Just past First Quarter Moon so I decided to put the 8" SCT in the observatory to use as the ground was to wet for the 16" Dob.
Started observing at 19:30 with a quick look at Venus before it disappeared Behind the 15 degree hill in the South West.
Seeing was about 6-10, 10 being best, Jupiter with a nice line up of moons, the great Red Spot was plainly seen in 21mm eyepiece with 2.5 xBarlow giving x95 mag
Then for some deep sky stuff,NGC253
was plainly seen, and with averted imagination some mottling was discerned
30 mm eyepiece75xmag.
I tried a UHC filter to see if it would be of any use?, but is no use at all.
On to the Andromeda triplet
M32 was just like a fuzzy star, M31 was surprisingly detailed for such a bright sky and being so low down,M110 was just hinted at , if you didn't know it was there you would miss it.
NGC598/M33 was just seen against the background glow but was a difficult target.
Swung round to the South and zeroed in on NGC 104/47Tuc, very bright and crisp for such a bright sky,30mm2xbarlow 75xmag.
NGC 2070, Tarantula nebula was quite low down but was still able to make out the spidery shape, the UHC filter helps here.
M45/ The Pleiades , low down but still a fine sight.
Tried the UHC on this one too but except for darkening the sky was not much help.
The moon was more more less on the zenith and was very crisp with the double crater's Messier's A and B quite sharp.
there was some fine detail both on the terminator and the limb.
Any dark adaption after that was shot
It was fairly cool by this time with the temp at 8deg C and a slight quite cool breeze, so Coffee time
Moon Just sinking behind the hill, was able to find Comet 103PHartley2 in the in my 15x65 binoculars from my veranda ,also just seen with the the 7x35 bino's as well,at this stage it was not visible in my scope as it was below the apex of the roll off roof, so onto other things.
NGC253 again this time in a darker sky and the detail was stunning with the dark mottling plainly seen.
NGC55 a similar galaxy to NGC 253 and in the 8" not as bright as I am used to in 16" observing
but a nice sight all the same.
NGC891 in Andromeda is a favourite far north galaxy and on a dark night and with the 16" scope is a great target
But in the 8" inch was just about visible
Orion was now quite well up now and I had a good look around in this area, with M42 and the horse head prime targets.
the seeing had improved considerably by this time and I was able to see six stars in the Trapezium at high mag.
I had a go for the horse head, and with a bit of averted imagination thought I could just discern it
Onto M1 NGC1952, I have found a very easy way to find this object,in the Telrad illuminated circles there are gaps, I put the star Zeta Tauri in one of the gaps in the outer circle and it puts M1 in the field of the 30mm eyepiece,
Not a lot of detail to be seen of this object in the 8",but I found it anyway
By this time the comet 103PHartly had cleared the observatory roof and in the 30mm eyepiece was quite large fuzzy ball,a bit elongated with just a hint of a tail and a brighter center.
The night ended on a really bright note
At 02:42 a magnificent Meteor shot through Perseus about 15degs from Comet Hartley and 5degs from M34 at a guess I would say it was at least mag x10,it really lit up the sky.
the colours ranged from white to green and finishing with a reddish
Tinge before evaporating in a really bright flash
But there is more
through the 7x35 Binoculars and the 8x50 finder I watched the trail for about 10 minutes changing shape from nearly a straight line to a question mark shape, it was amazing to watch
I was able to trace it's length to at least10 degree's wow
After that I called it a night at 03:00.
What a great finish to a great nights observing