Although this evening included the Lunar Session - August 28, 2017 it was primarily a general observing session. The Moon was at Q-Day -1 and set at 10:38 PM.

©Judy Black. View from Blue Hill Overlook on Cadillac Mountain
iPhone 6s Plus. ISO 1000, 1/4 sec @f/2.2

Constellations: Auriga, Capricornus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cygnus, Delphinus, Ophiuchus, Perseus, Pisces Austrinus, Sagitta, Taurus, Triangulum, Ursa Major
Asterism: Coathanger/Collinder 399/Brocchi's Cluster, Kemble's Cascade, Square of Pegasus, Summer Triangle/DAVe, Teapot
Clusters: Hyades, Melotte 20 (α Persei Cluster, Collinder 39, Brocchi's Cluster), NGC 869/884

Meteor: (2)
Satellites: (2)
Planets: Jupiter, Saturn

Messier ObjectsM8 (Lagoon Nebula), M11 (Wild Duck Cluster), M31 (Andromeda Galaxy), M34 (α Persei Cluster), M45 (Pleiades)

Location: Blue Hill Overlook, Acadia National Park, Maine
Date: 2017-08-28
Time: 6:50 PM - 11:55 PM EDT
Instruments: Visual + Binoculars (10x30 IS + 15x70)
Transparency: Good (3) - Very Good (4)
Seeing: Good (3) - Very Good (4)Temperature: 24º C - 14º C

Cloudless, light breeze. We were parked at the side of the road overlooking a long, expansive downhill to the ocean below. Such an amazing view! Even with the peak of Cadillac Mountain behind us, we still had about a 270º view of the night sky. The reflection of the Moon on the ocean was quite memorable.

Time: 6:53 PM EDT

Instrument: Binoculars
Using ND5 filters on my binoculars, I located only 1 sunspot.

Summer Triangle / DAVe
Time: beginning at 7:48 PM - 7:57 PM EDT
Instrument: Visual
Vega showed up at 7:48 PM; Deneb and Altair were seen at 7:57 PM. Very good seeing and visibility made for sharp star, despite the air and light pollution low on the horizon. 

Time: 8:03PM EDT
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars
Used binoculars to view Jupiter and visually noted the relative location of the planet to Spica (in Virgo).



Time: 8:11 PM EDT

Instrument: Visual
Antares and Graffias (in Scorpius) formed a straight line to the Moon. Saturn formed a shallow triangle with them.

Time: 8:19 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 1, 3, 72

Instrument: Visual
Easily located Cassiopeia.

Ursa Major
Time: 8:19 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 31, 32, 33, 43, F

Instrument: Visual
Easily located all 7 stars.

Square of Pegasus
Time: 8:19 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 74, 75

Instrument: Visual
All 4 stars in the Square were seen above the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

Time: 8:25 PM EDT
Instrument: Binoculars
Followed it from just below Alkaid to Leo Minor before losing sight of i

Teapot (in Sagittarius)
Time: 8:32 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 66, 67, 68, 69, I

Instrument: Visual
The waxing crescent Moon made it difficult to see. Held my hand up to block the Moon. I could then see all the stars of the Teapot, with Kaus Australis located about 20º above the horizon. So high!! By 11 PM, it was only 5º above the horizon.

M8 (Lagoon Nebula)
Time: not recorded
S&T Chart Reference: 67, 69, I
Instrument: Binoculars
The Teapot readily located visually despite the Moon. Using binoculars, followed the line up from Kaus Australis through the middle of the spout to find M8. No chance of finding it visually given its proximity to the Moon. The characteristic line of 
stars crossing the nebulosity was seen.


NGC 869 / 884 (Double Cluster)
Time: 8:54 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 1, 2, 13
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars
Used the line of stars from Mirfak to α Perseus up to ν Persei to locate the NGCs in the same FOV. They were in very close proximity and looked like diffuse grey areas around bright centres.

M31 (Andromeda Galaxy)
Time: 8:54 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 3, 72
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars
With the Square of Pegasus and Andromeda high in the sky it was very easy to locate galaxy. Used both pairs of binoculars to view this galaxy Still wowed by the additional size and brightness of this galaxy in the larger magnification.

Perseus & M34 (α Persei Cluster / Mellotte 20)
Time: 8:54 PM + 9:20 PM + 10:07 PM EDT + one other unrecorded time 
S&T Chart Reference: 2, 13
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars

8:54 PM: Initially came across this messier object quite by accident when I was using my binoculars to scan the skies between Perseus and Andromeda. I came across a roundish fuzzy object that almost better seen with averted vision.
9:25 PM: Mirfak and α Persei Cluster (M34) were located higher above Cadillac Mountain. Located η, γ, τ, ι, β, ε and ρ.
10:07 PM: Algol and Atik were found when looking at Auriga.
I viewed it at one other time. I was very pleased - this meant I was truly "seeing" it!


Time: 9:01 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 66, 68, 77
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars
Capricornus easily seen in the night sky despite being near the time of a Quarter Moon. I used the binoculars to view α1 and α2. At 9:28 PM, ψ Capricornus was at least 25º above the ocean horizon.

Time: 9:09 PM EDT
Instrument: Binoculars
Followed it travelling from Altair along the length of Aquila into Sputum. Lost track of it after it passed M11.

Time: 9:35 PM EDT
(Visual) Travelled from Polaris to Dubhe in Ursa Major.

Time: 9:40 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 71, 73

Instrument: Visual
Errai, Alderamin (α), Alphirk (β), ι, δ, ζ and μ could easily be identified. Amazed that all could be seen but being on the opposite side of the night sky from the Quarter Moon. Not as bright as Cassiopeia, but close.


Time: 9:56 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 64
Instrument: Binoculars
The 5 stars in Delphinus were easily found below Cygnus.

Time: 9:56 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 64
Instrument: Binoculars
All 4 stars in Sagitta were easily found below Albireo and above Altair.

Time: 10:06 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 2, 4
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars
Looked for Andromeda and Pegasus. Found the 3 stars below Andromeda naked eye. Then used binoculars to view β and γ; didn't look for δ Triangulum or 7 Triangulum.

Time: 10:07 PM EDT + 10:52 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 12
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars
Capella was noticed about 1º-2º just above the horizon on the crest of the Overlook. At the later time, I could identify Capella (α), Elnath (β), ι Auriga and Menkalinan. Only θ couldn't be seen.

Kemble's Cascade
Time: 10:07 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 11, 13
Instrument: Binoculars 
Cassiopeia was readily located. Went 1 FOV from the constellation and found the bright stars of the Cascade that needed in the hockey stick formation.

M11 (Wild Duck Cluster)
Time: 10:17 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 65, 67
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars
The Moon had almost set making theMilky Way appear brighter in the sky. Found the semi-circle of stars nearby and identified lambda Aquilae with naked eye and guessed as to the location of M11. Found it very easily with 10x30 IS binoculars - the backwards golf club beside the fuzzy M11 golf ball. When viewed with the 15x70, M11 changed shape slightly from round to a sort of rectangle with a hint of central bright stars. Quite a different look for this Messier object!

Coathanger / Collinder 399 / Brocchi's Cluster
Time: 10:20 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 65

Instrument: Visual + Binoculars
After identifying the stars in Cygnus, I went below Albireo and located the 10 stars of the Coathanger with binoculars.

Time: 10:20 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 62, 73, H
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars 
Deneb easily located as were Sadr, Albireo, δ and ε. Albireo appeared bluish in the binoculars.

Time: 10:25 PM EDT
(Visual) Travelled from Scutum to the Teapot.

Time: 10:25 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 54, 56, 67
(Visual) With naked eye, I identified the triangle formed by Rasalhague (α), Cebelrai (β) and κ Ophiuchus. From there, I looked down towards the horizon to find Sabik (η), ζ, ξ, ν and Yed. I did not look through binoculars to separate Yed Prior from Yed Posterior. Still amazed at how large this is. Didn't attempt to look for the arms/outer cape - this was a mistake given how clear the sky was at this time.


M45 (Pleaides)
Time: 10:34 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 14, 15, A
Instrument: Visual + Binoculars
The Pleaides finally showed up above the tree line in e-NE. The 5 brightest stars and numerous others were seen through the binoculars and with naked eyes could see the open star cluster  almost rectangular in shape. Love this cluster for its brightness and ease of finding in the night sky.

Taurus & the Hyades Star Cluster
Time: 10:42 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 14, 15, A
Instrument: Visual
Located Capella earlier in the evening then saw another bright star appear above the crest of the mountain in the E-NE later in the evening. Using SkySafariPro, I identified Aldebaran, Elnath, epsilon and gamma. Didn't look for lambda, nu, xi, zeta or 10 after finding the Hyades open cluster as they were below the mountain's crest.

This was my first attempt at identifying other stars in Taurus besides Aldebaran.


Pisces Austrinus
Time: 11:48 PM EDT
S&T Chart Reference: 76, 77, 78, 79
Instrument: Visual
Surprised to see this constellation relatively high above the horizon (compared to home) and adjacent to Capricornus. Could identify all 9 stars visually. Talk about exciting! With the Moon having set 
earlier it was so easy to see this constellation above the ocean's horizon. Saw Fomaulhaut (α) first then identified the other stars visually (using SkySafariPro as an assist). Didn't use binoculars to see the double stars of γ and μ (if in fact they could be seen).




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