We finished up at 5.40am, !! lol and by then a little bit of fog was starting to appear but nothing that was a show stopper, as soon as we drove down the hill, we encountered severe dense fog,
We were delighted by how the night went, it was perfect !, an epic observing night it was !, a dream object list run
, shattered now, a 12 hour marathon all nighter, only ended by the brightening sky and the starting threat of fog. IF we got this at every BSP then I'd be a very happy camper.
I was delighted with how the scope worked, the dew heater system kept both mirrors and eyepieces dew free all night, while water dripped from every other part of the scope.
Sorry in advance, we got alot in during the night
We got the globular clusters M13, M15 & M92, also got M71 the semi globular-open cluster. This is definitely an open cluster to me. It was great to compare the other 3, the star density in the other areas and cores and their size. The seeing was particularly good last night, the boundary layer dispersal fans I put on the scope a few weeks ago worked well. These clusters were perfectly resolved right to the core. Also got views of the dumbbell, ring nebula, blinking planetary and noted the differences seen between using a UHC and O3 filter and no filter. We were able to pic out 3 stars in the crab nebula, the spiral arms of the Triangulum and whirlpool galaxies and thee best views of the Andromeda galaxy ever, which got better as the night went on, several dust lanes and brighter edges areas and its overall shape was made out. The edge on galaxies ngc4013 and especially ngc5907 were textbook, their dust lanes were outstanding.
Using the Oxygen3 filter, we got stunning views of the Cocoon nebula (textbook photo view), the various Veil nebula regions and the gaseous regions between its too extremities, amazing as always.
Using the hydrogen beta filter, we got surprisingly bright views of the North American nebula, the California nebula and later on that night the horse-head nebula. Without this filter, these objects are invisible.
We also got several easy double stars such as the Alcor-Mizar system, the double double in lyra, 61 cygni (3rd nearest star system to the sun) and Gamma Andromedae.
As Orion got higher in the sky in the morning, we had amazing views of the Orion nebula, the 6 stars of the trapezium were very obvious with alot of clear dark space between all of them, the 2 minor stars looked decidedly orange-yellow. The central bright area of the nebula, normally a slightly mottled appearance, looked like it had been blasted by a shotgun. If I was an artist and was to draw this, I could have easily spent the entire night alone drawing the detail, the complexity of it all was jaw dropping. We spend a good deal of time in this area and compared the view with and without the O3 and UHC filters. I concluded that the most was seen using no filter in this situation.
We got all the big open clusters in Cygnus, Auriga, Perseus and Gemini. M35 and ngc2158 were a great size comparison, the same kind of clusters, one 10 times further away then the other. M37 displayed it's striking central yellow star surrounded by a field of white stars. The double cluster in Perseus was nice as usual, an interesting challenge was to pick out the scattering of orange stars across the 2 clusters.
To finish off the night, we tried to split Sirius-A and its white dwarf companion, the seeing was very good all night but not good enough at the low height that Sirius was at.
Frank, Tony and I were the last weary souls left and we called it a night at 5.40am, ice on the roof of the cars, tired but well worth it, we covered constellations spanning the Sunmmer, Autumn and Winter, and left the site watching Leo and Regulus rising on the eastern horizon.
So all in all, a great night, the best viewing we've had up there in ages