On the eve of ganesha festival, amar,akarsh,rakesh,nithesh and me set out for an observing trip to hosahalli. We were at first thinking of going by bus but after some persuation by Rakesh, we went in his car. At the time of leaving, the sky was beautiful and blue. So we were expecting good skies. But as we were reaching hosahalli, we began to see dark rain clouds which covered the entire sky. we went to hosahalli expecting the sky to clear by 10 P.M or so. At first, it started clearing in patches and then in no time, the sky was clear. I saw the best ever Sagittarius milky way yesterday. the northern milky way was also very prominent. We had taken akarsh’s 8″f/8 newtonian reflector there along with my 4.5″f/9 celestron newtonian reflector.Me and akarsh assembled the scopes while amar was giving a sky-tour to rakesh and nithesh.after assembling, we first saw jupiter which we first mistook for an aeroplane! it was so damn bright!! then amar showed us M 22 in sagittarius… man this was marvellous! it appeared like stars were sprinkled on the centre of the globular! it was beautifully resolved!! then we saw M 80 in scorpius.. this was cometary in appearance… small and dense.. in the mean time, i was preparing to take some astrophotos through my 50mm f/2 pentax camera piggybacking it on my 4.5″.. after setting that up, i took two shots of sagittarius, each of 5 minutes duration. I had no referrence lines for tracking, so i had to use a dust speck in the eyepiece of my scope.. i dont know how good these have come.. coz i wasnt too happy with my tracking.. after taking these two pictures, i went back to observing and saw the globular cluster M 30 in capriconus.. this was just a patch of light! i couldnt make out any details.. after that, i took on the challenge of finfing helix nebula in aquarius without a finderscope. i forgot to mention that my finderscope got dislodged during assembly of the scope and as a result, i had to do without it. i took a real lot of time to find it…. i took about 20 minutes to find this object. this object was really faint and extremely large! i then tried to search for plabetary nebula M 76 in perseus… i drifted 30 degrees and found andromeda galaxy! at that particular time, that galaxy had degraded to it’s worst! only the core was visible and nothing else was!
then, we saw something peculiar in the sky… it was a “blinking star” which wouldnt stay in one position but keep moving.. amar saw this through the scope and said that it was a “blinking star”,that’s it… no more details could be seen…. then i started observing with amar who was hunting galaxies in andromeda and cepheus… he showed us two galaxies and man were they faint!! by this time orion had risen and i took a tracked photogarph of orion tracked for 5 minutes… by this time, twilight had set in.. and we packed up and left hosahalli at 6 A.M we were in bangalore by 8:30 A.M…. it was a nice trip. i really cant wait to go again… the photos taken by me are being developed and will be posted tomorrow….