Hercules DSO Hunting
After dinner...: Two clear nights in a row? Could it be possible? Setup scope, went back inside for 10 minutes, returned to find complete overcast. After requisite fit-pitching, the skies cleared and let me be for about 2.5 hours...
No camera tonight. Align on Arcturus and Altair, checked conditions on Vega and Albireo. While on doubles, tried 61 Cyg - nice pair at 15mm.
Hercules sits just over the house, and can see all the way down to Corona Borealis, with Draco off to the left (North). With Night Sky Observer's Guide Vol.2 and red light in hand I proceeded to go down the list of deep sky objects in Hercules, trying only those with entries for 8/10" Scopes with 9mm eyepiece (222x) and 15mm (133x): NGC 6058 (planetary nebula), 6181 (galaxy), 6207 (galaxy), 6210 (galaxy) all faint. NGC 6229 (glob) a little easier, though not many resolved stars. M13 & M92 steal the show, globs which easily resolve into many stars even at 15mm.
Shortly after 0315 (11:15 local) the clouds returned and I packed it up. Hope to return to Hercules a few more times before it disappears for the winter.
Mounted binoculars to the top of the N8GPS just for kicks. Interesting to see a broad expanse of sky in the binocs yet no sign of what is clearly visible in the eyepiece.
Tried running Astroplanner outside on the Dell but was getting errors with each attempt to connect to the scope. Night vision mode sucks, can't read anything on the screen, can't see keyboard to type, glare is horrible, light is overpowering even with brightness set at lowest level. I'm beginning to firmly believe that computers are best left indoors.