Were it not for a large system below Lake Erie doing some cross-border hopping, last night would have been a lot more fruitful for this backyard observer than it was.
I'd spent the afternoon making up a hit list of targets but ended up chasing sucker holes instead. But the evening wasn't a total bust as Anthony Tekatch dropped by to join Gail and I, and we had nice views of the Moon and Venus, both showing a beautiful crescent phase. Comet Lulin, in the 6" dob was a small grainy fuzz spot, and Saturn was a small olive on a toothpick - Martini's anyone!
However, I was successful in one quest, and that was to see the fifth, "E", star in Orion's Trapezium. This we did with the 12" dob. The seeing was somewhat turbulent but, surprisingly, it could still be seen even when a cloud passed over (under?) the nebula. The E star is mag. 10.3 and nestled between A & B which are the two stars in the Trapezium that are closest to each other. Apparently, a sixth star, "F" can also be had on a good night, but F is fairly tight to the C star and would need a fair bit of magnification in steady air to split the two.
If you want more information on the Trapezium, the following link will take you to an excellent web page on the subject:
So, the next time you have the Great Orion Nebula in your sights, see if you can go a little deeper and pick up some bonus stars.
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