A Little Bit of Christmas Night Observing

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A Little Bit of Christmas Night Observing
Posted by DaveMitsky on Thursday, December 26, 2013 9:45 PM

Upon returning home from a Christmas dinner with relatives last night, I spent a few moments outside using a gift that my sister-in-law had given me.  It was none other than a mighty 8x22 L.L.Bean monocular.  Through breaks in the clouds, I was able to catch glimpses of Jupiter (I wasn't able to hold the monocular steadily enough to resolve any Galilean satellites), the Belt of Orion (which along with the Sword just fit into the field of view), M42 and the Sword of Orion, Sigma Orionis, the Hyades, and M45.  M42 was definitely recognizable as non-stellar.  At an exit pupil of 2.8mm, the views were a bit dim but interesting nevertheless. 

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Friday, December 27, 2013 1:00 AM

I spent 30 minutes or so in my backyard shortly after midnight observing with the 8x22 monocular and a 10x50 Celestron Ultima binocular.  The transparency was quite poor.

From a seated position, I was able to see M35, M36, M37, M41, M42, M44, M45, NGC 1981, NGC 2244, NGC 2264, Collinder 65, Collinder 69, Collinder 70, and the Hyades with the 10x50s.  

Using the monocular, I was limited to M35, M42, M44, M45, Collinder 69, Collinder 70, and the Hyades.  M35 and M44 were barely visible. I was able to make out 11 Pleiads. The best views were of the Sword of Orion and the Hyades.

Ganymede, Callisto, and Io were to the east of Jupiter and Europa was to the west.  It was difficult holding the 10x50s steady with one hand but I may have seen all four of the Galilean satellites.  I could resolve only one or two, possibly Ganymede and Europa, with the monocular.

Before going back inside, I saw a meteor that was about as bright as Rigel shoot downwards from Orion into Eridanus.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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