Recent observations (that I can remember)

While it’s all still in my head, a quick write-up of tonight’s observatory antics.
Riiiight. M42 & 43, obviously. But also M78 through the 16″. A faint emission nebula, two stars ‘inside’. Great stuff.
All through the 16″ mirror, the great open clusters of M35, M37 and M38. Steve, who turned up with his go-to, showed me the globular cluster M3 and I was all why haven’t I been looking at this more!. Through the 16″ it was stunningly bright. Superb! Found by ‘star hopping’ from Arcturus in Bootees. Over to the right, a smaller globular, M53, but still a very worthwhile sight.
I found M3 in the dob also, by the way. So I get to say I properly found that.
M1 (supernova remnant) in Taurus found, and it was surprisingly bright in the 16″.
I looked at M40 below Sirius, (the ‘Little Beehive’) with the go-to.
Leo was almost lost in the eastern Wolverhampton haze, but I still found the two elliptical galaxies, M65 and M66. Later, as it moved into darker skies toward the west, I tried to find more but the dew beat me.
The double cluster was stunning through the 16″.
I should write up the other stuff I’ve seen lately. I did an evening amongst Taurus’s open clusters at the observatory site with my 8″ reflector in mid Feb, and it was great fun. Chalk up NGC , 1647, NGC 1746, and the fantastic ‘Poor Man’s Double Cluster’, NGC 1817 and 1817. It really does look like a malnourished version of Perseus’ showpiece.
The same evening I perambulated Canis Major, and more delightful NGC open clusters (2362, 2354), and the lovely Messier open clusters M46 and M47. Both distinctly different.
The most detailed star map I’ve found on Cassiopeia is in the ‘on-line download’ section of the Sky at Night magazine, as part of their deep-sky tour series. I’ve printed and laminated their map of the western area, and I spend a couple of hours with the 16″ enjoying the open and often sparse clusters in the imagined triangle between the double cluster and the first two stars of the ‘W’.
Here’s the tick-list.
Trumpler 1
NGC 654
NGC 663
NGC 659
All clusters, and some of them a lot more ‘wow’ than M103, which makes me wonder what was going on with the M numbers, (in the same way the double cluster has no M number but the Pleiades do!).
But you can’t argue with the M numbers. Especially if you’ve just bought a £28 book.
Phew! I still need to write up the binocular and 4″ mirror observations I made in the Elan Valley in October. Hmm.