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11/30/-1
    
Monday, May 31st, 2004
Boy. After 8 straight days of thick high clouds and rain, the sky is finally clear. Too bad it's a full moon washing nearly everything out. Oh well. You got yer good days and you got yer bad days.

Tonight however, was the first real fun that I've had with my new binoculars. I had a little Binocular Observation Extravaganza. Okay, so it wasn't an extravaganza, but it was still pretty darned cool.

Binocular Observation Session
Tonight, though I pulled out my 12" Dob, I really didn't use it. The full moon was washing out nearly everything. So I pulled out my new set of 10x50 binoculars and checked a few things out. I only logged a few objects, but I still managed to catch a few new ones for me.

M44 - Beehive Cluster
This cluster is relatively small in these binoculars. It's a very obvious small cluster in the sky though. A star here, a star there, then bang - 30 or so stars in a little group. Maybe a degree wide, it's neat finding it so easily in the binoculars.

M13 - Globular Cluster
In Hercules, this is the most spectacular globular cluster I've seen, but not in these binoculars! Though it is there, many times larger than the stars around it, at this point of my observation career I'd say it was very difficult to see. I could make out no detail whatsoever, but I could definitely see a small fuzzy spot that I recognize by it's position in Hercules as the great globular cluster.

Coma Berenices Open Cluster*
Wow! Wow! Wow! Now this was spectacular. It filled my entire field of view. I'm estimating 7 or 8 degrees, possibly more. It was a huge open cluster. No wonder I've never seen it before - it can't be contained in my 12" Dob. This *really* makes me want to purchase a wide field telescope.

Coat Hanger Open Cluster*
In scanning the sky for other things I came across what must be a catalogued object. It looked so obvious as a cluster, though there were only a 8 or 10 stars in it. There was a straight line of 6 or 7 stars going about a perfect 45 degrees, and a triangle about halfway down the line. I used Starry Night Pro to find the cluster and that's where I learned that it's called the Coat Hanger Cluster. Cool. Another object logged as a notch in my belt of starry observations.

Mizar
In Ursa Major, I wanted to see if the binoculars could split relatively wide double stars. I could clearly see that there were two stars here.

Epsilon Lyrae
In Lyra, this double star was clear as day. The fact that each of the stars in the double were binary themselves could not be made out at all.

Albireo
At the head of Cygnus, like Mizar, I couldn't really make out this binary. It seemed possibly a bit more elongated than the other stars, but I don't think I'd say it was an obvious binary.





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