|There have not been many good observation days again lately, but I was able to get a little viewing in after the fireworks of the 4th subsided.
With Portland and a waxing gibbous moon washing out the southern sky, I turned my attention to the north. Since Cassiopeia and Andromeda are rising, I'm learining objects in those constellations.
M52 (The Scorpion) - Open cluster
Tonight I did notice that the cluster has somewhat of a tail and pinchers shape, but you have to squint a lot and use your imgination!
M103 - Open Cluster
This is a small, tight open cluster with only a 3 or 4 really bright stars. If I try to use too much power, then I lose enough light to not make out the dimmer stars. For this cluster I used the 25mm eyepiece wich is only 60x power, but perhapsnext time I'll Barlow it up to 120x.
OCL 321 (Owl Cluster) - Open Cluster
This is such a cool looking cluster. I see the owl shape the more I look at it. The 25mm is perfect for this one. In it's current condition, the owl is "upside down", so with the Dob inverting it, I actually get to see it right side up (as far as an owl goes that is!). Cool.
I looked at a few other objects, but the moon was coming out and the sky was quickly getting washed out. Not to mention my eyes had no real darkness to adjust to.
So, I turned my telescope to the moon, looked over the lunar landscape and took a few pictures. The moon is the only thing my camera will take pictures of because it is big and bright enough. Here is one of the better pictures of the moon that turned out. moon-7_5_2004.jpg The coolest part of this image is the mountain ridges in Mare Crisium in the north east section.