Monday, December 29, 2003

I was out observing with my telescope on Boxing Day and the 28th.

On the 26th Mars still had a bright yellow spot, which is a dust storm that has now mostly gone away. Other things I observed were M31, M32, and even a hint of M110, which is rare for my St. Kitts backyard. NGC 404 and 1023 were nice galaxies. Then the double cluster. A few first time finds were galaxy NGC 936, the Eskimo Nebula (great!), and NGC 2022, a small planetary nebula. M42 and M43 were typically good. Then I went into Auriga for a starhop from Alan Macrobert's book. This included NGC 1907, M38, Struve 698, Stock 8, Struve 687, NGC 1893, NGC 1931, M36, and M37. And of course Saturn, which was great on such a steady night.

Last night was my family's Christmas, so all the relatives were over. They all got to see Saturn and the Moon. The seeing wasn't the greatest. The two central crater peaks of the craters Cyrillus and Theophilus were very interesting. After my relatives left I repeated some of the objects listed above. I concentrated more on Orion, this time checking out the nebula with a UHC filter. Also found a lot of interesting triple stars in the lower half of that constellation.