Kelling Heath 2012. 3 clear nights? Unheard of!

by on , under Astronomy Blog

Despite the wind, this years Kelling Sky Camp got off to a fabulous start.
As usual, as well as doing astronomy it was a great social event, meeting up with friends and having a great deal of banter.

The Thursday evening started out extremely clear. The Milky Way looked absolutely stunning!

We tried some astrophotography which was hit and miss as the scopes were bouncing around in the wind, so the stars aren’t as pin sharp as we would like.

I managed to image The Cocoon Nebula and the dark Barnard nebulosity around it.

I also tried M33 – Spiral Galaxy in Triangulum  Galaxy, but the wind was too strong and it wouldn’t track properly.

Visually we were observing using my 10″ Dobsonian Telescope taking in views faint planetary nebulae and galaxies. Some fabulous views were had by all.

The Sky stayed clear until until 02:30 BST, when stars disappearing behind clouds called an end to a long night.

Bed for a few hours until I woke at 07:15.
A few cups of tea later, breakfast, then time for a quick power nap to set you up for the day…

(Thanks for taking this photo Steve! NOT!!!).

Friday night was perfect observing conditions. It was probably the best skies I have seen from Kelling since we have been coming here.
So the new scope and my trusty Nikon were put to full use through the scope.
I also did a few general unguided constellation shots.

The Pleiades Star Cluster.

The magnificent Orion Nebula.

The Triangulum Galaxy.

The area around the Bubble Nebula in Cassiopeia.

And to cap off a fantastic night, The Pacman Nebula in Cassiopeia.

We finally went to bed as the sky was starting to get light in the east and put an end to my astrophotography. Jupiter & Venus were shining brilliantly in the early morning sky.

Saturday night, after winning a new Bahtinov Mask in the raffle, also turned out to be clear from about 11pm. I managed to pick up a number of technical issues trying to guide that night. But I made good use of my time observing through my good friend Rod Greening’s home made 18″ Dobsonian, and taking some general sky images before finally succumbing to the extreme tiredness and going to bed.

Here’s to next autumn. 🙂


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