Astro log: Nov. 8th, 2009

Equipment: Orion Skyview 6 Deluxe EQ, using the 32, 15, and 10 mm eyepieces and the broadband,  ultrablock, and OIII filters.

New objects observed: M42, Betelgeuse

Previous objects observed: M81, M82, M31, M32


The Moon was not out, and the clouds parted, for the first time in weeks, so I went out for a brief unplanned session with the telescope. Unfortunately transparency wasn't real great and skyglow was fairly bad, so it wasn't the best night. It was, however, the first night in nearly a month (except for an unremarkable half-hour looking at Jupiter and the Moon that I didn't bother logging) I'd been able to get out.

While I had already seen M81 and M82 from Sunrise Point, this was the first time I'd been able to see them from my house. They weren't very bright, but I was definitely able to discern both of them (and M82's cigar shape, which was more obvious with averted vision). For the hell of it I tried the broadband filter on them too, but predictably it only made them more difficult to see.

Despite being near the zenith, M31 and M32 were dimmer than usual; presumably they were casualties of the transparency issues. I may have briefly glimpsed M110 at one point out of the corner of my eye, but I was unable to duplicate it; not claiming to have seen that last night. Now that it's up by the zenith in the early night, though, I may be able to finally get M110 for sure from my house if a good night comes along.

Orion came up over the house, so I took a quick look at Betelgeuse through the scope (on the off chance I don't get another chance...), and looked at the Orion Nebula. Even on a mediocre night, with haze, light pollution issues, and no real chance to get dark adapted, it was stunning. I'm currently not claiming M43 as seen yet, but the bright part of M42 was very apparent, and some related nebulosity could be glimpsed.

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