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Short Observing Session: Some DSOs and Constellation of Perseus Tour

Posted: 28 November 2015

Tuesday, 24 November 2015, dawned with some clouds. The sky was clear by mid-morning, but clouds began to appear again early afternoon. By sunset the sky was mostly cloudy. Cloudy skies continued until Friday, 27 November.

Open: Friday, 27 November 2015, 1806 MST
Temperature: 53°F
Session: 888
Conditions: Clear

Powered on the 8" LX200-ACF. Normally it would get a GPS acquisition, but it didn't this time. I manually entered the date and time and confirmed no DST (location was still stored). 1815 MST: did a GOTO to M57 (Ring Nebula); pointing was about 15° off. Decided to Park the telescope (which was normal) and power off/on. This time got a GPS acquisition. Did a GOTO to M57, which was good. Viewed the Ring Nebula at 83X. Did a GOTO to M13 (Hercules Globular Cluster) and viewed it at 83X. Slewed to Altair and SYNCed the AutoStar on it. Slewed to M11 (Wild Duck Cluster, open star cluster) and viewed it at 83X. Nice view.

1830 MST: viewed M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) and its companion galaxies M32 and M110, 83X. Then viewed NGC185, another satellite galaxy of the Andromeda Galaxy, 83X.

1839 MST: viewed the planet Neptune, 83X. Switched to the 2" Baader 8-24mm Zoom Eyepiece. Viewed Neptune and then Uranus using 250X (8mm). 1842 MST: as I was viewing Uranus a faint Earth-orbiting satellite passed through the field-of-view.

1851 MST: Switched back to the 2" Meade 24mm UWA (83X) eyepiece. Viewed M45 (Pleiades, open cluster), 83X.

1908 MST: did a tour of some Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) in the constellation of Perseus, 83X: M76 (Little Dumbbell Nebula, planetary nebula), NGC869 and NGC884 (Double Cluster, open clusters), M34 (open cluster), NGC1245 (open cluster), NGC1275 (galaxy, faintly visible using averted vision), NGC1342 (open cluster), NGC1499 (California Nebula), and NGC1528 (open cluster). 1922 MST: ended the DSO tour as the eastern sky was getting rather bright due to the soon-to-rise waning gibbous Moon.

This was a beautiful night at Cassiopeia Observatory. I spent a lot of time just looking up at the stars and enjoying the view before the waning gibbous Moon rose.

Swapped the Wireless AutoStar II batteries and then began closing up.

Close: Friday, 27 November 2015, 1943 MST
Temperature: 41°F
Session Length: 1h 37m
Conditions: Clear

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