Went out for a short viewing session last night, sorry no pictures for this one. I had originally planned only to go out to check out my collimation of the telescope mirrors. In short collimation is a precise alignment of the telescopes optics. For doing it by eye I’m pretty close. Not right on but for my first time it’s close and I’m happy with it.
After I did my star test on Arcturus to make sure the collimation was on I decided to go up to globular cluster M3, which is East of Arcturus (a bit higher up in the sky when looking towards Arcturus). M3 was a fuzzy ball of stars in my eyepiece, pretty sight to see, would probably be a bit more detailed of a view if I didn’t have as much light pollution as I do, especially looking directly over a street light.
Once I was done focusing in on M3 I decided to see if I could see the Great Cluster in Hercules, M13. M13 is a bit brighter than M3; M13 being a magnitude 5.9, and M3 being a magnitude of 6.4. The lower the number the brighter the object, some objects are a negative number (ie: Sun -26.7, Moon -12, Venus at it’s brightest is -4.7, and the brightest star Sirius is -1.5). While viewing this Great Cluster in Hercules in my 12.5mm eyepiece to have it fill in the view of the globular prettiness. It was a bit fuzzy, maybe the collimation is still a tad off? But while looking at it all of a sudden I saw a white light float by my view of it. I just kind of sat there in awe thinking to myself that I just accidentally saw a satellite float by my eyes. So I quickly rushed in to look on Stellarium to see what the satellite may have been, but there was no signs of one when I looked for it. May have been an amateur satellite, I doubt it was a meteor or anything like that, it went by pretty slowly in the eyepiece at a magnification of 80x.
I swung over towards the West and found the constellation Cancer, in Cancer there is Praesepe, M44. I kind of found it by luck seeing as where I’m viewing from the lights make it hard to make out the dimmer stars, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but Cancer is a bit dim, so it made it hard to spot. I used a star in the head of Leo and Pollux in Gemini to help get me in the rough area to point. I found Praesepe in my 32mm and because of it’s size since it’s an open cluster I decided to not try and magnify it.
I also, again, viewed Saturn. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be viewing Saturn EVERY time I go outside now, at least for this month. I viewed it like I normally do, 6mm eyepiece (magnification of 166x) it’s still quite bright in the sky. From what I’ve read it’s going to be dimming a bit by the end of the month as we (Earth) moves further away from it since opposition. I then tried a filter; I believe this is my first time using a filter to view anything other than the moon. The filter I used was a No. 12 Yellow filter. It seemed to work ok, but it dims Saturn and didn’t really bring out too much significant detail of the planet through my telescope, although it did make it did tone down the brightness enough to let me see a little more detail in the rings.
Anyway, that was my “quick” night of viewing. Hopefully I’ll have a couple more reports from this weekend. So much depends on the weather.