We’ve had a smashing run of blue skies. Last night in Shropshire I enjoyed a beautiful dark sky, and the Heritage 100p and 10X50 Opticron binocular combination proved a winner.
The 100p performed admirably. Venus’ disc, and later Jupiter and three moons. I’m still unsure of which galaxy I’m seeing in Leo though, I’m pretty sure it’s M65, I’m hoping to go out again later to sketch the area.
The Beehive and Coma Cluster, the Perseus Double Cluster, all good stuff. Very nice to see was M51 in bins – the Whirlpool Galaxy. It’s a testament to the dark skies of Shropshire, that I was able to see several galaxies with these new bins. And now I’ve finally worked out how to align the red-dot finder on the 100p, I’m finding stuff with the minimum of faff. M81 and M82 were found in no time, and the Hercules globular clusters were also seen, with M13 proving to be very bright, and quite detailed in the 100p.
The 100p also showed the asterism of ‘the diamond ring’, which is basically, Polaris and the stars that form a line-of-sight circle effect.
I split Castor at high power, and wished I’d found Andromeda, just to ramp up the galactic count. If it stays clear tonight, I think I’ll see how many I can find in the bins alone.