Binocular session 24 July 2009

This was a very short session due to a migraine I’d acquired during the course of the day, so it was out for a quick sesh with the 8x42s. I am doing the AL Binocular deep Sky program at the moment, but I had lost the charts so decided to pick off a few objects in Cygnus instead. Luckily a couple of them are on the AL list (which – surprisingly – does not have many summer objects on it).
This was the first clear night dark enough to properly observe in ages. I poked around in Sagittarius, Bootes and Cygnus. Cygnus is my favourite area of the summer sky and is incredibly rich, being located in the Milky Way. Here, our sky is quite dark and it was better than mag 6, and the MW is very bright and detailed, with rifts and dark lanes.

The objects:
NGC 5466 – Globular Cluster in Bootes: This is easy to find, being in a direct line from the Bear’s tail (handle of the Dipper) to Arcturus, but not so easy to see in binoculars. It’s a very faint round glow.

NGC 6910 – Open Cluster in Cygnus: Small knot of stars adjacent to Sadr. Telescopically, this is one of my favourite OC’s but in binos it’s not more than a bright knot with a couple of bright stars attached.

NGC 6866 – Open Cluster in Cygnus: A small knot of stars between Sadr and Delta Cygni. A hazy, roundish patch. Hard to keep bins still at this angle and the remnants of the migraine made it impossible to look up at an angle for any length of time.

I love observing with my binoculars, they are the ultimate “grab ‘n’ go” scope, but I will be glad when I have got a servicable scope again!