Seeing is 5 out o 10. Can barely split the double double. No Cassinin division in Saturn.
Darkness is not quite as dark as I've seen it before. There is some sky glow. Possily because the solstice was on the 21st and the sun doesn't go below the horizon very far. Milky way is well defined, but not significantly bright. Limiting naked eye was magnitude was around 6. M33 was not a naked eye object.
There was a wind for the first hour or so, but after the sun fully set it died down and was completely calm. Not too cold either.
Equatorial Platform Performance
This was the first dark sky and extended observation session with the EQ platform. It performed fabulously. The best way to describe it was simply that I could look at any object for as long as I wanted to without touching the scope once I had the object in the field of view. I spent less than 5 minutes trying to do a bit more than a rough align, but I also didn't want to spend my evening refining the alignment. I was not trying to take pictures, so slight drift over an extended period of time was perfectly fine. Man, I love this thing!
I was after a handful of very faint objects. This was going to be my first time trying to hit a few asteroids and extra-galactic objects.
M31-G1 - Globular Cluster in Andromeda
This is nearly a 14th magnitude object that requires excellent seeing and high power. Tonight was probably not the best night to hit it, but I'm not going to be in skies this dark again for at least two months, and then problably 8 months after that - so I made it the night anyway.
Wth the help of star fields in Starry Night Pro, I was able to identify the object. And yes, it was barely visible. The triange shape of G1 and the 13.6 mag stars around it was evident and at 400 power and there was a slight hint of G1 not being quite the pinpoint the other stars were. Of course, there was no resolution of any stars within the cluster at all, but the objects was larger and fuzzier than it's surrounding stars.
Cool! My first extra-galactic object.
From here the asteroid I wanted to hit doesn't come up until just efore the sun so there is a good chance I will not get to even attempt it.
Further, it was not quite dark enough to go afer some of te other extra-galactic objects in my list.
Ursa Major Galaxies
I've wanted to look at some of the galaxies in Ursa major for some time. Of course, M106, M108, M109, M81M and M82 have been observed on many occasions. Tonight I was looking for NGC 4013 and I ended up seeing several more (and never got back around to 4013!).
NGC 38938 - Face on Spiral Galaxy
A touch larger than the other galaxies I saw in this region this is a face on spiral that almost showed some modeling. About 5 arc minutes. No real structure but well placed in the 9.5mm at 150 power.
NGC 4157, 4088, 4100 - Edge On Galaxies
I picked these up all in the field with the 40mm (37 power). I didn't take the time to have a closer look but 4088 was the largest and brightest of the three. 4157 was thin but bright. Looked a bit like the splinter but much smaller. 4100 was the hardest one to see. At first I didn't realize it was there. But comparing my field with Starry Night helped me place it.
Obviously with a night so amazing I observed many more things, but they do not all need journaled.