Looks like it could be a bit of a damp squib tonight/tomorrow (12th/13th August) here in the UK!
However Tuesday night was gorgeous, clear, bright, no moonlight, and comfortably cool.
One of those nights I could NOT miss.
Took the XT10 out, and using its Intelliscope I saw all manner of things (aligned with my new illuminated crosshair reticule, then accurate to within about 5 arcsecs, [I got a -0.3 Warp Factor on the Inteliscope]).
Nice when its setup and brings you pretty much spot on each time. First time I’ve used it since a spring clean on the mirror about 2 months ago, re-collimated, etc, and it performed really well.
Jupiter was amazingly bright with 4 moons, and I could see the missing southern band since that impact (or not see it!).
Next the ghostly Ring nebula (M57) in Lyra.
The Dumb-bell nebulas (both M27 and M76).
Albireo was the best I’ve seen it with beautiful gold/blue colour contrast. I also accidentally spotted another nice colour pair somewhere in Lyra, one was very vivid blue (more so than in Albireo), but I’m not sure of its star number. I’ll have to track it down again on another night.
I saw the Double-Double and could just make out their smaller doubles.
The Double Cluster (NGC869 & NGC884) between Cassiopaeia and Perseus was fantastic.
Also Hercules Cluster (M13), and another cluster I’ve not seen before (can’t remember it though).
Did some general galaxy hunting and could make out several dim wisps.
I was a bit disappointed when the Tour feature ran out of things to show me!, although typically several were below horizon.
So I did some general scouting round with the wide-angle just taking it all in, and getting really dark-adapted and staring as deep as I could.
I discovered my left eye is considerably more sensitive to light, but my right eye gives sharper focus! Hmm.
At 2.30am I packed up, but reclined on a chair for a while and saw about 8 meteorites in 10 mins, before going to bed, and that was before the peak on Thursday/Friday.
Best night I’ve had in ages.
Lets hope its clear for the Perseids tonight.