Tag Archives: amateur

Double Cluster in Perseus and NGC 663

My sketch of the Double Cluster in Perseus

Tonight was humid but the last cloudless night before several days of cloudiness. So I headed back to Long Sault Conservation Area for a dark sky. I brought the Nightwatch book to reference the objects I wanted to observe tonight in Perseus and Cassiopeia.

It was already pitch black when I got there and was glad to see another stargazer lying down on the grass with his binoculars. His company set me at ease and allowed me to hunt and sketch NGC 663 in a more relaxed manner. Not realizing one of the collimation screws was already backed out all the way, it came lose. It took me 10 minutes to put it back.

My sketch of NGC 663

I was half way through sketching the double cluster when he approached me for some small talk and to say goodbye. After he left, I was once again alone and uneasy so I rushed through the double cluster leaving out a lot of the details. I had been observing for 2 hours and didn’t realize that my OTA and primary was literally dripping in condensation so I packed up.

Once again, it was a very productive night for me. I am no longer questioning my telescope’s optics. It was just a matter of finding a dark sky.