Friday, 7 June 2013

From the Harp to the Small Bear.


The weather this week has been wonderful, with blue skies every day so far... and what's more some lovely clear skies in the evening...

Monday the 3rd was one of those glorious warm summery evenings. We haven't had that many warm evenings in Pembrokeshire over the last few years, so I took full advantage of this one.

As the stars slowly switched on I spotted Vega over towards the East.....

I've been meaning to pay Lyra a visit these past few weeks... tonight was my first real opportunity.

Time to unleash the Tal2...

Firstly Vega, beautiful as ever, with classic diffraction spikes and a crystal clear white colouring.

Next Beta Lyrae "Sheliak",  primary white and secondary bluish grey. 

Gamma "Sulaphat" was noticeably brighter than Sheliak.

Epsilon Lyra (Double Double) easily seen at high magnification. 

The seeing wasn't that good tonight, plus the Tal2 was out of collimation as can can be seen from this photo I took. 

Tal1 so far gives the better view of the double double.

M57 a beautiful greyish colour in the Tal2. Great views with the 42mm and 25mm eyepieces. Averted vision was needed to draw out the distinctive oval shape.

No sighting of M56, but nearby Albireo looked stunning in the 42mm eyepiece. Yellow primary with a piercing French ultramarine blue secondary.

Moved on to M13 in Hercules,  the globular looked amazing in the 42mm and the 25mm. 
It reminded me of the seed head of a dandelion.

Tal2 resolved the globular many more stars than Tal1 has ever shown.

Moved on to Ursa minor, tried to find comet Panstarrs....  failed miserably... !!  

Thanks to the EQ mount and the position of my finder scope/eyepiece my neck was twisted into all shapes....I couldn't sit or stand comfortably enough to capture the elusive comet.  

A Dobsonian mount would have made finding Panstarrs that much easier.

But as Pantarrs is now at mag 9, and also in the balmy summer evening twilight, I was pushing my luck a bit.... 

The disappointment of no comet was soon forgotten when I turned the the scope onto our Northern star Polaris...  what an absolute beauty, further enhanced by it's blue secondary sitting nearby... which stood out wonderfully...  Thank you Tal2   ..  :0)

Considering the seeing wasn't that good, I was more than happy with the observing session.

Tal2 needs some tweaking as the above collimation picture shows.

The Double Double put on a poor show, but the view of M13 and Polaris redeemed any failings that Tal2 may have shown.  

I think it's time to get out the collimation eyepiece...


Clear Summer Skies....  at last...  :0)

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Nearby.. a lone dog howls..

The Full Mackerel Moon will be upon us on Monday,  nearby I can hear a dog practicing its lunar howling! Up above, the slow moving clouds...