Friday, October 13, 2006

Uranus and M39

Central PA finally has a clear, moonless night (well, early evening, anyway), and I headed out with my binocs.

For starters, I decided to track down Uranus. I've found all the planets from Mercury out to Saturn, and I finally just realized that Uranus should be within the range of my binocs, even in my light-polluted skies. I star-hopped from alpha-Aquarius down to gamma, zeta and eta (which were naked-eye, actually, but my eyes weren't all that dark-adjusted when I first went out), then down past kappa to lambda, and voila! Lambda-Aquarius has a couple of dimmer companions above and to the left and right, and Uranus was fairly close in magnitude to them, but below. It's gonna be fun over the next while to see Uranus move and the others stay behind.

Then I pointed my 'nocs up at Deneb, and did more star-hopping out to M39. Not as much to say about it, although the view was really wonderful. M39 itself had about a dozen or so individual stars visible, and the general area around it was full of more faint stars as well. If Santa will cough up a scope in a few months, I'm going back there, for sure.

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