Mini-Messier Marathon March 16, 2018

It was more of a sprint if you will forgive the pun. Friday, the 16th was to be a clear mild night while Saturday cloudy and rainy.  So I took Molly, the 16″ dob, to the RRO to see what I could do. 

First, I spent perhaps 30 minutes getting my new Rigel QuickFinder lined up. This was very annoying and makes me wonder if I should put an emergency site tube on the base or perhaps something to hold a laser pointer.

It started slowly but I found the first object at 8:15. Two, actually, M42 and M43 then M45.  M77 at 8:25, by this time I’m trying to follow the plan to give best efficiency.  M33, M31, M32, M110 were low  but fell to Molly. M103 and M76 were found as the clock changed to 9 PM.

About this time I started using my binoculars more and not just for studying the area.  Binoculars are not just for the big bright objects but smaller open clusters too. All I need to do is see the object and be sure which it is.

M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M41, M50, M46, M47,  M48, M44, M67 all fell to my 42mm binoculars.

M79, M78, M93,  M81 and M82 all were no challenge for Molly but dew fell hard right afterward so I called it a night with 27 objects. Only a couple objects – M74 and M52 – from the list up to that point were not found.

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