Quick obs report…

Nice clear night but very cold! Did some lunar observations in Wolves through the 4-inch table-top dob then headed out away from town for some deep sky stuff. The Moon was so bright, I really had a job seeing some DSOs through the Opticrom 10X50 bins. Best findings of the evening were M47, an open cluster in Puppis (found star-hopping from Sirius in Canis Major), not seen this often, quite low in UK. Couldn’t see companion cluster M46 (Puppis), or Caroline’s Cluster (Canis Major) through bins, (and too cold at -1 to set scope up in a field, I wished at this point I’d I’d gone to the observatory). M41 seen for the first time this year, (Little Beehive), very bright despite low elevation. Lovely winter cluster in Canis Major. Again, quite low, best seen in rural skies I blog1reckon.
Praesepe (M44 – the Beehive/Manger) superb in bins, and naked eye brighness after a while, despite the (estimated) 70% lit Moon just to the right of Taurus. And I spent at least ten minutes trying to see M67, a 6.9 mag open cluster in Cancer. Located eventually using averted vision. Look just under Praesepe, in a line of stars in a ‘smile’ shape. Nice, need to check if I’ve seen this in a scope under a dark sky. I’ve just looked it up and it’s an ancient cluster, five billion years old. Wow.
What else? The usual suspects, M45, The Hyades, open clusters M35, 36, 37, 38, Perseus Double Cluster, Mars and Uranus (got some photos of those), Vega and Lyra just dipping in the West with Cygnus following, Leo rising in the East, Regulus resplendent!
Reminder for next clear sky – Between Procyon and Sirius is a large cluster in Monoceros, M50. I bet I could have seen that tonight.
So no nebula tonight (except M42) and no galaxies, but a fun binocular tour and didn’t Orion look amazing!
Moon photo through the 4″ newt with my Canon 750 DSLR and a 2X barlow.