Did I miss something???…..I thought the rule was,you get one nice weekend of clear skies per month and the rest of the time the skies were suppose to be crappy?!.Well whoever changed the rules,I LIKE IT!!!.Thats right,for the second weekend in a row,we have been forecasted to have clear skies and low humidity,which means with a new moon, observing should be at it’s best for this time of year and yes…..the batteries are fully charged for my camera this time!!.I will however,buy a fresh set just in case,even though they are rather expensive.Also,I have placed a order for a Meade DSI (deep sky imager).Meade authorized dealers are having a blowout sale and are selling them for $99.US dollars.I couldn’t let the good deal pass me by!.Heh,I’ve said it once and will say it again “astronomy is a money pit”but,in a good way!.
On a side note*We will be treated with the Perseids meteor shower which peaks on Sunday night after 9pm.Last year, I was treated to a brilliant fireball that streaked across the sky from east to west.The one neat thing about that particular fireball was the fact that my brother,who lives about 150 miles due west of me saw the same fireball!.Pretty small world we live on eh?.
The image below is one of the shots I took with my Pentax ist DS DSLR before the quick charged batteries died.I say quick charge because,they were only in the charger for an hour.The image was taken in A-focal projection,which is a change of pace for me because,I like the wide FOV of prime focus.It is a 45 second exposure and the ISO 1600.Typically,I don’t normally have my ISO set so high due to the extra noise but,since I was shooting with a 26mm eyepiece I felt that I could reduce my exposure time and possibly counteract the PE in my drive which would result in unwanted star trails.
Located in the constellation Pegasus,M15 is among some of the brightest globs in the Milkyway at +6.2 mag and is approaching us at 107 km/sec.
M15 is about at the limit of visibility for the naked eye under very good conditions. The slightest optical aid, opera glass or small binoculars, reveals it as a round nebulous object. It appears as a round mottled nebula in 4-inch telescopes, with at best the very brightest stars visible, but otherwise unresolved in a fine star field. In larger telescopes more and more stars become visible the outer parts are resolved, with a more irregular, non-circular outline. The compact core, however, stays unresolved even in large amateur telescopes, but the brightest stars can be glimpsed even there. Chains and streams of stars seem to radiate out of this core in all directions, but less concentrated toward the West.
M15 can be found extremely easily: Find the 2nd mag star Epsilon Pegasi, and Theta Pegasi SE of it. Follow the line from Theta over Epsilon and find M15 3 1/2 deg W and 2 1/4 deg N of Epsilon. A 6th mag star is about 20′ away to the East, another one of mag 7.5 about 5′ to the NNE.
Information courtesy of :http://www.seds.org/