Astro log: November 10th, 2010

Equipment: Orion Skyview 6 Deluxe EQ, 32mm, 15mm, 12.4mm eyepieces. OIII filter.

New objects observed: Messier 1, Messier 35, Messier 37, Messier 38, NGC 1981, Trapezium

Previous objects observed: Messier 42, Messier 36

Notes: Productive, although freezing and dewy sort of night. Started off going  M42, but Orion was at a place in the sky that it was really hard to aim my telescope at and still be able to look into it without leaning way way over it while standing on a stool, so I moved on until it came around to a better spot.

Finally got M1. It was an averted vision object, at least here, but I was able to see it. I definitely discerned its irregular shape. OIII filter was no help with it.

Knocked off some open clusters in or around Auriga as well. Messier 35, 36, 37, and 38. Attractive enough, but open clusters are usually my least favorite deep sky objects.

After that, and spending some time fruitlessly trying to find the small open cluster next to M35, I went back over to Orion. Observed M42, spent time looking for M43 but had no luck with that. Likely need darker skies and/or HII filter for that. Also was unable to observe M78, likely for similar reasons as to why I wasn't able to get M43. Did observe NGC 1981, an open cluster near M42 and M43, and finally saw the Trapezium. At least I think I finally saw it; I don't remember seeing it before, but it was pretty obvious. I think what happened was that it finally popped up looking all obvious when I was looking in that area for M43 with a higher power eyepiece; in the 32mm it's much less obvious that it's there, but once I'd seen it with the 12.4mm it was more apparent even after moving back up to the 32mm.

Ended the night at that point, since my fingers and toes were about to fall off from the 33ºF weather and ice was forming on things all around me. Not only was it a chilly night, but it was very humid and dewy. I'm glad I put the dew shield on the telescope, and had to make use of the hair dryer on the eyepieces after a while.

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