Had a good weekend. Any weekend I get out Fri. and Sat. is a good weekend. The Fri. sky was very nice. No clouds. Sat we had a cloud cover till about 10:30, then it lifted and stayed clear with some passing streaky clouds occasionally the rest of the night. I was out from 9:30 till 2:00 both night. Had a few friends over Fri. Roley and Ro. Sat we had Roley again and Mike. Mike's a friend with an 8" LX200 he couldn't get pointing properly. We gave him a hand and before you knew it, M13, M92, M57, M27 etc. no problem. He had that Meade 56MM Super Plossel eyepiece. Nice wide angle view but only 52 degree apparent field. I'm used to the 68 degree apparent field, so the viewing circle looked a little small to me. Then again, M39 a beautiful open cluster looses it's appeal in my 12" with a 40MM. The entire item doesn't fit, with the 56MM it does, so it's a trade off. May have to get one of those.
We started Fri. night with some double stars from the list in July S&T pg. 112. It wasn't quite dark yet so this kept us busy for about an hour. We saw about a half dozen (or is that a full dozen) and of course the double double Epsilon Lyre. 95 Her. was the best of the bunch. A yellow and a white star mag. 5.0/5.2 sep 6.3". Very easy split with the 22MM at 138x. One of the most yellow stars I've seen. Clean yellow color, striking against the white. Ro Her. was also nice, both white, mag.4.5/5.5 sep. 4.2", nice tight double. Very clean split.
Comet Linear C2001 A2 is no longer on the chart we've been using. It only tracked it till 07/16. I had to extrapolate and search with the binos. It's still very bright and finding it not a big problem. I had it in about 5 minutes. I first mistook M15 for the Comet. I know immediately M15 wherein I saw it. But this was OK. I used M15 as a starting point. I then noted the stars in the area in the binos and star hopped to the Comet. This is not tough, especially since the comet is visible in the 9x50 finderscope. It looked great. Still resembles M31. No tail is visible directly, maybe a hint of tail if you move the field, but I'm not confirming "tail sighted". The best thing with this Comet is how fast it's moving. Within 5 minutes, if it's close to a star, you can see it moved. We made sketches and watched it fly by a star at the side of a small triangle of stars. We watched for about 40 minutes and went on to other stuff. We checked back in about 1 1/2 hrs, can't believe how much it moved. It was at RA. 21:38:57, DEC 18:47:20. We didn't sketch it on Sat. but the Coordinates were RA 21:33:15, DEC 19:07:33. I'd say it will probably be as high as Delphinus this weekend or higher. You can spot it real early now. If you haven't seen it yet, get out there!
Astronomy Magazine Aug. pg.69, supplied a very nice list of items in Scutum and Aquila. Real nice planetaries and a few open Clusters and Globulars. I reviewed these in my last report. The highlights from this list are NGC6781 an extremely round and large Planetary Nebula. This is the one I said looked like a pie with a piece missing. None were as good as they were at Coyle last week, but all were still visible and good targets. NGC7651 is a smaller version of the ring nebula. We used the 14MM ultra wide with the ultra block filter at 214x. Ring shape right there. And the open Cluster NGC6755 although very nice was not astounding like last week. Not as many background stars filling in the gaps.
We didn't go on a new item hunt till late Sat. But the sky was a little hazy, the corrector plates were fogging up, and most of the items I punched in were 13 mag. We were looking in the area above and around the Square of Peg. That was pretty much a wash so we wrapped up. There was one very nice big open cluster NGC7039 mag. 7.6 dia. 25.1 which looked like a big chunk of sky. Kind of like looking into Cygnes on a clear night.
Of course there were many Messiers observed. M15 being the highlight there. It resolves into powdery stars just so small. It looks like a spot of baby powder dropped on a black sweatshirt. M27 is wonderful with the filter. I think it's the best example or how good a job these filters do. NGC7331 is one of my favorite Galaxies. Looks like a flying saucer. With averted vision you see long extensions into the field. It's dia. 10. something, you see quite a bit of it. The item of the weekend was again Comet Linear. It's wonderful just to watch this thing flying across the field. Never saw anything moving like that! Clear skies.