The bad news this month is The Observatory isn’t accessible because of changes in ownership of the land, and its future is in doubt. It’s a case of ‘wait and see’.
So I was feeling pretty fed up on Saturday the 12th July, but I was soon cheered by a sighting of Comet Neowise whilst in Shropshire. I got some very pleasing shots, and the comet was easily visible with the naked eye. The best comet I’d seen since Comet Hale Bop, back in the 90’s.
I was it again three night sago but it had faded quite a bit, I’m assuming, (or perhaps the seeing was much worse?). Anyway, here’s three shots of it. Two from Shropshire on the 12th, and one from Wiltshire on the 22nd.
Whilst in Wiltshire, I was rewarded with some superb dark skies, and I was able to do some deep sky observing with my 4″ reflector. I’m very much struck with Sagittarius, which has more Messier objects than any other constellation. The area around M8, The Lagoon Nebula, and M22, the great cluster, is simply a delight to navigate with 10×50 bins, or my little scope. I looked for M4, a globular cluster that’s never been ticked off in my observation book, but it eluded me. I don’t know why, it’s pretty straight forward, being not far from bright star Antares.
Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were resplendent too.
The usual suspects were easily seen under such splendid skies. M13, M92, The Double Cluster, M31 etc. A real treat was M42, the Pleiades rose in the early early hours, above the nearby pub. I could watch it through the window of my caravan whilst in bed. Bliss!