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Deepsky in the Dordogne
In the first week of October I visited the Dordogne together with two other deepsky observers, Jo and Angelo. We rented a holiday home from Ad Mathijs from Astro Techniek. We were very lucky with the weather during this week. In the daytime it was almost every day between the 20 and 25 degrees, and the nights were very mild and......... clear! 5 nights out of seven on which we were able to observe. We had two big telescopes with us. Angelo took his 10-inch Meade and Jo had his 12-inch Orion Optics UK telescope for the deepsky and the Coronado PST for solar observations. I used the 14-inch telescope that comes with the holiday home. We also had a range of binoculars with us, an 8x42, 12x60, 12x80, and 15x80. Al could be mounted on the SkyWindow.


Setting up the equipment for another night of observing

On the five nights we observed more than 100 deepsky objects, but also Jupiter and Uranus. For me, the most beautiful object was the Milky Way. At home I cannot see it, but during the week in France I had enough time to really enjoy it and scan it with different types of binoculars. The sky was clear and it was dark, not extremely dark as in the Alps, but very dark when compared to my own backyard. I was able to pick out Barnard 142/143 (Barnards E) in Aquila just with the 8x42.

My top 10 from this week:

1. The milky way
2. The Helix Nebula (which I never had seen before), about the size of the moon, with 4 stars, including the central star, visible in the nebula;
3. The parts of the Veil nebula, simply stunning;
4. The north America nebula
5. The white and red dwarf star in 40 Eridani
6. The deep orange variable TX Pisces
7. NGC 129 (open cluster in Cassiopeia
8. Uranus
9. Comet Hartley near the double cluster
10. Alpha Persei Moving cluster through the 8x 42 binoculars, mounted on the SkyWindow

Here are a few images which Angelo shot with his Canon, just from a tripod (Click to enlarge)


Circlet of Pisces with the orange TX Pisces to its left and Jupiter / Uranus below the Circlet


Orion rising above the trees

Posted by Math on 10/23 at 12:25 AM
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