Well this little session proved to be a bit of a damp squib. Scope Nights said there would be 50% plus cloud all evening, so we invited some friends round for dinner. A very nice evening from that point of view, where the ‘Vin Rouge’ flowed in reasonable moderation. As they were departing at about 11:00, it was pointed out that the sky was as clear as a bell and the Milky way was stretching from 20 degrees above the horizon at both ends.
So not wanting to miss out on a clear night I opened up. Well that was the start of a downward trend .
I have read in a number of places that astronomy and half a bottle of Red do not mix. There is an excellent article on the subject by Surjit Singh Wadwha in the Spring 1988 issue of ‘Amateur Astronomy’ for anyone who wishes to brush up on the research into the subject. Anyway, I sought out four objects from my Caldwell list and failed to observe all but one of them 🙁
Just for the record, here are the sessions stats.
- Date: 05/06/2015
- Time: 22:31 – 00:09 UTSeeing: II Mostly Stable,
- Transparency: IV Somewhat Clear,
- Pressure: 1021mb,
- Humidity: 80%,
- Dew Point: 7.5 ,
- Wind: 3mph,
- SQM: 18.1 mags/arcsecond,
- NELM: 5.1mag
NGC7293 has always been a bit of a disappointment for me in the past. I always seem to try for it when it’s far too low and to date, have never really seen it to any degree of satisfaction. However, this evening, there was absolutely nothing to be seen.
I then took off to Cassiopea and NGC185, C18 and NGC147, C17 where at 1.3 Air masses, should just be on the edge of visibility. I know they’re are quite small and all I expected to see was perhaps a little glimpse of the core, but no, nothing. Getting a little demoralised now ;-(
The last object was even higher IC342, C5. After about 10 minutes confirming the star field was correct, it was just possible to make out a circular haze of about 6 arc seconds, but only very fleetingly with AV5. Looking at the log for the last observation of this object, I see that I had a tough time with C5 in December of last year too.
All in all a little disappointing, especially when the skies were quite good. I have no idea if the half a bottle of Red made any difference, but another visit to NGC185 the following night, sans the alcohol did make a difference. More of that session in a few days when I write up the log.