will have to investigate further.

47 Tuc (NGC104). Globular Cluster. 1,600 l/y away. Just visible to the naked In my 7x50 binos, it showed up as a very small feint fuzzy ball. The 10x60 reveals a larger, brighter fuzzy ball, about one deg in diameter

The Orion Nebula (M42). Four of the bright stars within the nebula were very bright and clear nestled in fuzzy bright nebulosity.. One of these stars holds the Trapezium.


Eta Carina Nebula (NGC 3372). Shows up as a fairly bright elongated patch – quite distinctive.

Gamma Crux and NGC 4755 star Cluster. This red giant sits 88 ly away and is a beautiful deep yellow in binoculars. Exploring the region, I came across a beautiful star cluster about three degrees in diameter.

The Geminids Meteor Shower. Talk about being at the right place at the right time, I had no idea about this event, and my daughter and I got a treat of three meteors within 30 mins. The first two within 10 mins. Short trails and small, yet bright. My reaction was “wow it’s a busy night for meteors tonight”.

Took a moment to enjoy the wide field view of the busy and dusty milky way lane from orion heading south. My daughter and boyfriend were in awe of the heavily population of stars.

LMC & SMC. Not really much to see on this night. A few small knots of nebulosity was seen, and very feint. I was on my way to finding the Tarrantula Nebula when the clouds rolled in.

It was an enjoyable night, but my legs are now covered in dark purple itchy midge bites, the mosquitoes after the rain were out with a revenge, the next door neighbours dog would not shut up and barked at me the whole night, and the yard stunk of compost.

Thanks for reading.


EDIT:The following is the inclusion of M44 (as I got this wrong and edited report accordingly) & the investigation of the fuzzy patch mentioned in my report. I'm adding in IC2602 as well.

The Beehive Cluster (M44). To me, unimpressive in binos, I guess suburbia doesn’t do this justice (?). I could only make out seven bright stars, very hard to count the fainter ones. The shape resembled a right angled triangle. This cluster seen through a scope is indeed breathtaking, with lots of double stars looking like bees chasing each other.

The fuzzy patch I found near M41 in Canis Major. I got my scope on this, and the fuzzy patch turns out to indeed be M41. In binos, Sirius is to the left edge of the fov and M41 is on the right edge and up a bit (couldn't resolve any stars but you could tell it was a distant cluster). When I got my scope on it at 55 X mag., it revealed one of the most beautiful clusters I have seen so far, very tiny stars with an orange one in the middle.

The Southern Pleaides (IC2602). A very beautiful cluster in Carina. A small, condensed cluster, much smaller than M45 in the fov. When scanning the skies around this region, this cluster literally jumps out at you - you can't miss it. It sits only about 4 deg to the right of the famous Eta Carina Nebula.

Last edited by Suzy; 15-12-2010 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:29 PM
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Suzy;

That was a simply terrific report.

I feel like I was there !

Well done !

I look forward to many more.

Cheers
PS: Sounds like you need some DEET (or Aeroguard).
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:36 PM
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astroron (Ron)
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Great Report there Suzy
The first of many through the Bino's
We will be able to do comparison's one day
Give the dog a bone it might just shut it up, and use some Aerogaurd and maybe some Trackie Dacks
Cheers
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:04 PM
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Binca (Bianca)
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Great report! I made a list of the things you saw so I can go find them myself tonight if the sky stays clearish. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:34 PM
Geoff uk (Geoffrey)
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suzy sounds that you enjoyed your self i love looking at the pleides and the hydes and the Beehive and my fav Orion in my Bins AND SCOPES it was a bit cloudy here in u.k last night but had a good look at all of them never fails to a mazes me take and all the best Geoff
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:47 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Lovely report Suzy. Sounds like a beautiful night browsing with the binos and perfect targets for it. Only one little pedantic point - the beehive cluster is M44 in Cancer - the only reason that I mention it is when you get to have a good look at it, you will see why it's called the Beehive. Interesting about your daughter's boyfriend - I often find it amazing what other people see and don't see through the same field of view.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:18 PM
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Craig, what a compliment, thank you!

Bianca, I'm glad I was able to help you out. I'm on a different computer at the moment, but when I get back on to mine, I will send you a link for some great bino targets.

Ron, thank you, next time Aeroguard will be my companion. And that dog needs a tranquiliser.

Geoff, they are great bino targets aren't they! I hope you get some clear skies your way soon.

Paddy, oh doh! I was going off memory and for some reason, I always get M44 mixed up with M41, I don't know why! Many thanks for the correction and I will edit my report accordingly. I've seen the Beehive through the scope and it is truly awesome . When my daughter's boyfriend was looking at the Pleiades's cluster, it was naked eye. It surprised me he could only see two. I should make that clearer in the report, so I will edit that as well. Binos gave him a good view of it though. Please keep correcting me on reports where needed - it's how I can learn.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:46 PM
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Binca (Bianca)
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"Bianca, I'm glad I was able to help you out. I'm on a different computer at the moment, but when I get back on to mine, I will send you a link for some great bino targets."

Thanks! I have been stargazing when I can for the last year using binos and a telescope when I bought it, but seeing as every source I read has different suggestions as to what is visible and not visible through binos.. well, I get a little confused and just do my own random searching!
And I can't believe it! The one night it is perfectly clear I am too tired to go outside. Like, I am about to drop here, even though I napped from 8-9. I bet it is cloudy for the rest of the week!
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:53 PM
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I have some confusion I hope someone can help me with.
I am removing the Beehive Cluster off my obs report as further investigation (thanks to PaddY) has shown me that's not the cluster I saw. I thought the Beehive Cluster was in Canis major, when in fact it's in Cancer. And I have a habbit of calling it M41 when it's M44, so go figure I keep getting these objects confused against each other, in name and constellation .

Two questions, if you'll can help me please:

Beehive Cluster: I've only viewed this through a scope. Is it easy to view in binos?

M41: I saw a small fuzzy patch around where M41 should be. Is this what M41 looks like through binos? If not, what would it be?

Many thanks.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
I have some confusion I hope someone can help me with.
I am removing the Beehive Cluster off my obs report as further investigation (thanks to PaddY) has shown me that's not the cluster I saw. I thought the Beehive Cluster was in Canis major, when in fact it's in Cancer. And I have a habbit of calling it M41 when it's M44, so go figure I keep getting these objects confused against each other, in name and constellation .

Two questions, if you'll can help me please:

Beehive Cluster: I've only viewed this through a scope. Is it easy to view in binos?

M41: I saw a small fuzzy patch around where M41 should be. Is this what M41 looks like through binos? If not, what would it be?

Many thanks.
Suzy the Beehive M44 in Cancer is quite nice in Bino's you will be able to resolve some stars quite easily. but is fairly dense like a globular cluster.
in Bino's
M41 is just to the right of Sirius and is visible from here naked eye and in your binoculars you can make some outliers of the cluster
cheers
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:51 PM
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As Ron says above, "yes" and "yes". I was out observing from about 12:30-2am Saturday morning at the Coldstream airfield east of Melbourne. I looked at many of the same targets you did although I couldn't write such a nice observing report. The Beehive looked very pretty in both the 10x50 and 15x50IS binoculars I was using. While I was observing I noticed a few meteors including one bright (at least zero mag) Geminid that left a trail I could see with my binoculars for 20-30 seconds.
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Old 13-12-2010, 12:02 AM
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MY 1000th POST!!!!!!!!

Wow! I've reached my 1000th post!

I've just realised in the nick of time when my post count sat on 999. I am so glad I've got an obs. report running at the moment, because I couldn't think of a better place than here to celebrate my 1000th post. Thank you to all in the IIS community and thank you to all my friends in the obs forum for your help and encouragement. And thank you everyone for your continuous contritubtions here.
Thankyou everyone for making me feel so welcome both here in the obs forum and within the IIS community.


Time for a glass of wine to celebrate!
Cheers!


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Old 13-12-2010, 12:03 AM
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Hi Suzy,

See you're on 999 posts -- one more for the milestone !

Excellent report mate, much enjoyed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
... For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why my daughters boyfriend could only see two stars (naked eye) I thought they were quite obvious naked eye. No matter how many times we got him to look (and apparently he has no problem with his eye sight).
Congratulations Suzy -- it probably isn't him, it's you!. This is a sign that you are already gaining experience as a visual observer. You are now calling "obvious" or "bright" things that non-astronomers are struggling to see at all. This is not a tongue in cheek comment -- I'm serious. This means your perceptions are being adjusted. In time, there are things now that you call faint that will become "fairly bright". Somewhat further down the track, you be hunting 16th magnitude galaxies and being glib about it ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
On to Canis Major exploring around Sirius, and come across a small fuzzy patch. Don't know what this is so I will have to investigate further.
I'll back it in now that it's M41.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
The Geminids Meteor Shower. Talk about being at the right place at the right time, I had no idea about this event, and my daughter and I got a treat of three meteors within 30 mins. The first two within 10 mins. Short trails and small, yet bright. My reaction was “wow it’s a busy night for meteors tonight”.
Meteor showers can be great fun and quite spectacular at times. Best observed in a banana chair with a glass of your favourite beverage and a pair of binoculars at hand to have a sweep round the sky from time to time.

Thanks for taking the time to post this Suzy!


Best,

Les D
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Old 13-12-2010, 12:04 AM
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Hi Suzy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
[SIZE=4]Wow! I've reached my 1000th post!
Let me be the first to say congratulations and well done !

(There, you even got an emoticon)


Best,

Les D
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Old 13-12-2010, 12:29 AM
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[QUOTE=Suzy;665705]Wow! I've reached my 1000th post!

I've just realised in the nick of time when my post count sat on 999. I am so glad I've got an obs. report running at the moment, because I couldn't think of a better place than here to celebrate my 1000th post. Thank you to all in the IIS community and thank you to all my friends in the obs forum for your help and encouragement. And thank you everyone for your continuous contritubtions here.
Thankyou everyone for making me feel so welcome both here in the obs forum and within the IIS community.


Time for a glass of wine to celebrate!
Cheers!


[/quote

Well done Suzy :b owdown:
HERE'S TO THE NEXT THOUSAND:thumbs up:
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Old 13-12-2010, 08:34 AM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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Congratulations Suzy!!!!
1000 posts is indeed a milestone.
Here's to the next 1000.

Fantastic report too. A first night first light is rare indeed.
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Old 13-12-2010, 07:28 PM
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rmmcconachy, thank you for your nice comments. Seems I got Beehive (M44) mixed up with M41, so I have ammended my report to suit. Meanwhile chasing (soon as it clears) what that fuzzy thing is that I saw around where M41 is. For some reason thought M44 was in Taurus too . It's been a whole year since i've seen this cluster (and last year was my first), so I guess I can be forgiven for the mix up.

Les, thank you so much for your kind words, comments and encouragement. I feel extra special when you post on my obs, being as you are such a celebrity and so talented and all and I am your biggest fan. It's true, I can't wait for Les' articles in Aust. Sky & Telescope.
And many thanks for the 1000 post congrats. I feel privileged - you don't give away emoticons easily.
It's interesting what you said about my visual skills improving, really got me thinking. You are absolutely right, what I call bright in the binos now, 12 months ago I would have said I can barely see it. But, the Pleaides, really & truly, aren't the 6 stars obvious to everyone?! Hmm, interesting what you said. I know I can naked eye 47Tuc without any problems in suburbia under light pollution, so I think I'm doing well visually on the right track.

Ron, thankyou - another 1000 seems so far off You have helped me endlessly my friend, with so much support and encouragement. Thankyou.

Nettie, thank you for your kind words on the obs report and the congrats. After a 1000, I do indeed feel like part of the furniture around here, a great feeling of "home" and belonging.

Bianca, here is the link for those bino targets http://www.lightandmatter.com/binosky/binosky.html Also, Robert Bee's book "Heavens Above" is written for the southern hemisphere skies- a really great book for binoculars. You can buy it from telecope retailers such as Bintel. I made a mistake with m44, if you read the posts above it will make more sense.

Now everyone else that's reading this that hasn't posted in the obs forum yet - you can see this is just a very simple bino report, I'm sure if you'll gave it a go (obs posting) you will find it very easy and you'll feel such a reward for contributing. Go on- please give it a go! I'm talking to you too Bianca!



Merry Christmas Everyone
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Old 13-12-2010, 09:06 PM
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Congratulations on your first kilopost, Suzy. Your enthusiasm is fantastic and greatly adds to the forum. Looking forward to many more posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post

Beehive Cluster: I've only viewed this through a scope. Is it easy to view in binos?


Many thanks.
M44 is much better in binos than a scope in my experience. It is quite a large cluster and I don't think you get the full impact in a scope. And it takes binoculars to see the beehive shape depicted by the brighter members of the cluster. Looking forward to your report on it.
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Old 13-12-2010, 09:42 PM
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Aaaaaaawww, thank you Paddy. Keeping that enthusiasm alive during this long horrendous wet spell is really something at times. Thank goodness for this forum and the great friends (you included of course) that I have found on here that keeps us all chipper especially during this time. It seems the highest posted threads are the ones whinging about the weather - It's easy therapy!

When I get M44 in the binos I will edited it back into my obs report for sure.

I felt it was time to balance out some truly great reports that have been posted lately (and not to forget the spectacular Steve G's one too), by throwing in a very simple & basic bino one in. The balance is nice now.
Where's Shelley lately - she hasn't posted an obs report for a while .
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:43 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Hey Suzy
Nice report. M44 is a very interesting target. Yes it is probably best in binos, but if you ever get to see it naked eye it is a joyful experience. Only managed that once in my backyard, one of the loveliest night you could hope for and there it was shimmering away in Cancer.
Oh and well done on the 1000!

Malcolm
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