May 27, 2015

Short Break in the Clouds (late May, 2015)

Our skies have been cloudy nearly every night for weeks.  Finally, the sky cleared for an evening, and I took the SV110ED out for a spin on the EM-10.  Such an easy setup with which to observe.

First up was Saturn.  I spotted Titan, Rhea, Dione, and Tethys.  The rings are tipped wildly right now.  I could see the inner ring against the planet's face.  It was a great view even though Saturn was not very high in the sky.  Best view at 154x.

The other highlight of the night was globular cluster NGC 6229 in Hercules.  I looked at M92, then slewed over to 6229.  It was not immediately apparent at 22x, but at 154x, it was obvious.  The view is sweet.  The glob sits at the center of an arc of two magnitude 8 and one magnitude 12 stars.  I could not resolve any stars in the cluster, but my scope is not big enough for that.  Studies show the cluster is about 100,000 light years from us, pretty far out from what we normally think of as "the galaxy."  The cluster is an interesting object.

About midnight, the clouds rolled in.  The next night we received 3.5 inches of rain.